World Wide Web turns 29, inventor warns of monopoly of the few

By : |March 13, 2018 0

Our parents might constantly crib about the addictive virtual world but for us, a life without World Wide Web is unthinkable. This technological wonder turned 29 yesterday and like every year, Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web penned an open letter to mark the occasion.

This year, in his letter, Berners-Lee has warned of the over-concentration of power among a few companies that control which ideas and information are seen and shared. “The web that many connected to years ago is not what new users will find today,” Berners-Lee said in a blog post. “What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms.”

Berners-Lee think that large technology firms need to be regulated to prevent the web from being “weaponised at scale”. “In recent years, we’ve seen conspiracy theories trend on social media platforms, fake Twitter and Facebook accounts stoke social tensions, external actors interfere in elections, and criminals steal troves of personal data.”


“This concentration of power creates a new set of gatekeepers, allowing a handful of platforms to control which ideas and opinions are seen and shared,” he said.

The inventor of World Wide Web also spoke about closing the digital divide between people who have internet access and those who do not. “To be offline today is to be excluded from opportunities to learn and earn, to access valuable services, and to participate in democratic debate. If we do not invest seriously in closing this gap, the last billion will not be connected until 2042. That’s an entire generation left behind.,” he said.

According to Berners-Lee, today’s “digital economy calls for strong standards that balance the interests of both companies and online citizens. This means thinking about how we align the incentives of the tech sector with those of users and society at large, and consulting a diverse cross section of society in the process.”

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