On the World Wide Web's 29th birthday, the technology's inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has published an open letter highlighting some of the biggest threats the internet is facing nowadays, and has suggested a few solutions.
In his letter, Sir Berners-Lee says the internet we have today is filled with misinformation, political advertising, and loss of control over personal data. He also said the internet we have today is not the same as the internet we used to connect 20 years ago. It has profoundly changed, and that a couple of “powerful platforms” are compressing what used to be a “rich selection of blogs and websites”.
He is saying that if we want to keep the internet an open, creative space for everyone, we must start by allowing everyone in the world equal access to it. Currently, half of the world’s population cannot access the internet. Then, he’s saying we must “make the web work for people”, which means dominant platforms should make an effort not to “choke” the little guy.
And finally, he is proposing we bring in “more voices to the debate on the web’s future”.
“The future of the web isn’t just about those of us who are online today, but also those yet to connect,” he says.
“Today’s powerful digital economy calls for strong standards that balance the interests of both companies and online citizens. This means thinking about how we align the incentives of the tech sector with those of users and society at large, and consulting a diverse cross-section of society in the process.”
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