The Roadmap to a More Civil Form of Discourse and Discovery

NevaLabs and Civil are partnering to power a more sustainable engagement model for journalism.

We’re teaming up to develop a social ecosystem that promotes — and rewards — the distribution of insightful and trustworthy news and information . Our focus will be on maximizing return on attention, not on creating endless social feedback loops with increasingly diminishing returns. Social scrolls should — and will — have end points on Civil. We want to foster a more civil form of discourse which rewards users for introducing new perspectives and adhering to the journalistic ethics standards outlined in the Civil Constitution. Put another way, social activity on Civil should look nothing like the YouTube comments section.

NevaLabs is a natural partner for Civil. NevaLabs founders, Mark Little and Áine Kerr, are both longtime journalists who are passionate about promoting a more sustainable journalism model for the digital age. Little was previously the CEO and founder of Storyful, the world’s first social news agency, where Kerr served as managing editor. After News Corp acquired Storyful in 2016, Little served as vice president for media in Europe and Africa at Twitter, and Kerr managed global journalism partnerships for Facebook.

They founded NevaLabs together to give people control of a news experience free of the misinformation, manipulation and endless scroll that has come to define the distribution of news on social platforms, which thrive on capturing user attention for as long as possible — to the point of actively fostering addictive tendencies. Little and Kerr are committed to replacing an attention economy based on addictive news consumption with a trust economy designed to sustain great journalism.

“NevaLabs has been testing new approaches to data science and machine learning, helping users create news routines aligned with their identity and best intentions, free from the algorithmic manipulation of ad-funded and news and information feeds,” said Mark Little, NevaLabs co-founder and CEO.

Civil and NevaLabs will partner to create a brand new collaborative layer of news distribution, providing incentives for developers, or “smart curators,” to build engaged communities around common interests and amplify trustworthy sources in public conversation. Civil’s cryptoeconomic model, powered by the CVL token, introduces a compelling new incentive structure to do so. Ultimately, it’s about helping the most active readers build valuable relationships with the news sources that reward their attention and value their trust.

Together, we aim to develop more and better ways for readers to interact with Newsrooms on Civil — and one another — in meaningful ways. Reader engagement is a bedrock of any sustainable model, and we see our burgeoning partnership as a huge milestone on this front. Facebook and Twitter, their well-documented flaws aside, remain the world’s two most popular media serving platforms; by and large, they’re still where the world goes to discover and share news. Both platforms are effective for connecting large and disparate populations. We see a great opportunity to build smart curation tools that are specifically intended for the proliferation of journalism, and which adhere to ethical standards.

In the months to come, Civil and NevaLabs will be establish a broad ecosystem of developers to help build applications and incentives for “smart curators” and the communities they serve. The possibilities are nearly limitless; we will reward best practices in areas such as content licensing, verification, micropayments and user-controlled news filters.

We are particularly interested in working with journalists and peer-to-peer publishers who are seeking to develop deeper relationships with engaged communities, or newsrooms who are interested in building or evolving membership models of journalism through a cryptoeconomic structure.

We’ll be announcing more specifics ahead of the Civil platform’s general launch this summer. In the meantime, be sure to also sign up for the NevaLabs newsletter for the latest. And if you’re a developer interested in discussing initial ideas, join Civil’s Gitter community.

You can learn more about Civil here: