Is It Time to Stand Up for the Web?
Does the Web need fixing? Tim Berners-Lee thinks so.
Widely acknowledged as the creator of the World Wide Web back in 1994 and the current Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) on web standards, Berners-Lee launched #ForTheWeb to help resolve what the organization views as current risks and future challenges.
Berners-Lee tweeted: “We’re at a 50/50 moment for the web. We’ve created something amazing together, but half the world is still not online, and our online rights and freedoms are at risk. The web has done so much for us, but now we need to stand up.”
Here are the overall principles for governments, companies, and citizens taken from the Contract for the Web:
Governments—Ensure everyone can connect to the internet; keep all of the internet available, all of the time; and respect people’s fundamental right to privacy.
Companies—Make the internet affordable and accessible to everyone; respect consumers’ privacy and personal data; and develop technologies that support the best in humanity and challenge the worst.
Citizens—Be creators and collaborators on the web; build strong communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity; and fight for the web so the web remains open and a global public resource for people everywhere, now and in the future.
The World Wide Web Foundation’s For the Web site has more information and a petition to sign if you want to show your support.
We’ve got more information—at our fingertips and by using our voice—than anyone could have ever imagined, yet the downside, especially the misuse of social media, is appalling and dangerous. For example, a published experimental study in the December Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania shows a link between time spent on social media and increased depression and loneliness.
I’m sure there will be plenty of suggestions forthcoming to improve the Web, but MoonPie (@MoonPie) on Twitter (a graham cracker-marshmallow-cookie and one of the good things about social media) already came up with some pretty good rules, especially this one:
“3. Kindness and Respect. If there’s one thing we can learn from MoonPies, it’s that being good is the most important thing you can be whether you’re covered in chocolate or vanilla or even skin.”
What do you think?