January 11, 2022
Private messaging platforms like Messenger, Signal, Telegram, WeChat, and WhatsApp are seminal technologies. By assuring private communication on a global scale, these innovations expand and protect democracy as well as our human rights. They have fundamentally reshaped human connection.Omidyar Network believes in the promise of this type of technological innovation. We also believe tools with this depth of political, economic, social, and cultural influence must be held to the highest standards of trustworthiness and safety.For the past three years, we have invested in individuals and organizations that are working to make private messaging platforms more trustworthy (and as a result, safer). We have seen firsthand the pivotal role of private messaging platforms in empowering diverse ideas and social movements. And we have witnessed the inequality, injustice, and trauma that result from risky design choices which preference the technology's scale, virality, and monetization over its users' well-being. To preserve the best qualities of these innovations, all stakeholders must engage in renovating the product designs, policies, and incentives that introduce and increase risk.