World Wide Web needs to progress from adolescence, founder says

Doris Richards
Марта 12, 2019

Google isn't the only one celebrating the birth of the World Wide Web though.

If you're looking for a more interactive way to celebrate the start of the web's 30th, CERN rebuilt the original WorldWideWeb browser developed on an Apple NeXT computer in 1990. Officially recorded as the birthday of the World-Wide Web (a formative step behind the internet as we know it) Tim Berners-Lee changed the game when he first pitched the idea. The designs paints a more optimistic picture of the web compared to its creator, who offered a more cynical view of his invention.

In the letter, Berners-Lee identifies three main "sources of dysfunction" that plague today's web (he appears to use the words "web" and "internet" as synonyms, which isn't quite true, but we'll let it slide).

English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee 3rd left on the podium best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web attends an event at the CERN in Meyrin near Geneva Switzerland
How to save the Internet

The computer scientist submitted his first proposal for an "information management system" on 12 March 1989 - plans that his boss called "vague but exciting".

"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", Berners-Lee wrote in an open letter.

Speaking to reporters at the physics lab this week, Berners-Lee said recent scandals, including Russian electoral interference, the impact of social media on Brexit and the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook data abuse controversy, had left a negative impact on users.

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Though Berners-Lee recognized the good in his creation in giving the marginalized a voice, he said, "it has also created opportunity for scammers, given a voice to those who spread hatred, and made all kinds of crime easier to commit".

Help could also be provided by the Web Foundation, founded by Sir Tim, which is now working with governments, companies and citizens to build a new Contract for the Web, which looks to establish concrete "norms, laws and standards" for the Web.

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