After 30 years of age, with half the world already using it, the World Wide Web is constantly facing growing pains with rising issues like hate speech, privacy concerns and state-sponsored hacking, its creator says, putting out a call to make it better for humanity.
Tim Berners-Lee on Tuesday joined a celebration of the Web and reminisced about his invention at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, starting with a proposal published on March 12, 1989.
Tim's proposal opened up the new way to what we know as the modern day technological revolution that has transformed the everything about us, from the way we as people buy goods, share ideas, get information and much much more.
Sadly, the internet has also become a place where tech giants scoop up personal data, rival governments spy and seek to scuttle elections, and hate speech and vitriol have thrived — taking the Web far from its roots as space for progress-oriented minds to collaborate.
In the late 2018, almost half of the world was online, with the other half often trying to secure access.
Speaking at "[email protected]" conference at CERN, Berners-Lee acknowledged that a sense among many who are already on the Web has become:
"Whoops! The web is not the web we wanted in every respect."
His World Wide Web Foundation wants to enlist governments, companies, and citizens to take a greater role in shaping the web for good under principles laid out in its "Contract for the Web."
Under this contract, governments are called upon to make sure everyone can connect to the internet, to keep it available and to respect privacy.
Companies are also called upon to make the internet affordable, and also, in the respect of privacy and development of the people through technology that will put people — and the "public good" — first.
Citizens are to create and to cooperate and respect "civil discourse," among other things.
He says: "Where is the balance between leaving the tech companies to do the right thing and regulating them? Where is the balance between freedom of speech and hate speech?"