30 years on, what’s next #ForTheWeb?
Today, 30 years on from my original proposal for an information management system, half the world is online. It’s a moment to celebrate how far we’ve come, but also an opportunity to reflect on how far we have yet to go.To tackle any problem, we must clearly outline and understand it. I 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.
Governments must translate laws and regulations for the digital age. They must ensure markets remain competitive, innovative and open. And they have a responsibility to protect people’s rights and freedoms online. We need open web champions within government — civil servants and elected officials who will take action when private sector interests threaten the public good and who will stand up to protect the open web.
[Sir Tim Berners-Lee is the founder of the World Wide Web and Web Foundation]
30 years on, what’s next #ForTheWeb? Tim Berners-Lee on 30 years of the web: 'If we dream a little, we can get the web we want' (The Guardian)