The World Wide Web turns 30 tomorrow. A day earlier, its founder, English engineer and computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, proposed for the first time the system that would become the WWW on March 11, 1989. To recognize the anniversary, he reviewed his ideas on the Internet in a new letter published today. .
Berners-Lee admits that the internet now has many problems. Users are plagued with online harassment, state sponsored cheats and other criminal behavior. Ad-based revenue models reward clickbait, while there is a constant viral spread of false news. And while they can be rewarding, social media platforms have also become the home of political outrage and polarizing conversations.
However, Berners-Lee is hopeful about the ability of humans and systems to improve. He says:
But given how much the web has changed in the last 30 years, it would be defeatist and unimaginative to assume that the web as we know it can not be changed for the better in the next 30 years. Give up building a better web now, then the web will not have failed us. We will have failed on the web.
You can hear Berners-Lee talk more about how he sees the web. He will speak live on YouTube tomorrow transmitted by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (March 12 at 2:50 am ET) and the Science Museum based in London (March 12 at 1PM ET)