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'World Wide Web 'Not the Web We Wanted,' Inventor Says

'World Wide Web 'Not the Web We Wanted,' Inventor Says

Tuesday, 12 March, 2019 - 10:30
World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee delivers a speech during an event marking 30 years of World Wide Web, on March 12, 2019 at the CERN in Meyrin near Geneva, Switzerland. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS
Asharq Al-Awsat
At its ripe old age of 30 and with half the globe using it, the World Wide Web is facing growing pains with issues like hate speech, privacy concerns and state-sponsored hacking, its creator says, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Tim Berners-Lee joined a celebration Tuesday of the Web and reminisced about where he invented it — at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research — beginning with a proposal published on March 12, 1989.

The 63-year-old Englishman is calling on governments, companies and citizens to work together, and wants the web to become more accessible to those who aren’t online.

According to AP, speaking at a “[email protected]” conference, Berners-Lee acknowledged that for those who are online, “the web is not the web we wanted in every respect.”

"The Contract for the Web is about sitting down in working groups with other people who signed up, and to say, 'Ok, let's work out what this really means,'" Berners-Lee said. It was unclear, however, how such rules would be enforced.

Berners-Lee cautioned it was important to strike a balance between oversight and freedom but difficult to agree what it should be.

"Where is the balance between leaving the tech companies to do the right thing and regulating them? Where is the balance between freedom of speech and hate speech?" he said, AP reported.

The conference, which brought together Internet and tech experts, also gave CERN the chance to showcase its reputation as an open-source incubator of ideas.

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