A more straightforward way of displaying the criteria for recommendations

The current way of displaying the criteria for a recommendation is to list it within its relevant tool page, e.g., VPN criteria within the VPN page. I think this is okay as is, but I believe a better way would be to make a new criteria page that lists the various criteria for different tools and have each relevant tool page’s criteria section hyperlinked to that criteria page.

There are currently 4 tools that have a criteria for being recommended, them being:

I understand that most recommendations do not have a set criteria for certain reasons. Browsers, for example, have many benchmarks that need to be analyzed and discussed in a large conversation and therefore its criteria cannot be listed so easily.

However, there are other tools that have an implicit/inferred criteria which I think should be written out and added to the criteria page, them being:

I think we would benefit from this, that being that people are now able to readily read and understand all the criteria we have for certain tools. An instance where this would be helpful is if and when someone wants to suggest a tool that has a criteria.

It may also especially help out newcomers of the privacy community, new readers of Privacy Guides, and those who have been misguided by internet echo chambers and unreviewed user content from forums/blogs. By understanding what criteria there are for certain tools, they are able to create a baseline for what a tool that respects and maintains your privacy and security should look like, which would hopefully reduce the net sum of mis/disinformation in the privacy community.

Are you reading our internal discussions? Haha. We were just talking about this :slight_smile:

What is the benefit you see in having criteria on a separate page from the recommendations? This is not clear to me.

Also, is all the criteria being on a single page important to your proposal, or would it work just as well if we had say a “VPN Criteria” page, an “Email Provider Criteria” page, and so on?

The goal should be to have criteria in every category. For the browsers example you mentioned, I think it is entirely possible to have minimum criteria, but we would have to make clear that just because a browser meets the minimum criteria does not mean it’s guaranteed to be listed (which is actually the case for all of our criteria at the moment).

Are you reading our internal discussions? Haha. We were just talking about this :slight_smile:

Yes, I am a hackrman, don’t see my spooky username? Lol

What is the benefit you see in having criteria on a separate page from the recommendations?

Also, is all the criteria being on a single page important to your proposal

The benefit I see is that people would not have to navigate around multiple pages and read paragraph by paragraph to understand what the criteria is. I initially imagined the Criteria page to look like Privacy Tools page, but the list of criteria in place of the recommendations.

However, I see no reason to it being listed within its relevant tool pages, as long as it is given its own explicit section for ease-of-access like the Email and VPN criteria section. This would work just as well because it’s structured in a way that makes sense to people.

or would it work just as well if we had say a “VPN Criteria” page, an “Email Provider Criteria” page, and so on?

I do not see any real organizational or navigational benefit in having an entirely separate page for each tool. In fact, I think that would make navigating even harder and organizing even more redundant. Unless there are plans on expanding the content to be of page-length somehow (like explaining why the criteria is the way it is), I think it would be very pointless.


The main issue I see is how unstructured the criteria is. The list of criteria for tools is very scattered throughout the website (barring the Email and VPN criteria sections).

The criteria for Android operating systems is listed in the Android Overview under the “Choosing an Android Distribution” section, which is not very applicable to the criteria Privacy Guides has. The DNS providers/servers criteria is found within its relevant tool page, but it does not structurally follow the email and VPN criteria sections. The Linux criteria is also very implicit and unstructured: non-Linux-libre, supporting Wayland, having a rolling release cycle, non-mainline Arch, I would consider these to be a list of criteria, but they are only listed in the Linux Overview distributed throughout the page.

As for frontends, there was a comment going over the reasons why to not list certain items, which translated somewhat over to the final version of the Frontends page. And although this is not necessarily as scattered as the Android or Linux operating system criteria–being that it is found at the very top of its relevant tool page–it falls more in line with “these things let you do xyz, which is why we recommend it” rather than “these things should do xyz in order to be recommended”.

I feel that having a structure to follow would be nice for navigational purposes. If we want to know what the criteria is for Linux, there should be a place for that.

The criteria Privacy Guides lists are technical yet practical, which acts as a learning center for many people. There’s reasons why something is listed and why others aren’t, and this information is very useful to people wanting to learn more. A lot of other resources online that I’m aware of don’t really have this.

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