We must contract for the web
During this year's Richard Dimbleby lecture, inventor of the World Wide Web (the web), Sir Tim Berners-Lee (TBL) has warned us that the web could go in one of two directions. The web can either be a force for good as open space for collaboration and for the enrichment of humanity, or it can be, "an altogether darker place".
The full lecture is available on BBC iPlayer - Sir Tim Berners-Lee: The World Wide Web a Mid-Course Correction
Pause and consider your response
TBL points out that change can only be brought about by people and that everyone has a responsibility to pause and think whether or not their action will make them feel better the next day. The sorts of actions and web activities he refers to included angry responses, what we decide to click on or even just something that we decide to like or dislike. We should all take a moment to be be careful, thoughtful and mindful of what we are doing on the internet.
He expresses major concerns about countries and different political organisations who seek to manipulate and perverse the use of the web. There needs to be greater vigilance from all of us, and we need always to remember that it is down to us all to take individual responsibility in our use of this valuable and vulnerable resource.
How do I know this is true?
The major emphasis of his speech seemed to be on the over-arching need for 'trustworthy information'. TBL stresses the importance to always question the source of the information and says that we should, "nurture and respect truthful information sources".
Never before has humanity been granted the opportunity to come together and express the collective conscience. Human nature means that we have shared beliefs, ideas, attitudes, and knowledge that informs our sense of belonging and identity, and even our online and offline behaviour. So, depending on which direction the web takes will reflect the identity of humanity. It is our choice. We must always ask ourselves the question - who do we want to be?
Safeguarding the future of the web
In order to help safeguard the future of the web, TBL is calling for a new contract for the web - to be launch on the 25th Nov 2019. The website states, "Everyone has a role to play to ensure the web serves humanity. By committing to the following principles, governments, companies and citizens around the world can help protect the open web as a public good and a basic right for everyone".
What you endorse goes a very, very long way
All readers of Total Health understand the value of authoritative information and the necessity of peer-reviewed 'sources', especially when it comes to medical advances and clinical treatments. Without the evidence-base in medicine trust rapidly evaporates. We therefore encourage everyone to pause and consider the importance of engaging with the Contract for the Web, and signing up to this fundamental initiative. "What you endorse goes a very, very long way".
Who else is better positioned and qualified to head the drive to correct the World Wide Web? It is only right that this initiative is headed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.