Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

World Wide Web turns 30 years old

World Wide Web turns 30 years old

Berners-Lee, credited with creating the web in 1989, is on a mission to save his invention from a range of problems increasingly dominating online life, including misinformation and a lack of data protection. It forms the basis of the internet we know today.

In his annual letter on the web's birthday, Berners-Lee on Monday expressed optimism about what can be achieved in the next thirty years.

Berners-Lee submitted the proposal for an "information management system" to his boss, Mike Sendall, who scribbled at the top of it, "Vague, but exciting". It remains one of the finest examples of British technological ingenuity.

What is the World Wide Web?

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, plans to host Berners-Lee and other web aficionados on Tuesday.

Though the terms are often used interchangeably, the internet and the World Wide Web are not the same.

Berners-Lee wrote that this contract is not a quick fix, but rather a way to improve people's relationship with the online world. He also could not foresee the proliferation of hacking, criminal behaviour and hatred now spread online.

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"Against the backdrop of news stories about how the web is misused, it's understandable that many people feel afraid and unsure if the web is really a force for good", he wrote.

Sir Tim described three "sources of dysfunction" affecting the Web today - cybercrime and harassment, system design issues that reward content such as clickbait, and "unintended negative consequences" of design that has led to negativity spreading online. The second category requires us to redesign systems to change incentives.

But he was optimistic because of a strong resolve among governments to avoid balkanisation of the Internet, and a strong resolve among people in social networks who had - surprisingly - been shocked at people trying to hack elections.

Berners-Lee, now age 63, has become a sort of father figure for the Internet community.

Back in November, Berners-Lee unveiled the 'Contract for the Web,' which asks governments, companies, and citizens around the world to commit to protecting the freedoms and rights of internet users. "We need open web champions within government - civil servants and elected officials who will take action when private sector interests threaten the public good and who will stand up to protect the open web". This year, we've seen a number of tech employees stand up and demand better business practices.

In 1992, Berners-Lee needed a photo to test out the World Wide Web's new image-hosting capabilities. "The Web is the most impactful innovation of our time".

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