Inventor of World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, in its 30th anniversary is more concerned about the plague that has been affecting the web rather than celebrating it. Tim is not too happy about where the web is leading. According to Tim, it’s a moment to celebrate how far they’ve come, but also an opportunity to reflect on how far they have yet to go.
Tim mentions that the web has become a public square, a library, a doctor’s office, a shop, a school, a design studio, an office, a cinema, a bank, and so much more. Of course with every new feature, every new website, the divide between those who are online and those who are not increases, making it all the more imperative to make the web available for everyone.
“While the web has created opportunity, given marginalised groups a voice, and made our daily lives easier, it has also created opportunity for scammers, given a voice to those who spread hatred, and made all kinds of crime easier to commit,” he blogged.
— Tim Berners-Lee (@timberners_lee) March 12, 2019
In the blog post, Tim mentioned three ways to tackle the web problem. For which they must clearly outline and understand it. Tim broadly see three sources of dysfunction affecting today’s web:
- Deliberate, malicious intent, such as state-sponsored hacking and attacks, criminal behaviour, and online harassment.
- System design that creates perverse incentives where user value is sacrificed, such as ad-based revenue models that commercially reward clickbait and the viral spread of misinformation.
- Unintended negative consequences of benevolent design, such as the outraged and polarised tone and quality of online discourse.
Tim states that the fight for the web is one of the most important causes of our time. Today, half of the world is online. It is more urgent than ever to ensure the other half are not left behind offline, and that everyone contributes to a web that drives equality, opportunity and creativity.
Ending his blog letter, Tim further adds that the web is for everyone and collectively we hold the power to change it. It won’t be easy. But if we dream a little and work a lot, we can get the web we want.