The world is like a kid, and the internet is like a shiny new modular toy. The kid drools over the new toy, and the kid just stares and idolizes the toy. Eventually, the kid thinks up new ways how to play with the modular toy. The kid has his parents buy new modules to append to the toy. After several years past, the kid starts to mature and to standarize the ways he plays with the modular toy.
For a while, I would say that the world did not know what to do with the internet. The world was exploring, innovating, and idealizing the internet. There were a lot of ideas: some of them were good, and some of them were terrible.
Entertainment came up with the form of memes, GIFs, videos. Knowledge sharing came with chat rooms, documentationn sites, podcasts, and blogs. Then constant connectivity with friends through social media web sites.
With all the great ideas of the internet, I think there were unintended consequences, or blowbacks, of things that had the right intention, but they were just poorly executed or poorly thought out.
Since the internet was new, companies needed to figure out how to make site experiences better. So user tracking became a thing. That is just a very quick summary of how user tracking started. Then companies started to abuse user tracking. Certain companies have tendrils throughout the whole internet in order to track what the user does.
This is a problem, because those companies have been often blamed for catering search results or news items that have been particularly false. These information tid bits then affect how true information is gathered.
As a response to some of these scandals, the world is starting to figure out what to do about user privacy. So what is there?
I came across a project from Sir Berners Lee. It’s called the Contract for the Web. I really like this. It goes to establish user privacy and encourage constructive content sharing among users. There are also multiple other companies that are fighting for user privacy, one of them being Duck Duck Go. Duck Duck Go has rather quickly become a profitable search engine that does no user tracking. There are people that want to encourage proper use of the internet!
I hope that the world can fight for user privacy, and keep the internet a clear ground for sharing knowledge with people. I hope I can fight for the same thing in my career as a web developer, and help provide great solutions to encourage user privacy and knowledge sharing.