The inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee has formally launched his plan to “save the web,” and his plan is backed by 150+ organizations, including Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.
Berners-Lee told 9to5Mac back in March that the 30th anniversary was a time to reflect on both the positives and negatives of the World Wide Web.
“I think it’s been a force for good for the first 15 [years], and right now it’s really in the balance. I’m very concerned about nastiness and misinformation spreading. I think with a mid-course correction, the ‘contract for the web’ is about: let’s all stop this downward plunge to a dysfunctional future.”
He proposed a total of nine principles – three each from companies, governments, and individuals – to help save the web.
- Principle 1 — Ensure everyone can connect to the internet
- Principle 2 — Keep all of the internet available, all of the time
- Principle 3 — Respect and protect people’s fundamental online privacy and data rights
- Principle 4 — Make the internet affordable and accessible to everyone
- Principle 5 — Respect and protect people’s privacy and personal data to build online trust
- Principle 6 — Develop technologies that support the best in humanity and challenge the worst
- Principle 7 — Be creators and collaborators on the web
- Principle 8 — Build strong communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity
- Principle 9 — Fight for the web
The WWW inventor told The Guardian on Sunday that the need for change is urgent.
The forces taking the web in the wrong direction have always been very strong. Whether you’re a company or a government, controlling the web is a way to make huge profits, or a way of ensuring you remain in power. The people are arguably the most important part of this, because it’s only the people who will be motivated to hold the other two to account
Berners-Lee continued, saying he fear the web could end up as a “digital dystopia” if something isn’t done.
I think people’s fear of bad things happening on the internet is becoming, justifiably, greater and greater If we leave the web as it is, there’s a very large number of things that will go wrong. We could end up with a digital dystopia if we don’t turn things around. It’s not that we need a 10-year plan for the web, we need to turn the web around now.
While more than 150 companies has endorsed Berners-Lee’s plan, at least two of the tech firms that endorsed it may have a hard time complying. A report from Amnesty International accuses Google and Facebook of “enabling human rights harm at a population scale.”