Google Doodle goes all tech to celebrate 30th anniversary

Isaac Cain
March 15, 2019

On March 12, 1989, the then-33-year-old British computer scientist detailed his vision for a unified computer network in a document called "Information Management: A Proposal".

It was great to meet Sir Tim Berners-Lee today and mark 30 years since his invention of the World Wide Web.

Imagine a world without The Internet? His boss, Mike Sendall, described the idea as "vague but exciting".

Years before the Internet Explorer, Sir Tim also created the first web browser, which went by the same name, WorldWideWeb. "CERN allowed researchers to choose to use whatever computer and systems they like, which created a dire need for interoperability of information", he said. He urged people to fight to minimize the negative consequences of the Web, such as harassment, polarizing discourse, and the spread of misinformation. "Where is the balance between freedom of speech and hate speech?" he said.

The conduct of web giants Facebook, Twitter and Google, has come under scrutiny in recent years over data privacy issues and the rising spread of malicious content.

And by October 1990, Tim had written the three fundamental technologies which became the foundation of the web until now. It signalled the birth of the World Wide Web that is now used by billions of people. The two firms also dominate online advertising, commanding 58% of the market between them, according to eMarketer.

The doodle is a far cry from the web we know now-it shows a beige computer and keyboard with a slow-downloading video, which hearkens back to the early days of the web.

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He said that citizens must hold companies and governments accountable for the commitments they make. Platforms and products must be designed with privacy, diversity and security in mind. Users too should do their best to advocate for a free, open and safe web and "Foster constructive healthy conversations online".

Notably, in a blog post announcing the internet's 30th anniversary, Google makes an effort to head off any possible pedantic ramblings regarding the web versus the internet.

"According to AP, speaking at a "[email protected]" conference, Berners-Lee acknowledged that for those who are online, "the web is not the web we wanted in every respect". This has since encouraged the use of the Web and society to benefit from it.

"It's under the radar, but working on it in a way puts back some of the optimism and excitement that the "fake news" takes out".

The web, Berners-Lee reasons, is too important to the world right now, and a kind of declaration of human rights for the web is needed, in the same way that new frontiers were formed for the common good such as the Law of the Sea and the Outer Space Treaty.

"I'm still not a gazillionaire", he says.

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