World Wide Web celebrates 30th anniversary

World Wide Web celebrates 30th anniversary

By the end of that year, Berners-Lee made the very first internet webpage, and by 1991, he started letting people outside of CERN into the new online world.

On March 12, 1989, the then-33-year-old British computer scientist detailed his vision for a unified computer network in a document called "Information Management: A Proposal".

Berners-Lee's proposal contained the basic concepts of the web, including ideas like HTML, URL, and HTTP, but it would be another couple of years before he could demonstrate his idea. "We will have failed the web".

As Berners-Lee wrote, "it would be defeatist and unimaginative to assume that the web as we know it can't be changed for the better in the next 30".

"Today, half of the world is online", he said.

Speaking at a "Web@30" conference at CERN, Berners-Lee acknowledged that a sense among many who are already on the Web has become: "Whoops!" This is the research center where Berners-Lee was working as a computer engineer when he developed his ideas for the World Wide Web. "It's our journey from digital adolescence to a more mature, responsible, and inclusive future".

English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee 3rd left on the podium best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web attends an event at the CERN in Meyrin near Geneva Switzerland

Some tough regulation may be necessary in some places, in others not, Berners-Lee said.

System design that creates perverse incentives where users' value and wellbeing is sacrificed, such as ad-based revenue models that commercially reward clickbait and the viral spread of misinformation. Finally, there are the unintended negative consequences of benevolent design, which includes the "outraged and polarised tone and quality of online discourse".

In an open letter, Berners-Lee has called for global efforts to tackle state-sponsored hacking, crime and abusive language on the Internet.

On one issue, he's insistent: "Net neutrality - strong regulation", Berners-Lee said, hammering a fist on the table.

The web also fuels the risky spread of misinformation; search engine optimization tactics can push fake news stories to the top of Google search results, feeding internet users with falsities.

Berners-Lee has since become a sort of father figure for the internet community, been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and named as one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century by Time magazine.

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