Yesterday, March 12th marked the 30th birthday of the World Wide Web. Yes, the Internet! On that note, British scientist Tim Berners-Lee, aka, the inventor of the Internet, put out an open letter to the world.
It’s hard to believe, when we think back and remember, that the Internet was initially created to be used as an automated information-sharing medium between scientists in universities and institutions all over the world. And now think of what it has turned into, and all the breakthroughs it has sparked.
Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee reflected on his creation in his open letter, saying “The web has become a public square, a library, a doctor’s office, a shop, a school, a design studio, an office, a cinema, a bank, and so much more”. And who among us can deny the levels of convenience the Internet has brought to our daily lives? Think of all the memes, people!
On a more serious note, Sir Tim also addressed how the web is sometimes getting misused, saying that it’s important that everyone contributes to a web that drives equality, opportunity, and creativity. He calls out for change saying, “At pivotal moments, generations before us have stepped up to work together for a better future. Now too, as the web reshapes our world, we have a responsibility to make sure it is recognised as a human right and built for the public good.”
Setting things in motion, the Web Foundation is now working with governments, companies, and citizens to build a new Contract for the Web. Sir Tim believes no one group should do this alone, as the web really is for everyone, saying “all input will be appreciated. Governments, companies, and citizens are all contributing, and we aim to have a result later this year.”
Finally, Sir Tim finishes off his letter with hope saying “The web is for everyone and collectively we hold the power to change it. It won’t be easy. But if we dream a little and work a lot, we can get the web we want.”
Happy birthday, World Wide Web! We love you.