A disclosure is a bit of content, typically on a home page, on an indie web site that proactively discloses some aspect about the site that the site owner wants the user to explicitly be aware of. E.g.
- cookie tracking
- affiliations with organizations (sometimes on specific posts that are topically related to those organizations)
- services provided, such as webmentions
- contact information is anything in the disclosure is incorrect
- sustainability concerns
- 1 Why
- 2 IndieWeb Examples
- 3 Backfeed Examples
- 4 Silo Examples
- 5 Brainstorming
- 6 See Also
Having a disclosure on your site lets users know more about your principles. Whereas companies mainly use disclosures for legal reasons, a disclosure can let you inform visitors of the things you think they should know as a user. This is a good way to build trust with the users of a site.
Disclosures can be used whether or not you are processing user data. A disclosure could inform users that you have no intention to collect data. Alternatively, a disclosure could outline exactly what type of data you track, and why.
Jeremy ZilarJeremy Zilar on his silencematters.com sidebar, has a Google Analytics disclosure and links to opt out and learn more:
I use Google Analytics to understand how people are using my website.
Opt-out | Learn more
Sebastiaan Andeweg has a page on https://seblog.nl/privacy containing information about showing backfeed, citing posts, (no) tracking etc. since 2017-02-18. The page is linked in the footer of every page.
jamesgoca has a page on his site where he discusses his commitment to privacy and sustainability. He declares that he does not read site logs and has taken great efforts to make his website as sustainable as possible.
Backfeed, even from public silo profiles, may not be an obvious consequence by commenters/likers of POSSE copies. Thus it makes sense, especially for silo private accounts and private posts by default, explicitly disclose on your silo profile that you are / may be backfeeding comments/likes etc. to your own site.
Kyle Mahan InstagramKyle Mahan has had a backfeed disclosure on his Instagram profile since 2015-??-??:
heads up: images are also published on my personal site by #OwnYourGram. comments and likes are backfed by Brid.gy.
Tantek FacebookTantek Çelik has had a backfeed disclosure on his Facebook profile "Intro" field since 2016-060:
Posts here come from my site tantek.com
Comments/likes may be copied to original posts & made public!
Kartik Prabhu TwitterKartik Prabhu has a backfeed disclosure on his Twitter profile since 2016-02-29:
All responses backfed to my site. You have been warned!
Michael Bishop I have a pinned post on Twitter, and on 2017-07-18 made an announcement on Facebook to friends & family to assume all posts are public, reactions/comments backed to my personal domain. Also added disclosure to bio/intro.
Silo examples of disclosures nearly always mention some form of cookie tracking (and hopefully why), as well as one or more of the following:
- Cookies Policy
- Terms of Service (TOS)
(additional specific research for each of those may deserve its own page)
(this section is a stub, feel free to expand!)
Upon loading a Facebook profile page (perhaps any FB page) in Germany (having already been logged beforehand in the US), Facebook shows a cookie disclosure statement above their normal top of page toolbar:
(this section is a stub, feel free to expand!)
Upon visiting the Twitter homepage or a profile page (possibly all other pages to) in the Netherlands while being logged out, Twitter shows a cookie and data transfer disclosure statement in a floating alert box.
Disclosure Pages for Academia
Researchers in academia are ethically required to make disclosures or conflicts of interest within journal articles they publish. Not doing so can be a career disrupting or even ending move. Why not add a Disclosure Page or Conflict of Interest Page on one's website to make it easier to cut and paste into journal submissions (when not practicing academic samizdat? It could have a list of current as well as past affiliations, along with dates, and potentially the value amounts paid (which are apparently available publicly in separate filings).
See also Top Cancer Researcher Fails to Disclose Corporate Financial Ties in Major Research Journals (New York Times, 2018-09-08) and the follow up article Top cancer expert forgot to mention $3.5M industry ties—he just resigned (Ars Technica, 2018-09-08).
- Criticism from open participant not knowing of ressearch.
- Jonathan Eisen, UC Davis
- American Economic Association has a good list of potential disclosure areas and related ideas including for: proprietary data, prior consulting, prior industry affiliation, prior employment, religious beliefs, foundation funding, funding for other projects, stock holdings, spouse profession, and other cases.
- home page
- remote content policy
- Brainstorming, suggested Twitter bio disclosure for Ryan Barrett:
Tweets, replies, retweets, and likes from https://snarfed.org, your responses show up there too. 100% reading & writing from the #indieweb since 2014!(also aspirational for Tantek Çelik)