Our lives today have become both synonymous and dependent on the internet. From gathering precious information to staying up to date with news, the internet has opened doors that no one ever thought of.
One thing that has made the internet accessible to all of us is the World Wide Web. It all started in the summer of 1989 when Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web submitted a proposal to the CERN. His proposal would eventually go on to shape the face of the world.
The World Wide Web marks its 28th anniversary today. In more than two decades, it has become an indispensable tool for humanity. However, with all that glory, there have been many downsides that accompany Lee’s brainchild. In an open letter, the inventor of www said that he is increasingly worried about the future of the web. He also believes we have to tackle the increasing concerns for the Web so that it can fulfill its real potential as a tool that serves humanity.
So, what are the major concerns that surround the web today? Let’s find out.
#1.Losing Control Of Personal Data
The Web is a vast world, and it has so much data flowing in it. Most of the sites need us to key in our credentials, and one of the biggest concerns is that we have no control over it from thereon. We can’t decide what data to be accessible by governments and other businesses. This is alarming because we lose out on many benefits we could enjoy if we have direct control over that data.
(Image Courtesy: Dribble)
The T&Cs are all or nothing we have no say on what information we would like to share with whom. It’s all out there on the web, at the mercy of anyone. In countries with authoritarian regimes, this could put citizen’s lives at risk.
Berners-Lee believes that governments have taken up many unethical ways of advertising their administrations and campaigns and that is a huge threat to democracy. With the internet flooded with political adverts that sing folklores of a particular political party, the people are being blinded into believing something that might not be true. Tech giants like Facebook and Google are acting as dictators of the e-world, and that could have extremely corrosive results.
(Image Courtesy: Political Advertising)
Another big concern that has gained fire in recent years is the abundance of misinformation on the Web. This misinformation exists in several forms- particularly in the way of fake news and misleading propaganda of political regimes.
(Image Courtesy: CBS)
Fake news sells because it attracts people and journalists across the world have voiced their discontent over it. After all, fake news is a significant threat to the fourth estate and puts independent journalism in jeopardy. Social networks have also had a part to play in escalating this because fake news, often coated in an appealing way attracts the maximum clicks- something that spells gold for these websites. Fake news appeals to our biases and is a huge threat to democracy and the truth.
So, on this World Wide Web day, let’s put behind the internet we all have created and work towards the Web we all want to have- for all of us. Tell us what you think about this in the comments below.
(Featured Image Courtesy: Wikidata)