Tim Berners-Lee: Sick web needs saving from companies and governments

Credit: ID 89033862 © Cat Vec |

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the scientist who hatched the idea of the world wide web, has slammed the ad-sponsored web we know today, citing malware, fake news, and divisive discourse as the three major sources of “dysfunction” afflicting the web. 

Berners-Lee dreamed up a global hypertext information management ‘mesh’ in 1990 and also created the world’s first internet browser, the WorldWideWeb browser, launched 30 years ago. The CERN browser gave rise to Netscape, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. 

The web pioneer posted an open letter today, the 30th anniversary of the web, that asks the world to consider what will happen to the web in the next 30 years if steps aren’t taken to save it from its worst elements. 

While the web has created opportunities for good, Berners-Lee said it also “created opportunity for scammers, given a voice to those who spread hatred, and made all kinds of crime easier to commit.”

The letter doesn’t name Google and Facebook, but touches on issues that the two companies are uniquely positioned to fix, either voluntarily by way of regulations that would force them to take some action.