How to save the web

Publication date: 27 Nov 2019

Tim Berners-Lee, co-inventor of the World Wide Web, has unveiled a nine-point plan “to save the web” from political manipulation, fake news and privacy violations.

Tim Berners-Lee is a British scientist who, together with a Belgian scientist Robert Cailliau, invented the WWW.

The inventor of the web thinks that people’s fear of bad things happening on the internet is becoming, justifiably, greater and greater. If people leave the web as it is, there is a very large number of things that will go wrong.

The plan, which has been worked on by 80 organisations for more than a year, outlines nine central principles to safeguard the web—three each for governments, companies and individuals.

  • Governments are required to do all they can to ensure that everyone who wants to can connect to the web and have their privacy respected. People should have the right to withdraw from having their personal data processed.
  • Companies are required to make internet access affordable and develop web services for people with disabilities and those who speak minority languages. Companies are also required to consult broad communities before and after they release new products, and assess the risk of their technology spreading misinformation or harming people’s wellbeing.
  • Individuals are called on to create “rich and relevant content” to make the web a “valuable place” as well as build strong online communities where everyone feels safe.

The document already has the backing of more than 150 organisations, from Microsoft, Twitter, Google and Facebook to the digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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