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Tim Berners-Lee on the Future of the Web: 'The System is Failing'


Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who in March called for the regulation of online political advertising to prevent it from being used in "unethical ways."

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and recipient of the 2016 ACM A.M. Turing Award: "We have to grit our teeth and hang on to the fence."

Credit: Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Sir Tim Berners-Lee's optimism about the future of the web is starting to wane in the face of a "nasty storm" of issues including the rollback of net neutrality protections, the proliferation of fake news, propaganda and the web's increasing polarisation.

The inventor of the world wide web always maintained his creation was a reflection of humanity – the good, the bad and the ugly. But Berners-Lee's vision for an "open platform that allows anyone to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographical boundaries" has been challenged by increasingly powerful digital gatekeepers whose algorithms can be weaponised by master manipulators.

"I'm still an optimist, but an optimist standing at the top of the hill with a nasty storm blowing in my face, hanging on to a fence," said the British computer scientist.

"We have to grit our teeth and hang on to the fence and not take it for granted that the web will lead us to wonderful things," he said.

 

From The Guardian
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