Tim Berners-Lee is famously known for pioneering a project, an advanced version of what we call the World Wide Web. The father of WWW is aware of the massive consequences his invention has on the world. Since his idea was born, Tim has imagined the Web to be a completely open platform where people from across continents would be able to express their views. In a submission to The Guardian, Berners-Lee pointed out three things that should be changed to avoid the Web going down the drain.
1. We have lost control of our personal data
Tim Berners-Lee points out the fact that personal data is at a bigger stake than ever in human history. Most content websites on the Internet offer their services for free in return for personal user data, which is then sold off to marketing companies. Personal data is the most precious thing a person can hold. It is a unique identity that should not be sold off, whatever the services offered. All users should be aware of what kind of terms and conditions they agree to before accessing websites. Also, with governments and other international organizations like NSA interested in sensitive data, there is a need to have complete anonymity when you are on the Web.
2. It’s easy for misinformation to spread on the web
News websites are majorly dependent on advertising revenue, with a minimal amount of readers wishing to pay subscription fees. With ad revenue, the entire game is getting the users to click on the ads. So, with the custom algorithm, these ad units will have the readers what they will be most likely to click on, resulting in the frequent display of things like fake news, conceited information and text that might be shocking or bewildering for the user. This is not only a breach of trust but also a violation of the law of the land.
3. Political advertising online should have transparency and understanding
As we have recently witnessed in the recent US Presidential elections, spreading of fake or conceited information on social media is not an uncommon occurrence. It is easy for shady organizations to set up websites and pages that publish information which might not usually be backed by evidence. The online audience has an increasing impact on political campaigns and election results; politicians will tend to distribute unlawful and unethical content to promote their popularity on the popular online channels.
Tim Berners-Lee’s company, Web Foundation, will be working on a detailed plan that will help create transparency and grow awareness among the billions are getting online by the day. He wants to help change the Web into a place that has harmony and tolerance for everyone who ever wants to access it.
- Tags: Internet