I have some thoughts about what it would mean to adopt these principles as part of the Manifesto.
The addition of these principles to the Manifesto would set in concrete a shift from Mozilla being about a certain type of technical Internet towards Mozilla being also about a certain type of social Internet. While the original ten principles of the Manifesto tend to emphasise technical, structural and governance aspects of the Internet we want to see (open, accessible, secure, interactive and shapeable, interoperable, transparent, participatory in governance, with commercial involvement, for the public benefit), the new principles emphasise how we would like people to behave on the Internet (inclusive, non-discriminatory, cross-cultural, understanding, respectful, tolerant, decent).
However, I’m not seeing this significant shift in our focus as something which has been recognised and discussed as such, at least in Mozilla’s public discourse. I think your proposals for additions to the Manifesto are a good time to do that.
Another way of looking at the difference, or shift, is that Mozilla currently has a set of technical values it would like to see in the Internet (and around which there is consensus from all current Mozillians, rather by definition); adopting these principles would mean it also had a set of social values it would like to see in the Internet.
Now, when you choose a set of values, you are making a choice - even if you don’t realise it because you think those values are universally important and so surely everyone must agree. But there are many “value” words which everyone would agree on the importance of, but which people understand and interpret in very different ways. And while people might agree in the abstract on the validity of a certain value, they may differ on how they feel it interacts with other important values they hold, and how to resolve conflicts. And so your articulation of your value set may not ring true for them.
One of the features of successful coalitions in a common cause (of which Mozilla is one) is that people agree on the core goals or beliefs of the movement but agree to disagree on everything else. This means, the more things you add to the list of core goals or beliefs, the smaller the pool of people from which your coalition will draw. A significant reduction in the size of our potential talent pool would not, I suggest, be a good outcome for Mozilla.
I feel that Mozilla has been and is a powerful force for a certain kind of technical Internet. That’s where our consensus lies, it’s where the sweet spot of our work is, and it’s a big enough task for us to be fully occupied with it. And our current mission scope finds supporters among a very diverse set of people and groups - politically, socially, geographically and in many other ways.
To use one final analogy: there is a principle in computer science called “separation of mechanism and policy”. It states that the parts of a system which define how you do something (mechanism) should not dictate or overly restrict the policies which define what you do (policy). The current principles are about Internet mechanism. The new four principles are about Internet behavioural policy. I’m worried that this change, which has Mozilla working on both, would encourage us to bend mechanisms for policy ends, violating the separation and putting our role as a powerful force for the right mechanisms in jeopardy.