Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. Here’s his plan to fix it.

“I wanted the web to serve humanity. It’s not too late to live up to that promise,” Tim Berners-Lee writes in an Op-Ed for The New York Times:

I had hoped that 30 years from its creation, we would be using the web foremost for the purpose of serving humanity. Projects like Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap and the world of open source software are the kinds of constructive tools that I hoped would flow from the web.

However, the reality is much more complex. Communities are being ripped apart as prejudice, hate and disinformation are peddled online. Scammers use the web to steal identities, stalkers use it to harass and intimidate their victims, and bad actors subvert democracy using clever digital tactics.

The web needs radical intervention from all those who have power over its future: governments that can legislate and regulate; companies that design products; civil society groups and activists who hold the powerful to account; and every single web user who interacts with others online.

We have to overcome the stalemate that has characterized previous attempts to solve the problems facing the web. Governments must stop blaming platforms for inaction, and companies must become more constructive in shaping future regulation — not just opposing it.

I’m introducing a new approach to overcome that stalemate — the Contract for the Web.

MacDailyNews Take: The “Contract for the Web” contains nine principles, three each for governments, companies, and citizens. Apple is conspicuously not listed among its many supporters which include: Google, Microsoft, Facebook, DuckDuckGo, the EFF, the World Wide Web Foundation, and many more. Find out more at: https://contractfortheweb.org


    1. Tim Berners-Lee offers a reasonable voluntary declaration but he might as well call it the “Paris Climate Accord”. There will always be some outlier who decides that his selfish short-term profit is more important than long term impact on everyone else.

      It is shocking that Apple is too lazy to show up to support Berners-Lee. The US ad agency tech giants that will sign it, we all know, will not honor it. There is no penalty for being a 2-faced company online. Look at Facebook, profiting from known lies is the entire history of the company. Twitter: it’s a gloried gossip rag that allows anyone to say anything with no repercussions for their lies. Under the pretense of “free speech”, internet giants have profited billions. This won’t even slow them down.

      The problem with the wild west WWW model isn’t just that there are no rules. There is no judge. The internet has basically evolved into a data theft/marketing engine with the same psychotic indicators that plague civilization today: Wherever profit is involved and there is no judge, the truth is the first victim. Because the web is international, there is no Supreme Court or real set of rules to exterminate liars. Until that happens, it will only get worse.

      The internet, and with it many societies, has devolved back into tribalism. You can now regularly read in forums all over the place nonstop BS from people saying that their tribe is the only true patriot, the other party is [insert nonsensical blatant lie/label here]. There is no attempt whatsoever to agree on pragmatic solutions we all face. We all know that the best long-term good would be to curb the unfettered power of online liars. But no, western companies knowingly profit from the lies so the biggest loudest most outrageous liars “win”. Or at least they claim to do so.

      Google and other undemocratic institutions assume the role of ultimate knowledge bank and therefore ultimate arbiter of truth, but they won’t stop hosting the lies, money is too good. So for decades slimy actors like Facebook, Google, and even worse outfits especially on the authoritarian strongman side of the political spectrum have profited by telling everyone whatever is most lucrative, not what is true.

      The extreme right dittoheads repeat literal Russian propaganda claiming that democratic institutions are now the “deep state” and therefore cannot be trusted even after their misinformation has been pointed out to them. When experts testify under oath to what is true, the partisan idiots will instead choose to believe the tweets of a political hack who is too chicken $hit to honor the subpoena that was lawfully issued to him.

      The extreme right wing media outlets, protected by constitutional rights to spew FUD, have attempted to throw all non-extremist mainstream press under the bus. Well folks, when you take away moderates (the “mainstream”), all you have are crackpots at the extremes. Anyone who tells you that MSM is evil has no rational argument why the moderate is wrong or bad. They are simply paid talking heads pushing for extremist tribal motives.

      Advertising and propaganda all work the same way: from the small kernel of truth, you have to hide all other facets of an issue and spin the few points that you think will convince the gullible to believe your shtick. Hence instead of simply showing the whole truth and nothing but the truth to the people, the guilty and corrupt coin all kinds of sophisticated cons. You’ve heard at rally chants everything from “lock her up”, which the current POTUS is too inept to do…. to reciting nonsensical legal-sounding terms (“no collusion”) when at least 11 counts of Obstruction of Justice were found… to lying repeatedly as if Prid Quo Quo FOR PERSONAL GAIN wasn’t explicitly forbidden in the Constitution that the Orange Chosen One has never bothered to read. To the guilty officeholders , it’s not a crime if you are too inept to succeed in pulling off the crime. If you bombard the public long enough with narratives, they will assume that their tribe’s lies represent the whole truth. Dissenters (who by the way have the rights to dissent in most modern democracies thanks to constitutional rights to free speech and so on) thus have two options: Spin the other way, or produce undeniable facts that every reasonable person can agree to.

      But that doesn’t exist anymore. Internet giants aren’t interested in moderating anything, they are geared to maximize profit by any means necessary. The POTUS and his cult are not reasonable, they actually believed the online Russian lies. There is no internet authority that everyone can agree on. So democracy in America, like truth on the internet, is being actively killed by people who place party and personal golf resort income above the truth and long-term good of all.

      One should want a sensible, moderate, rational, tech-savvy person like Tim Berners-Lee for President. Instead the Russian propaganda and lies have enabled gullible people to elect a con man who thinks coal is the future and trade wars are easy to win. He could prove that he hasn’t broken emoluments clauses by simply releasing his tax returns, but he won’t. Instead he plays propaganda games. He could hold real press conferences instead of yelling at the press underneath a roaring helicopter and retweeting conspiracy theories, but he’s not interested in leading all the people. He could stop golfing and start working with congress to reform laws, but he’s only interested in obstructing justice and lying to the public about his true motives for all that he does (personal power and wealth maximization). The Con doesn’t work for you. He’s just like Zuckerberg — a fscking parasite telling people lies they want to hear and profiting off every little lie.

      1. This post encapsulates why normal people hate leftists. Self-righteous, control freaks who think the world belongs to them. The problem is that President Trump is NOT the right-wing radical the fake news and the libtards present him to be. As a boomer he is unable to recognize that communists can’t be reasoned with, they need to be crushed.

        1. The fact that you can’t recognize the prior post as a coming from a pro-defense, anti-offense/nationbuilding, highly fiscally conservative, socially moderate independent speaks volumes about you. If you believe in law and order, I suggest you start by enforcing the Constitution even when it exposes your partisan corruption. Is there anyone left in the GOP that has actually read the Constitution?

          How do you propose that a foreign sovereignty with nuclear weapons be crushed? Would that be similar to tweeting praises of the North Korean leader?

          Let’s consider what fearless leader says about Russia and its dictator:

          Oct 2007: ” Look at Putin—what he’s doing with Russia—I mean, you know, what’s going on over there. I mean this guy has done—whether you like him or don’t like him—he’s doing a great job.” Apparently invading Crimea, Ukraine, and the middle east through soft and proxy wars are noble in Trump’s mind.

          June 18, 2013: “Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow – if so, will he become my new best friend?” This coming from an associate of Epstein who had a reputation of wandering into the pageant dressing room while the ladies were changing, and has been accused of unwanted groping by dozens of women.

          March 24, 2014: “I believe Putin will continue to re-build the Russian Empire”

          Dec 2015: ” I’ve always felt fine about Putin. He’s a strong leader, he’s a powerful leader. … He’s actually got popularity within his country.” Well that’s all that matters then. Ethics and morality don’t matter as long as people salute Dear Leader.

          And so it continued at least 80 times throughout the election rallies, all variations on the theme that Trump thinks he would have a good relationship with Putin. Actually, depending on the audience, Trump claimed alternately that he became good friends with Putin during the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, or that they merely exchanged gifts, or that Putin has always been “very nice” to him, or that “I have no relationship with him other than he called me a genius.”

          Feb 6, 2017 When Bill O’Reilly confronted Trump about his nonstop praise of Putin, calling Putin a killer, Trump The Apologist said “There are a lot of killers,” Trump says. “Do you think our country is so innocent? Do you think our country is so innocent?”

          July 2017: In an unprecedented and unpresidential move, Trump met with Putin in Helsinki with no one present but an interpreter, who was not allowed to keep notes. In public, standing beside the Russian president, says that he can’t say whether Putin or the US intelligence apparatus is to be believed. When asked if he believed US Intelligence that proved Russian meddling, Trump claimed “I don’t see any reason why it would be.” Later he attempted to roll back his undermining of US Intelligence services by claiming that online propaganda campaigns could be some fat guy in a basement somewhere. Never mind that US intelligence services have been able to identify the very buildings where Putin’s online hackers have been employed, and FaceFuck has belatedly deleted millions of Russian accounts.

          In the run up to the 2018 midterm election, in direct contrast to statements by Secretary of Homeland Security Nielsen, Trump claimed in an interview with CNBC that he did not believe Russia was actively targeting the USA. Intelligence services found that in all 50 states, active hacking attempts had been tried.

          The USA has literally been under cyber warfare for the last 3 years and the
          current POTUS thinks it’s all a big hoax, his buddy Putin would never deceive anyone. But the same POTUS thinks that a washed up ex-lawyer needed to clean up those evil corrupt anti-Russian people in Ukraine. So the story goes, top effort went there by presidential prerogative, as if there wasn’t enough work for legitimate corruption busters to do in D.C. Suuuuuuuuure.

            1. Lying? Are you denying that two of the three Mrs. Trumps were raised in Communist countries by fathers who were Party officials? Are you sure they didn’t participate with their friends in Party-sponsored youth organizations? I am not suggesting that they have had Communist connections since the Iron Curtain fell, only that Mr. Trump does not seem to have much trouble reasoning with them, rather than crushing them. Then again, Ivana might disagree (as might Marla).

      2. The moment you go off the rails with “The extreme right wing media outlets, protected by constitutional rights to spew FUD, have attempted to throw all non-extremist mainstream press under the bus,” you’ve lost all credibility. The fact that you think there is a Non-extremist mainstream press demonstrates the level of your ignorance. The fact is that all media thrives on extremism. Including your vaunted mainstream press. It’s how they make money. There was always an extremism/hysteria-generating element in the press/news conglomerates (e.g. Hearst’s yellow journalism), but with the advent of the internet, with its instant analytics and click counting, the modern journalism business model is now built on BS. All you have to do is read news with a bit of intellectual honesty and look for second/third confirmations (that aren’t merely echoes of the original AP or Reuters item) to see how the agenda of choice is propagated. I do all of this, going all the back to source documents where possible, to access the veracity of news producers, and there are very few that don’t get tripped up on their own biases. You want to point the finger at FUD generators, you’d better start taking a more objective look at the “non-extremist” mainstream press, ’cause they are guilty as hell. The only way out of the current situation is to NOT accept anything you hear/read. Call the sloppy/biased journalists/editors/publishers when you see it, regardless of how it reflects on your candidate/party/cause. Demand truth. Seek truth from multiple sources. Don’t be an echo chamber for your new outlet of choice; I guarantee you that they are only telling you part of the full story. That goes for Right or Left.

        1. In lieu of actually presenting evidence to bolster your own argument, you attempt to undermine my credibility. You say “The fact that you think there is a Non-extremist mainstream press demonstrates the level of your ignorance.”

          So everything you read is extremist screed? Please seek psychological help, Sparky.

          We all know that bias exists in everything. Problem is, we see formerly principled institutions selling out on a regular basis. The GOP being the the most obvious casualty. In order to wind up the paranoia on the shrinking conservative base, the GOP has pushed off the deep end in an attempt to remain relevant. Never mind the fact that they are no longer fiscally responsible, diplomatic, free-trade, or anything else past Republicans attempted to be. Now the party uses the cult of strongman-wannabe personality as a figurehead for bassackward policies that are wasteful and unproductive.

          But this is not news.

          Side example: You get a Christian conservative to swear to honor the Bible. And you can then get that same conservative to believe that traditional prison is appropriate penalty for a given crime. So far, no problems. But now if prisons cost too much, and that same conservative is anti-tax, then prison budgets drop, and the number of policemen per prisoner drops — often outsourced to 3rd party contractors with lax state oversight. What happens when the ratio of prisoners to guards becomes extreme? It is proven time and again: The guards will adopt extreme and unjust measures to retain authority because they are under constant fear of a large prisoner population. Classic slaveholder mentality. But no matter how humane the Christian conservative was with his hand on the Bible, good luck getting him to see that prisoner abuse could ever actually happen, or that any human rights violations could possibly occur. Only a commie lefty criminal would EVER suggest such a thing.

          Why does a Christian lose his Christianity as we get into modern dilemmas that aren’t deeply discussed in the Bible? Because that Christian self-selects the entire line of dogma from one partisan platform rather than using his god-given brain to think through the complex issues we face today.

          Stop buying the propaganda from any one source especially when that source can’t issue anything more than 240 characters at a time. Read opposing viewpoints and weigh the objective evidence for yourself.

        2. Extremely well said, Spark. Excellent advice for partisans that practice exactly what they accuse the rest of the world of and they don’t recognize their own foolishness…

  1. Horse shit. He claims he dreamed of OPEN use of the internet. Now that it has happened and it’s full of things he disagrees with, or dislikes, he wants it regulated and censored. Prototypical leftist. GFY, Timmy.

    1. The major problem with today’s internet is not that everyone has a voice, it is that the big search engines and social media sites manipulate the search results based on the operators personal beliefs, instead of it being an open free exchange of voices, the voices are being stifled based on personal bias’.

      1. Over forty years ago, I was dating an archivist, back when her degree was still a Master of Library Science and not a Master of Information Science. She claimed that the real rulers of the world were archivists and library cataloguers. Without them, the people with fancy titles like President, Premier, Chairman, and General could have all the information in the world in their possession, but could never find any of it when they needed it. Our university library of some 10 million volumes would be completely worthless without its catalogue (on index cards in those days), since it would take so long to look anything up that you would no longer need the information by the time you found it.

        Thanks to the internet giving everyone a voice, there is the equivalent of far more—orders of magnitude more—than just 10 million printed books’ worth of information available to everyone. Without indexers like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo, nobody could ever find more than an infinitesimal fraction of that information. It is simply not possible for someone to avoid curation because the uncurated internet would be even worse than a library of 10 million books shelved in random order with no volume indexes.

        I just tried a Google search for “search engines,” and got 434,000,000 results in 0.6 seconds. I don’t have to spend the next decade looking at all of them for the information I want because search engines do not provide an uncurated list of matches, but one that is ordered by relevance as predicted by a computer algorithm. In the case of Google (and to a lesser extent Bing), the algorithm incorporates your prior search history to predict what you personally might find relevant. In theory, DuckDuckGo avoids using your history and just orders the list in the order its algorithm predicts that the average user would find relevant. Either way, the priority order is just a guess at what you actually want to see.

        You cannot avoid somebody else’s bias because the algorithm has to make assumptions about what you find relevant and those assumptions will inevitably be biased towards what the person who developed the algorithm finds relevant. That might mean the most popular answer, or the answer most linked to by academia, or the one most often quoted by the mainstream, leftist, or alt-right media. It might mean something that no human being will ever know because the algorithm that orders the search results was developed by an “artificial intelligence” using machine learning.

        The big search engines got to be big because the order in which they deliver their results is closer than their competitors to what most questioners actually want. If most people were not happier with their Google results than the results from DuckDuckGo or Bing, Google would not have an 88.61% market share. Splitting up Google would only be a temporary solution because the daughter company best at pleasing customers would rise to the top, the same way that Southwestern Bell became the New AT&T.

      2. Yes indeed, so very true. The facts are conservative voices are trampled and censored like never before and the freak show left most ridiculous antics are celebrated. Totally upside down….

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