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Bringing Vouch Forward was a session at IndieWebCamp SF 2019.

Jacky presenting on

Notes archived from: https://etherpad.indieweb.org/vouchnext

IndieWebCamp SF 2019
Session: Bringing Vouch Forward
When: 2019-12-07 15:20



  • Jacky Alciné is considering an idea that others have also considered...generating a follow list that can be used as a Vouch list.
  • Works on the FOAF principle...you trust them to leave comments
  • The chat-names page on the wiki could be used as a Vouch, but a weak one.
  • Tantek Çelik is suggesting you could allow people on weaker vouch, but you could always remove the mention afterwar

Sources of vouches:

Things to consider

  • What is trust?
  • What is reputation?
  • How do you determine trust and reputation?

More questions

  • How do we approve new comments and new users?
  • Do we trust people to post a comment where we are okay with cleaning it up later.?
  • Should we automatically trust people?
  • Goals: Wants to post on personal site and receive comments
  • Wants to hide comments that are irrelevant
  • Wants this to be as low-touch as possible and occur in the protocol level


  • Implement a system to pull in contacts and vouch for them
  • Blacklist, whitelists, and social rating system
  • Add a tag to label different types of users


  • gRegor Morrill: My vouch implementation periodically pulls in a list of links from a following/blogroll page (https://gregorlove.com/following/) and whitelists those domains for incoming webmentions
    • The webmention plugin supports requiring the vouch parameter on incoming webmentions, though I don't have that option enabled since Vouch isn't widely implemented.
    • For outgoing webmentions, I follow the same algorithm Ben Roberts documented. tl;dr: process referer links, validate they actually link to me, filter out some domains (google, twitter, etc.), then store as potential vouches
      • This is mostly just running behind the scenes, I haven't checked on it in a while. DId run into an issue where a webmention to Martijn van der Ven sent a github voucher URL, which he did not allow bc anyone could set up a github profile.

The difference between censorship and moderation has to do with who puts them in place.

Each person can decide what they do with their vouches or non-vouched mentions.

Some sites allow comments, some don't. Some allow flagging of comments...

Ben Roberts and gRegor Morrill are the only people noted as having implemented sending of Vouches, and only 4 people actively note accepting/receiving Vouches.

Vouch is subjective, there is no objective trust...

One could also use values of h-cards for vouch-type thresholds. Example: If I don't indicate publicly that I'm a vegetarian, then I can't post on another site/forum/etc. Similarly if common rel="me" not cross-linking/matching.

  • What if they post chickens? - definitley ban them!!

If Carol does not have an h-card with an avatar, or other parameters like that, as a vouch value.



See Also