Tim Berners-Lee: Social Networking Sites Threats to the Future of the World Wide Web

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the Web has warned "Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites represent "one of several threats" to the future of the world wide web."Berners-Lee warned that such a "closed silo of content" risked leaving the web "fragmented"."The web evolved into a powerful, ubiquitous tool because it was built on […]

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the Web has warned "Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites represent "one of several threats" to the future of the world wide web."

Berners-Lee warned that such a "closed silo of content" risked leaving the web "fragmented".

"The web evolved into a powerful, ubiquitous tool because it was built on egalitarian principles," he said. "The web as we know it, however, is being threatened in different ways. Some of its most successful inhabitants have begun to chip away at its principles."

"The more this kind of architecture gains widespread use, the more the web becomes fragmented, and the less we enjoy a single, universal information space."

Berners-Lee also said there was a worry that a social networking site could become "so big that it becomes a monopoly, which tends to limit innovation".

Berners-Lee also criticised companies that opt to build mobile or desktop apps, such as Apple's iTunes or smartphone apps, rather than create apps that sit on the web alongside other websites. "Open standards drive innovation," he said, adding that the tendency for publishers to create apps for smartphones such as the iPhone is "disturbing".

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