One of the most ambitious promises of the Internet is to create an open, free, anyone-can-participate network of information and knowledge sharing that transcends geographic and cultural boundaries. The advancement of this potential is now severely under threat. Some have even warned that the Internet is “dying.”
Two concerns are particularly urgent if we want the Internet to fulfill its potential as a tool that could serve all of humanity:
- Control of our personal data and privacy;
- Curtailing widespread misinformation online.
Both of these concerns are fuelling social conflicts at the interpersonal level, as well as perpetuating and escalating systemic conflicts and divisions at the societal level.
All of us who use the Internet share the responsibility of tackling these concerns. The success of the Internet so far has been largely due to the grassroots contributions of people like you and me. It is again up to us to build the Internet we want. What can we do at the individual, structural and cultural levels to address these concerns?