At 30 years old, the World
Wide Web needs a little work when it comes to cybersecurity and other
issues, its creator Tim Berners-Lee said Monday.
Three sources of dysfunction must be addressed, Berners-Lee
wrote in an
open letter: “deliberate, malicious intent, such as state-sponsored hacking and attacks, criminal behaviour,
and online harassment; system design
that creates perverse incentives where user value is sacrificed,
such as ad-based revenue models that commercially reward clickbait and the
viral spread of misinformation; [and] unintended
negative consequences of benevolent design, such as the outraged
and polarised tone and quality of online discourse.”
Noting that malicious
intent can’t be completely eradicated, Berners-Lee urged governments to “translate laws and
regulations for the digital age” as well as protect users’ rights and freedoms.
He charged businesses to not give short shrift to human rights, public safety, scientific
fact or democracy in pursuit of short-term profit.
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