The Web Began Dying in 2014

I thought this was an interesting and important take on net neutrality and the future of our internet and internet based apps, and really underscores how important the work we’re doing is.

Perhaps a future with great user experience in AR, VR, hands-free commerce and knowledge sharing could evoke an optimistic perspective for what these tech giants are building. But 25 years of the Web has gotten us used to foundational freedoms that we take for granted. We forget how useful it has been to remain anonymous and control what we share, or how easy it was to start an internet startup with its own independent servers operating with the same rights GOOG servers have. On the Trinet, if you are permanently banned from GOOG or FB, you would have no alternative. You could even be restricted from creating a new account. As private businesses, GOOG, FB, and AMZN don’t need to guarantee you access to their networks. You do not have a legal right to an account in their servers, and as societies we aren’t demanding for these rights as vehemently as we could, to counter the strategies that tech giants are putting forward.

Google, Facebook, and Amazon use “user experience” as an excuse for a lot of their privacy infractions. We need a thorough and good rebuttal to this, that’s accessible to people, backed up with tools that provide that alternative.

I wonder - especially - if any Europeans have thoughts on this and how this is playing out for them? I think anti-trust has a bit more momentum in Europe than in the US, and is an important factor in this.

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Interesting post. You might also enjoy which is a recent interview with Franklin Foer, author of “World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech”.

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That was a pretty good podcast. I’m personally not sure that the book would teach me anything new, but it did get me thinking about forcing some redesign on terms and conditions, kind of inspired by Terms of Service: Didn’t Read (by @jan)

Where the user has to go through a list of checkboxes before being able to sign up:

  • [x] Permission to use photos in own advertising
  • [x] Permission to use personal information to let customers target advertising
  • [ ] etc

Sign Up

Obviously it’s completely in the disinterest of companies to do this, but you could legally change expectations to get them to do that, I think. Basically get rid of the small print and legalize.