In my Innovation Now post titled “Why is the Truth so Difficult to find?” I describe an innovative solution to the wicked problem of the prevalence of misinformation on the internet and how it is spread. The innovation that I developed is a feature within an internet browser that would automatically scan content on a web page and designate that web page as very truthful, somewhat truthful, or untruthful.
I think that the spread of misinformation online is a major problem that is often used to mislead and manipulate. With that said, it is not the only major problem that is currently surrounding the internet. Digital identity theft, political manipulation, and privacy violation to name a few are all extremely important problems that need to be addressed.
There is a movement happening right now that is taking aim at the digital problems listed above that are currently affecting modern society in a negative way. This movement lead by Tim Berners-Lee, who is the inventor of the internet, is called the Contract for the Web. This contract has been under development and review for the past year with 80 collaborating organizations that back the contract including Google, Microsoft, and Reddit.
The concept is that everyone from Governments, to Corporate entities, to even individuals has an integral job to do in protecting the future of the internet. This contract sets out 9 key principals to guide each entity into the direction that creates an internet designed to enhance society rather than an internet that negatively affects society. To view each principal explained in detail please click here.
As I was reading through https://contractfortheweb.org/about/ to learn more about this contract, my attention was drawn to what I believe is the organizations brand positioning statement which I found to be very powerful:
“Now for the first time ever, we have a global plan of action — the Contract for the Web — created by experts and citizens from across the world to make sure our online world is safe, empowering and genuinely for everyone. We invite governments, companies, civil society organizations and individuals to back the Contract and uphold its principles and clauses.”
I really like the idea of organizations coming together and working with the people to create an internet free of the major issues we are facing today. Even though this contract is in the early stages of development it is very comforting to know there are influential people in the tech industry who are looking to make positive change. I believe that we are currently standing at a cross roads regarding the quality of the internet. The decisions that are made now will greatly affect what the internet will look like in the future, perhaps the Contract for the Web is the first step in the right direction?
Berners-lee, Tim. “I Invented the World Wide Web. Here’s How We Can Fix It.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 25 Nov. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/11/24/opinion/world-wide-web.html.
Sample, Ian. “Tim Berners-Lee Unveils Global Plan to Save the Web.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 24 Nov. 2019, www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/24/tim-berners-lee-unveils-global-plan-to-save-the-internet.
Anderson, Janna, and Lee Rainie. “The Future of Truth and Misinformation Online.” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, Pew Research Center, 25 Apr. 2018, www.pewresearch.org/internet/2017/10/19/the-future-of-truth-and-misinformation-online/.