Digitalization is not just a question of taking out our phones or copying videos. The Internet has given us an unprecedented ability to learn, organize, and connect the world’s information in a way that’s never been possible before. In this new economy, where many are working longer hours for less money and have fewer resources than ever before, the Internet has become our primary source of income. It’s no surprise, then, that many workers feel they have little to no say in what kind of digital information gets published or accessed, what gets created, or who gets paid for it.
This has resulted in a deep mistrust of the new economy. People are no longer sure whether their digital work is valued or exploited. Some are afraid to give their personal information to new technology, for fear that it could be used against them. Others feel so powerless that they’re considering resigning from the workforce altogether.
Instead of seeing the Internet as a place of limitless possibilities, the Internet as envisioned in 1996 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee is an increasingly limited place. In my view, the Internet is no longer a neutral, non-profit space. In fact, it is a place of economic and political power, and this is becoming more apparent as it is being used to limit access to information, censor speech, and silence dissent.
The question is whether we will accept this. I think it’s important that we understand what is at stake and how important it is to fight for the Internet as a platform for creativity, innovation, and freedom.
In 1996, Sir Tim had written, ”The web will not only continue to grow and change, but will grow and change faster and more radically than any single man has ever imagined, or any single organization has ever conceived.” And while the web’s exponential growth has not yet reached Berners-Lee’s wildest expectations