As social media corporations become more hostile toward free speech, calls are increasing for regulation to be imposed on those companies forcing them to curtail their policies of Orwellian censorship. The founder of the World Wide Web has come out in favor of such reform.
“What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms,” Sir Tim Berners-Lee said, according to a report in The Guardian.
Berners-Lee is celebrating the 29th anniversary of his invention, and felt it was necessary to call out this threat to free and open expression on the internet. He is particularly concerned with social media platforms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that “control which ideas and opinions are seen and shared” and causing the internet to be “weaponised at scale.”
“In recent years, we’ve seen conspiracy theories trend on social media platforms, fake Twitter and Facebook accounts stoke social tensions, external actors interfere in elections, and criminals steal troves of personal data,” Berners-Lee said.
Berners-Lee feels that his vision for the internet is slipping away as these social media monoliths become more powerful.
“I want the web to reflect our hopes and fulfill our dreams, rather than magnify our fears and deepen our divisions,” he said.
The general public is rapidly becoming more interested in the idea of regulating tech companies and social media companies. It remains to be seen if these regulations will be constructed to safeguard the rights of individuals, or if the regulations will end up making the problem worse and enabling Big Brother censorship.