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The New World Wide Web

The article that I chose to discuss is titled “Exclusive: Tim Berners-Lee tells us his radical new plan to upend the world wide web” and is written by Katrina Brooker on September 29, 2018. Brooker had written this article based on an interview she had with him in regards to a project that Berners-Lee has been working on for “almost as long as the web itself.” According to Brooker, Berners-Lee, the founder of the world wide web, intends for “world domination” with this project, known as Inrupt. Inrupt is meant to “turbocharge a broader movement afoot, among developers around the world, to decentralize the web and take back power from the forces that have profited from centralizing it.” Berners-Lee explains that these forces are companies such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon, since his own goal for years has been to have the individuals who use the internet and apps/sites to control their own information and data and have free internet open. Passionate about this challenge, the founder of Solid wants this new platform to consist of an individual’s control over everything s/he owns, such as “his calendar, his music library, videos, chats, research.” This platform is meant to be something like “a mashup of Google Drive, Microsoft Outlook, Slack, Spotify, and WhatsApp,” and all of these will be controlled by the individual, since this move will take back the power over the web from large corporations such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook. Berners-Lee is trying to put this movement into motion and will grow his team later in the fall to make this happen.

Amazon was created in 1994, Google was created in 1998, and Facebook was created in 2004. All of these companies are not new companies. But the world wide web was created in 1989 and none of these companies would have had the immense success that they do now if the internet was not around. The way Berners-Lee sees it, as well as many other people across the world, though the purposes these companies serve in the public’s lives are good purposes, the amount of data the companies collect and possess on each individual is astonishingly high. As per taught in class, Google and Facebook serve the public by connecting them to people and items all around the world. But based on the data that is collected about the user, these companies can immediately speed up the process of networking and searching by providing recommendations based on the information one inputs, such as a previous Google search or related ads, or a new friend on Facebook who has many mutual friends or who lives in the same place as the user, or who even goes to the same college as the user. Once a user searches something up on, there are ads on Facebook that give more suggestions to items similar to that same item on Amazon. The goal that Berners-Lee is trying to pursue is that one doesn’t have to click on multiple links and go through a series of steps in a directed graph to get to one’s destination – the platform that he is building will incorporate a multitude of different destinations into one for easier use. In addition, the web of companies will not be able to keep track of in individual’s data and other information – the individual himself will be in control of that. Doing so will promote safer online social networks and will ensure the protection of an individual’s identity while online.


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October 2018