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reclaim the Internet

Sometimes writers develop interesting plot twists. One of the best is in the sci-fi thriller Independence Day. In that film humans are resisting an alien invasion. They prevent the aliens intercepting messages by resorting to Morse Code. Sometimes going backward a couple of steps helps us find a better way to move forward. Before social media most people created websites which they therefore owned. Sites were portable between hosting services. By contrast if you invest in creating a profile on a social media account you give a corporation control over of your content and Web presence. You can be shadow banned, removed, or you can lose access to your profile completely. Back in the day there was a simple technology called a web ring. People could choose to link their websites together. With the programming and infrastructure resources available now, if people had a convenient and affordable way to set up a profile they continuously owned, they could choose different networks to join or leave at will. These networks of associated and like-minded people could enjoy a degree of uniform functionality (similar to what social media offers) under the protection of open source code. No-one would own the networks and moderation could be by elected regulators under an agreed legal framework. This is only an outline, and the obstacles could be many, but there must be a better way for people to connect and have a voice.

Thu, 14 Jan 2021 12:31:43 GMT all posts


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