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March 12, 2018

THE MAN WHO INVENTED THE WEB: We need a ‘legal or regulatory framework’ to save the Web from dominant tech platforms.

The British computer scientist issued an open letter today, 29 years to the day after he first proposed his idea for the online information management system that would later become known as the Web. In the letter, he outlined what he thinks we need to do to save the Web from the concentration of power of a “few dominant platforms” that has “made it possible to weaponize the Web at scale.”

The likes of Facebook, Google, and Twitter have faced increasing scrutiny over the roles they play in disseminating fake news — while also serving as easy vehicles for third parties, including foreign governments, to manipulate public opinion.

“The Web that many connected to years ago is not what new users will find today,” Berners-Lee noted. “What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms. This concentration of power creates a new set of gatekeepers, allowing a handful of platforms to control which ideas and opinions are seen and shared.”

In the meantime, keep getting your news from friendly bloggers instead of from soulless algorithms developed by gazillion-dollar tech giants.