World Wide Web maker Tim Berners-Lee to hunt down fake news

March 12, 2017, 11:41 am
World Wide Web maker Tim Berners-Lee to hunt down fake news
World Wide Web maker Tim Berners-Lee to hunt down fake news

World Wide Web maker Tim Berners-Lee to hunt down fake news

The inventor of the your daily internet usage, World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, has cooked up a technological plan to pin down data abuse and fake news.

In an open letter to mark the web’s 28th anniversary, Tim has set out a five-year strategy amid concerns he has about how the web is being used by people. Tim said he would try to combat the misuse of personal data, which creates a "chilling effect on free speech".

He also called for tighter regulation of "unethical" political adverts.

The British computer scientist said he wants the people who have helped develop the web with blogs, tweets, photos, videos and web pages to help come up with practical solutions to make a web "that gives equal power and opportunity to all".

Users are often unable to tell outlets what data they would not like shared, Tim said. Terms and conditions were "all or nothing".

Tim added the need to work with companies to put "a fair level of data control back in the hands of people".

He also expressed concerns that government surveillance is going too far and stopping the web from being used to explore topics such as sensitive health issues, sexuality, religion or other controversial topics of discussion.

Social media sites and search engines must be encouraged to continue efforts to combat the problem of fake news, Tim said.

However, central bodies deciding what is true or not should be avoided, he added.

Certain algorithms can favour sensationalist information designed to surprise or shock users rather than reflect the truth and can "spread like wildfire", Tim said.

He urged about the need of transparency so users can understand how web pages appear on their devices and suggested a set of common principles for sites to follow.

He also raised concerns about how online political advertising had become a "sophisticated" industry.

Tim said there were indications some targeted advertising was being used in "unethical ways" to keep voters away from the polls or directing people to fake news sites.

He suggested companies could put subscription payments and small automated charges in place to make money without these types of adverts.

However, despite highlighting issues on the world wide web which be believed need addressing, Sir Tim has admitted the solutions "will not be simple".