Is the Internet at a Crossroads?

Do you wish you lived in a world without the World Wide Web?

Coming Soon
Total Votes : 94

Scroll down to see how people across America voted.

This past week marked the 30th anniversary of our beloved World Wide Web, which was founded by British computer programmer Tim Berners-Lee. And with this invention came the internet, which has led to one of the biggest misconceptions in the world.

“The web is a widely used system to access the internet. The internet is a network of computer networks that make it possible for computers and various devices to communicate with one another,” per KTTC. But that is neither here nor there.

In an open letter, Berners-Lee talked about the dysfunction surrounding the World Wide Web and how “the fight for the web is one of the most important causes of our time.”

The internet has brought with it many positives and negatives. We have seen immense amounts of technological advancement and an increase in information. Additionally, marginalized groups have been given a voice.

But the dark side of it has opened up opportunities for hackers and scammers to steal personal and financial information and companies, such as Facebook, to unethically use the user info they have acquired.

And then there’s social media, which has brought both good and bad. It has allowed companies to better advertise themselves and develop relationships with customers, thus taking them to the next level.

It adds another way of communicating with our friends and families. It allows us to stay up-to-date with trending news, the hottest events, and allows for your average person to make a name for himself/herself.

But it’s also a platform for substantial negativity. Trolling, hate, and cyberbullying have become a lot more prevalent and are arguably the majority of content on services such as Twitter and Instagram. And with it have followed stories of unhealthy emotional states for people of all magnitudes and how they felt better after deactivating their Twitter and/or Instagram.

“Of course with every new feature, every new website, the divide between those who are online and those who are not increases, making it all the more imperative to make the web available for everyone,” Berners-Lee wrote.

Included in his warnings is the risk of losing the free and open internet that facilitated the growth of many of the larger companies because of net neutrality laws, or lack thereof. Net neutrality is an Obama-era regulation that was repealed by the Federal Commission of Communication (FCC) back in December 2017.

The laws mandated that companies that provided internet service to consumers “abide by a series of rules that prevented them from blocking lawful websites, manipulating internet speeds or striking deals with companies like Google and Facebook for so-called ‘internet fast lanes.’”

Removal of net neutrality was a win for the larger internet providers while suppressing smaller companies and giving them less of a voice. The same voice the internet has aimed to amplify.

It is now up to the Federal Trade Commission to police for “anti-competitive” behavior, and in response, the Democrats revealed their “Save The Internet Act” earlier in the month, with hopes of restoring net neutrality.

“This legislation brings the power of the internet to every corner of this country, from rural America and to our cities,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said during the announcement. “A free and open internet is a pillar in creating opportunities.”

Berners-Lee now oversees the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), “which aims to help develop various standards and guidelines for the operation of the web.” Through his foundation, he started the “Contract for the Web” campaign to “establish clear norms, laws and standards that underpin the web.”

The French government, along with 50 companies, including giants such as Facebook and Google, have signed on to the contract expected to be published in May. Read more about this on NBC News.

Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

Do you wish you lived in a world without the World Wide Web?

42% Yes, better life
58% No, convenience
44% Yes, better life
56% No, convenience
38% Yes, better life
62% No, convenience

Yes, better life

No, convenience

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