Father of the Web Slams Social Media and Apple

Monday, November 22, 2010

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Sir Tim Berners-Lee, credited with being the inspiration for development of the World Wide Web, has unleashed some scathing criticism in his article written for Scientific American.

Most of the criticism was geared at the development of information silos that stifle the free flow of information which run counter to the principles central to the genesis of the Web concept, and Berners-Lee was not shy about naming names.

The brunt of his ire was aimed directly at social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook, but he also railed against Apple and the exclusive nature of the iTunes franchise, governments for encroaching on Inter freedom, and ISP's for trying to control the flow of information.

"The Web evolved into a powerful, ubiquitous tool because it was built on egalitarian principles and because thousands of individuals, universities and companies have worked, both independently and together as part of the World Wide Web Consortium, to expand its capabilities based on those principles."

"The Web as we know it, however, is being threatened in different ways. Some of its most successful inhabitants have begun to chip away at its principles. Large social-networking sites are walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the Web. Wireless Internet providers are being tempted to slow traffic to sites with which they have not made deals. Governments—totalitarian and democratic alike—are monitoring people’s online habits, endangering important human rights."

Berners-Lee advocates a free and open Internet, the end of exclusivity on information, and a general decentralization of control - the very things that Web is now not known for.

"Why should you care? Because the Web is yours."

The Web may be ours, but unfortunately it is is ours much in the same way that Democracy is. And like Democracy, we may already be powerless to protect it from the powerful, well-monied, and thoroughly entrenched interests.

Source:  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=long-live-the-web

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