World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee delivers a speech during an event marking 30 years of World Wide Web, on March 12, 2019 at the CERN in Meyrin near Geneva, Switzerland.
(photo credit: REUTERS/POOL)
The world wide web is celebrating its 30th birthday, and inventor Tim Berners-Lee, the British computer engineer who created the platform that has taken over a large part of lives, has problems with the monster he gave life to.
Berners-Lee invented it with the intention of creating "instant and cheap communications," but it led to a real revolution in the world of information and content, creating huge content and business giants that make billions of dollars.
Berners-Lee does not exactly celebrate the special day, but writes his gloomy thoughts on what the Internet has come to today. "The Internet has become a public square, a library, a doctor's office, a store, a school, a design studio, an office, a cinema, a bank, and more," he says. The inventor calls on governments, companies and users to unite to fight the problems online - before they get worse.
"The Internet did create opportunities and made our daily lives easier, but it also created an opportunity for fraudsters, gave voice to hate propagators and facilitated crimes," he noted.
Berners-Leed added that dysfunction is expressed in three central areas, which present the problems or challenges that the Internet pose - enabling action with malicious intent (such as invasion, hacking or terrorist attacks), encouraging criminal behavior and online harassment. According to Berners-Lee, the system creates incentives to disseminate false information and promotes an angry and polarized discourse.
The World Wide Web was created by Berners-Lee in 1989 when he worked as a member of CERN. He developed a system that integrates hypertext in software that enabled the sharing and distribution of various documents on a global network with the click of a mouse or the keyboard. On March 11, 1989, he submitted a proposal to CERN for information management, and the rest is history.
In recent years Berners-Lee has seen how the entire world - law, media, business and family - deal with network-related problems. For many, the problems outweigh the benefits: giants like Facebook and Google are more efficient and faster than the regulators.
While Europe is beginning to pass laws to try and control digital content, and US politicians also began calling for limiting the powerful giants on the Web, yet there seems to be no one who can control the Web.
Berners-Lee unveiled a series of key principles for governments, companies, and individuals to act to curb the harmful effects of the Internet. The principles deal with a universal approach to the web, building strong and respected communities, and protecting privacy and personal data.
"The Internet is for everyone, and together we have the power to change it," Berbers-Lee wrote. "Given how much the Internet has changed in the past 30 years, it would be defeatist to assume that it is impossible to change the Internet for the better in the next 30 years ... If we give up on building a better future on the Internet now, then the Internet did not defeat us, we defeat ourselves."
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