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World Wide Web Foundation

 10:03 am on Sep 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

World Wide Web Foundation
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, unveiled today the World Wide Web Foundation, to fulfill a vision of the Web as humanity connected by technology. The mission of the Foundation is:

  • to advance One Web that is free and open,
  • to expand the Web's capability and robustness,
  • and to extend the Web's benefits to all people on the planet.
    Through research, technology development, and the application of the Web for the benefit of underserved communities, the Foundation seeks to enable all people to share knowledge, access services, conduct commerce, participate in good governance, and communicate in creative ways. The Foundation will raise funds through a multi-faceted strategy, beginning with a $5 million seed grant over five years from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

  • [webfoundation.org...]



     10:50 am on Sep 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Warning sounded on web's future [news.bbc.co.uk]
    Talking to BBC News Sir Tim Berners-Lee said he was increasingly worried about the way the web has been used to spread disinformation.
    Sir Tim told BBC News that there needed to be new systems that would give websites a label for trustworthiness once they had been proved reliable sources.

    "On the web the thinking of cults can spread very rapidly and suddenly a cult which was 12 people who had some deep personal issues suddenly find a formula which is very believable," he said. "A sort of conspiracy theory of sorts and which you can imagine spreading to thousands of people and being deeply damaging."


     12:10 pm on Sep 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

    tin foil hat: Sir Tim Berners-Lee is in bed with big brother, haha, think about it.

    Say what you will, it's still food for thought. plus I did say tim-foil-hat.


     1:51 pm on Sep 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Berners-Lee is trying to address a problem that bothers me a lot, too.

    No way to differentiate the liars from the responsible journalists. The wolves and the sheep all look the same online.

    In forums like this, I see passionate concern about how web pages are typeset (CSS "standards") but little or nothing about standards for what really counts - accurate, informative content.

    Without trustworthy sources of information, we are worse than ignorant, we are misinformed.


     1:57 pm on Sep 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Problem: Son believes what he reads on the internet.
    Parents: "Son, don't believe everything you read on the internet."
    Problem solved.

    Do really we need bigger oversight and sanctioned labels?
    How about spreading common sense? Put that money and effort towards showing people how to research stories and do some fact-finding for themselves. All you do by creating a universally accepted trust-label is make it possible for ne're-do-wells to copy that label and apply it, with its trust, to their misinformation.


     2:13 pm on Sep 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

    >>worried about the way the web has been used to spread disinformation

    The same concerns were voiced about Gutenberg's printing press. Then again with radio. And again with television.


     7:51 pm on Sep 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

    No way to differentiate the liars from the responsible journalists.

    Au contraire. Journalism has left behind the responsible journalists to seek corporate profits. The internet provides them an outlet to a small audience that seeks them out.

    This trustworthy label is nonsense.


     5:57 am on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Techies should have a way to see and build trust amongst each other, as most home users already believe we have vetted the information they see on the web. No matter the source...


     6:00 am on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Didn't Sir Tim Berners-Lee invent / envisage a file sharing (by ftp) network, not really what we see today of the www? So is his vision that reliable? The www has become like the seven seas, unpredictable, full of garbage, and beset with pirates! Is Captain Pugwash the answer?


     8:37 am on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

    I think the internet allows you to make you own choices and distinguish between profit hunters and responsible journalist . If you are an active user of the internet you will soon be able to distinguish between rubbish and the real thing.

    Especially with regards to blogs , as a returning user will learn to appreciate one bloggers articles , however as once off user you may find the adsense ads more stimulating . Which in the short term realise profits for the journalist but in the long run I find the cream will rise to the top , be it creative stimulating or just plain intersting.


     2:19 pm on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

    No way to differentiate the liars from the responsible journalists. The wolves and the sheep all look the same online.

    I have the same problem with almost every person I talk to...isn't that the point of lying and deceiving? Isn't that how/why liars are successful? If we could easily distinguish between the two no one would ever be wrongfully imprisioned, the 'polygraph' wouldn't be so colloquial, and I would be forced to do about 10,000 things every day in which I truly have no interest as no one would accept my excuses as reasonable...

    Being lied to, cheated, and deceived are a part of life -- and of the internet. If we are all, as we appear to be, aware of the problem and skeptical of our sources, I fail to see the issue.


     4:11 pm on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Nicely put HugeNerd. It seems he feels the issue to be
    Sir Tim Berners-Lee said he was increasingly worried about the way the web has been used to spread disinformation.
    ...in other words, a smart, official person has to decide what is real information and what is disinformation for us dummies here....

    Hmm, what's a good way to label things? Idea for identifying "serious", reliable sources:

    Independent, unofficial (i.e. has no money) source=Bad.

    Thanks for the labels Tim! Oops, my bad. SIR Tim.


     11:19 am on Sep 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

    - i think trust assignment should be decentralized.
    having a central scrutinizer that runs around slapping trust labels on sites is ripe for abuse and is neither open, robust nor inclusive.

    - i think trust should be defined or measured by the "level" of trust as well as who is doing the trusting and what they trust.
    for example, NYT is a "paper of record" but i know people who don't trust it because they consider it too liberal.
    as another example, i may trust a source that determines the veracity of a site's content but not trust the same source to determine the security of the site's privacy policies and procedures.


     1:05 pm on Sep 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Is it really possible to have a web that is "free and open" while labeling the information in it? Who would be the one slapping these labels? WWW Foundation? Organisation that has businesses and governments in it? I'm sure we would see a lot of Reliable-labels on sites that critisize the said establishments.

    People usually tend to find sources of information that support their own opinions. If one finds a site that supports his personal opinions is flagged as unreliable, this probably has little or no effect.

    I say that resources should be spent on educating the people how to be critical of the information we receive (either from TV or papers or Web) and verifying the information from different sources. A world event might be very differently reported on FOX and Al-Jazeera.

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