Sir Tim Gets Behind ‘One Web’ Foundation

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is on a mission to keep the Web open, free and
serving the needs of society — such as calling out sites that spread false
information and helping to support democracy.

The conduit for this latest push to protect and improve the Web? The World Wide
Web Foundation
, which the founder of the Web launched yesterday with the
help of $5 million in seed money from the Knight Foundation, which exists to support journalistic endeavors and community building.

He said the seed money will help the Web Foundation with three key
purposes:

  • advancing One Web that is free and open
  • expand the Web’s capability and robustness
  • extend the Web’s benefits to all people on the planet.
  • “The Web Foundation will bring together business leaders, technology
    innovators, academia, government, NGOs, and experts in many fields to tackle
    challenges that, like the Web, are global in scale,” he said in
    prepared remarks
    .

    “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.”

    Berners-Lee recently gave press interviews in London that expressed
    concerns for what he called an effort to spread disinformation about the
    Web
    .

    He was referring to recent false reports that claimed that the Large
    Hadron Collider experiment, which CERN (the European Organization for
    Nuclear Research) is using to study the cosmos, could create a black hole
    that could swallow the earth. Berners-Lee worked with CERN to create the
    Web. His comments also came after hackers reportedly cracked into CERN’s computers in a bid to point out weak
    spots in the system’s security.

    It was this example, as well as his concern about making sure less networked spots of the globe can benefit from the Web that Sir Tim wants to address through the Web Foundation. “The Web is a
    tremendous platform for innovation, but we face a number of challenges to
    making it more useful, in particular to people in underserved communities,”
    he said in a release announcing the launch.

    “Through this new initiative, we hope to develop an international
    ecosystem that will help shape the future Web. A more inclusive Web will
    benefit us all.”

    The groups said social development efforts will focus initially on
    underserved populations. From there, the groups added, the Web foundation
    will identify benefits of the Web for these communities, and issues of
    access to (and availability of) relevant, usable and useful content. The
    foundation will do so through support of ongoing and new efforts to develop
    critical services related to better health care, nutrition, education, and
    emergency relief.

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