Three challenges for the web, according to its inventor

Tim Berners-Lee, World Wide Web Foundation, Mar 12, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Tim Berners-Lee champions a vision of the web as "an open platform that would allow everyone, everywhere to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographic and cultural boundaries." But this vision, he writes, is challenged on three major fronts (quoted):

  • companies (and) governments are also increasingly watching our every move online, and passing extreme laws that trample on our rights to privacy
  • through the use of data science and armies of bots, those with bad intentions can game the system to spread misinformation
  • political advertising online has rapidly become a sophisticated industry... political campaigns are now building individual adverts targeted directly at users. 

These are significant issues, and as Berners-Lee says, they are complex issues. And they are the result of people and companies working directly against the idea of the web as an open and decentralized medium build by, and for the benefit, of everyone.

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