We’re imagining, studying, and building public spaces and public goods on the internet.

94. How does Meduza’s Kevin Rothrock publish some of the best reporting about Russia? From far, far away. Reimagining the Internet

Kevin Rothrock has been reporting on Russian culture and politics since the mid-aughts, and as the English-language editor of Meduza, he’s a crucial figure in helping the English-speaking West understand the day-to-day in Putin’s Russia during the war in Ukraine, and on the front lines too. This week on Reimagining, Kevin Rothrock tells us how… Continue reading 94. How does Meduza’s Kevin Rothrock publish some of the best reporting about Russia? From far, far away.

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What is Digital Public Infrastructure?

The Initiative for Digital Public Infrastructure studies, imagines and builds a new, more resilient Internet for the public good; an Internet guided by the values of users and their communities rather than those of corporations and investors.

What is Digital Public Infrastructure?
The Internet today consists of what could be described as accidental public infrastructure, including social media platforms like Facebook, advertising marketplaces like Google AdSense, or music distribution networks like Spotify. These infrastructures are only public insofar as they are open to the public and therefore host an increasing proportion of our civic life.They often exploit the private data of their users while restricting those users from contributing meaningfully to platform governance. 

At iDPI, we are building an internet full of spaces that are intentionally public, with economics and governance driven by their users. We aim to accomplish this by learning from successful examples of user-driven and user-governed online spaces as well as experimentations in building community-driven spaces at a small scale.

Can such spaces foster the accountability, safety, and stability needed to shape a healthy online public sphere? Can they connect users across divides of identity and ideology? Can they not only host communities that gather both online and offline, but help sustain those communities?

The ideas that animate iDPI have been outlined in a set of academic papers and articles in the popular press:

The Case for Digital Public Infrastructure
Building a More Honest Internet
What is Digital Public Infrastructure?