Main project development, rules and restrictions (I will migrate this to Google Docs soon)

JD Jelle Debusscher Public Seen by 170

Hello and welcome to Project AGORA,

this is a group for developing the testing-project (java-application, several API's, streaming server) which has to remain apolitical to have any chance of succes.

The goal of Project AGORA is to bring the format of debated and documented politics of the European Parliament in a local streaming format by using our (pirate) rule of three, the public space and the new technology. Basically we give the comments and idea-section a journalistic status; an official searchable status in a videoformat with extensive hashtags and improved citizensparticipation.

This is an unfinished document and my questions here are maily directed to the FORMAT needed, the game-rules and restrictions of the real agora + what is necessary to put it in 'the cloud'.

* identity-verification: (YES/NO)
- everybody's identity is constantly decipherd and used in modern society. So let's say it's verified, by ID-card or by cellphone (application): this is not strictly needed (and maybe not for testing puposes) yet if we want to give it an official character and the idea of equal checked access to the agora medium, is this the way. Since our Virtual Identity has a multitude of information I suggest we use the most elegant and most robust safety requirements, The SocialSecurityNumber has certain advantages and is already in use by the NMBS. Otherwise we'll be using third party apps and that is part of the research we want to document too !
- Also if we decide to extend the posibilities of the application like voting (what are your ideas on the WeCitizens app?) it shouldn't be optional.
- Thirdly: we decipher the possibilities of the automatic facial recognition which could also here be implemented in the public space and because we are talking video. This is a part of defining the new bounderies for the Virtual Identity.

* Locality: do we set limits? Which ones? Do we present the Agora as a time/place beforehand (i.e. sundaymorning on your local village-square when people are at their sundaybest and have time to discuss politics) or can people stream from wherever by themselves (quality-check!) ?
- use of locality by GoogleMaps API, use of third-party Nearby apps
* Moderation: it's our intention to have civilians reach a certain quality in content as well, so that's why I'm proposing the rule of three: one can be the camera, other director. We learn people in this way also to listen to each other, formulate their ideas and use their cellphone professionaly. (Quality)
* Secondly I would propose to explicitely ask to film horizontally with the cellphone: again quality purposes for image/sound and content. So I'm thinking of a MANUAL to organise the VIrtual Agora.
The Agora resembles the local community centre very much but in doing so it makes transparant the different spheres of policy. We only offer a means to make the present problems and solutions visible in a community format. Instead of demanding transparant policy we'll give the forum to citizens solutions and demand an answer. Since agora.vlaanderen looks like an offical canal it might as well later be implemented in the new forms of a more direct democracy.

  • Quality in content and image/sound: how ? --> The rule of three: too submit a request, a message or a proposition to the Agora one first has to find two 'backers' The website can serve as an open local agenda tool in which the streaming exposure (i.e. 3m) is equally timed for all. Yet the application can be much more.

* Time/place, number of people on camera, others ?


Lander Meeusen Mon 22 Oct 2018 4:27PM

Maybe we can split some of these topics and discuss them as a "decision to make".

Identity: as soon as we are talking official democratic voting, I think there should be a system like National Number registration in place. As a non-governmental body, I don't think we have acces to peoples' e-ID. As long as there is no 'real' impact of the discussions, maybe this isn't necessary. On some on-line platforms (like couchsurfing, airbnb, ...), a reference- and vouch-system seems to work. Someone who has been vouched for can vouch for other peoples' real identity.

I have a question about the video-aspect. Isn't this something we could add in a later stage? It seems to me that short pieces of text, to the point, twitter-length will make a discussion more manageable and digestable. Short or long video-pieces take a longer time to watch through. In small groups that's ok. Or if you go live, video is definitely an option. I don't understand the need for the rule of three. If an individual has an idea or an argument for/against an idea, why not let him tell that. People who share the idea or argument can upvote or downvote and/or retort. I guess it's kind of like a "rule of +/-", the more upvotes the more popular the idea / argument. Again, quality can be obtained by forcing people to keep the arguments short and simple.


Jelle Debusscher Tue 23 Oct 2018 6:55AM

Yes will do


Jan Van Opstal Tue 23 Oct 2018 7:10AM

We can have access to peoples e-ID trough a card reader and their ID-Card.

the rule of three? I do support: "If an individual has an idea or an argument for/against an idea, why not let him tell that"

Facial recognition?


Locality verification depending on proposal? Is it a local, regional, European, International matter? Using Google api? people can be using VPN or being on the road.

Moderation.... self moderating?


Jelle Debusscher Tue 23 Oct 2018 8:55AM

  • Well the rule of three is indirectly by using video applied, the act of using the smartphone medium vouches for identity too, and making it public is indirectly the act of asking for a vouch/attention.
  • Politics in the EU are all recorded (everyone's identity is doublechecked) and streamed, this is the example we should evolve to.

  • Via facial recognition their is no need for any other method and if we don't take those means into our own hands, someone else will. Also we want to know who is speaking, it is a virtual agora, a public local space adressing public affairs. This is a way to research the barriers of the virtual identity and define them.

  • Self-moderation in case of a public/private forum where everybody's identity is checked is an option. There will always be the system admin ;)


Patrick Installé Tue 23 Oct 2018 9:30AM

As far as I understand the project, I don't beleive such project could expect to have legal value. The identity verification is useless. One ring rules all ? No, thanks.
The quality of arguments is more important than the identity of the producer.


Jelle Debusscher Tue 23 Oct 2018 10:05AM

  • The idea is to have an open forum on local politics for the inhabitants, and use video as a means.
    It's value lies in the combination of semi-public identification (for example only within district), everyone can hear and see you and the fact a record is kept, so it evoques transparency and quality of content. Does media have legal value if preconditions are met ? Can contracts be (more) binding when filmed ? If voting is made possible? Then verification is very usefull.
  • This is also an experiment in how your metadata is used and can be used, since the gdpr also grants the right to be forgotten, media should be for example erased after a certain amount of time, in the case of a streaming (timed) platform this is less of a problem.