For the interoperability of the Web’s giants: an open letter from 70 organisations

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La Quadrature du Net, along with 70 civil liberties organisations, professional bodies, ISPs and hosting providers, demands that the government and legislative take action to require that the big online platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter…) become interoperable with other Internet services.

Our open letter remains open for signatures from organisations and companies (individuals are strongly encouraged to this letter and spread it widely). To sign it, please write to us at, with the email subject “Signing interoperability letter”, and noting the name of your organization in the email. Thank you!

Open letter demanding the interoperability of the big online platforms

We, defenders of a neutral, free and open Internet, call on legislators to compel the big platforms to become interoperable with other Internet services.

Interoperability ensures to everyone not to fall captive from a platform: that we can freely leave a platform without losing our social links and that we can continue to communicate with our contacts. Interoperability allows anyone to read on service A content published by their contacts on service B and to reply as if they were on service B too. Interoperability is guaranteed if it is based on open standards

Services like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube draw their power from the large number of users they hold captive — this number of users encourages others to join their services, and their captivity allows these big services to impose constant surveillance for commercial purposes. Today, many people would like to escape these services but are forced to stay, under the threat of losing contact with their friends and relatives.

However, outside of these platforms, millions of people are already united across interoperable services such as Mastodon, Diaspora and PeerTube — notably through ActivityPub, an interoperability protocol published by the W3C in 2018. These decentralised networks, built upon free software, house a multitude of actors, spreading the costs between them, which are contributing to the emergence of new economic models that are much more respectful of users’ freedoms than targeted advertising.

Migrating to these services would also allow us to escape from the toxic environments fuelled by Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. These giants give prominence to content that best maintains our attention, which is often caricatures and anxiety-inducing comments. Rather than the path taken by recent censorship laws, we cannot hope that these platforms will curb the spread of hateful, deceptive and harmful speech, because their economic model depends on spreading this.

It is urgent to give everyone the ability to escape from the surveillance and toxicity of these giant platforms and to join these free, decentralised and human-scale services  — without losing their social links by doing so. The law must require this interoperability.

First 45 signatories:

New signatories: