Contract for the Web draft: it’s time to add your voice

23rd July 2019 | Update

In November 2018, Sir Tim Berners-Lee announced a project to build a new Contract for the Web that would bring governments, companies and citizens together around a shared set of commitments to build a better web.

A group of organisations set out to build this contract with the conviction that the web will only live up to its potential if a diverse set of actors, each with different roles and interests, work together to make it happen.

Today we published the first draft text for the Contract for the Web. This document is the first iteration of what will become the final contract, due to launch at the end of 2019. It will evolve in the coming weeks and months as those drafting the contract continue to negotiate the final text.

We need your feedback to help inform this process. Just as the contract includes responsibilities for governments and companies, it asks citizens too to make commitments. We’ve had over 8,000 individuals pledge their support for the contract principles — now we need to hear from you on the first draft of the full contract.

This survey is your opportunity to share your views on the first draft Contract for the Web.

While many agreements and declarations stop at high-level principles, the detail included in this draft makes clear that the Contract for the Web will go further. More than delivering a statement of ideals, it will offer a roadmap of responsibilities and provide clear policy guidelines for companies and governments as well as actions for citizens to participate actively and positively on the web.

To arrive at this point, five working groups have spent months building out the contract’s nine founding principles into clauses that will drive progress across several focus areas. A core group, responsible for stewarding the contract, consolidated their work to produce this first draft.

For now, the focus is on continuing to negotiate these clauses and agreeing the final text. When published later this year, we will once again ask organisations to pledge their support for the Contract for the Web.

The negotiations to get to a final document may be challenging. Working towards meaningful change will always be uncomfortable and disagreements between diverse groups with different interests are expected, even inevitable. The debate taking place speaks to the fact that this project is being taken seriously.

We need to hear your voice to ensure that as large a group as possible is represented in these deliberations. The public survey will be open until September 8. Your feedback will be consolidated and provided to the core group to inform the drafting of the final version. We’ll publish consolidated feedback before November.

Complete the survey to have your say on the Contract for the Web.

This is a working draft document reflecting contributions from a range of participants. Given this document is still in the process of negotiation, at this stage participants have not been asked to formally support or oppose the document in its current form. We look forward to working with others to finalise the document.

The Contract for the Web was launched at the Web Summit in November 2018 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee who called for governments, companies and citizens to come together to commit to building a better web. Since launching, over 115 civil society groups, 250 companies, several governments and thousands of individuals from 170+ countries have signed up to back the nine founding principles of the Contract for the Web. The drafting of the full contract is being led by a multistakeholder core group, supported by working groups and led by the World Wide Web Foundation.


Comments (17)

  • Trevor Learoyd

    23rd July 2019 - 3:25 pm

    I fully support this initiative

  • Steven Harris

    23rd July 2019 - 6:19 pm

    I support this contract

  • Robert Green

    23rd July 2019 - 6:24 pm

    I have confidence in you commit. I wish you all the best.

  • Marlon Dajevic

    23rd July 2019 - 8:22 pm

    Hope the Governments listen


    23rd July 2019 - 11:27 pm


  • Afia Faith

    24th July 2019 - 12:39 am

    Well done!

  • Alimamy

    24th July 2019 - 12:29 pm

    I fully support this initaitive and agree on the contents.

  • Lubomir Kukuca

    24th July 2019 - 8:36 pm

    I support this contract.

  • Liza Kirwan

    27th July 2019 - 4:26 pm

    I fully support the proposal as outlined here. Thank you for doing this for us all.

  • Anwar Dafa-Alla

    27th July 2019 - 9:36 pm

    I support this contract.

    I can translate the draft into Arabic, if you need it.

  • Arnaud Gahimbare

    29th July 2019 - 7:42 am

    Who will sign this contract once finalized and on behalf of whom? would that mean that the person/entity singing the contract will be the owner of the Internet???

  • Ivy Tuffuor Hoetu

    29th July 2019 - 11:09 pm

    I am in full support for this CONTRACT


    30th July 2019 - 6:17 am

    Build that better www !!

  • Rudi Farkas

    30th July 2019 - 10:01 am

    @Arnaud Gahimbare "Who will sign this contract once finalized and on behalf of whom? " IMO, it should be signed by institutions public and private, but also and most importantly by all of us as individuals, persons, citizens of the Earth.

  • Josephine

    1st August 2019 - 9:56 pm

    I support

  • Malorie Amoussou

    4th August 2019 - 1:48 pm

    I support this contract!

  • Johnny Lambo

    30th August 2019 - 7:44 pm

    I partially support this contract. I strongly urge that anything involving diversity, gender identity, and group representation be removed and placed into its own document with its own discussion and proposals.

    The criteria around these topics are poorly defined, vague, and unmeasurable as it currently stands. There is no mention of how it will be enforced and what ultimately the consequence to the business or individual will be.

    It reads as subjective, open ended and unmanageable.

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Weaving the Contract for the Web — The journey so far