On the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web, creator Tim Berners-Lee pointed out the dangers of the internet which have been encountered throughout the years, but mentioned how those could be fixed through “coming together” as a global web community.
In a blog post, Berners-Lee mentioned three sources of dysfunction affecting today’s web which are the following:
1. Deliberate, malicious intent, such as state-sponsored hacking and attacks, criminal behaviour, and online harassment.
2. 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.
3.Unintended negative consequences of benevolent design, such as the outraged and polarised tone and quality of online discourse.
Berners-Lee then said that while the first category could not be completely eradicated, the second requires users to redesign systems in a way that change incentives; and the third needs research for the understanding of existing systems and model possible new ones or tweak those that are already available.
Berners-Lee stated: “You can’t just blame one government, one social network or the human spirit. Simplistic narratives risk exhausting our energy as we chase the symptoms of these problems instead of focusing on their root causes. To get this right, we will need to come together as a global web community.”
“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,” he concluded.
(Photo source: telegraph.co.uk/ global-geneva.com)