September 17, 2022 10:20 AM
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There is no doubt that the internet has transformed the way we live and work. It has made communication and collaboration easier than ever before. However, there is a downside to this increased connectedness.
The centralized nature of the internet means that a few large companies control most of what we see and do online. This concentration of power has led to concerns about data privacy, censorship, and other abuses of power.
It is becoming clear that the previous, and indeed current, iteration of the internet does not represent what the world wide web is truly intended for. To understand this and also the promise that Web3 holds, we will go over the history of the internet and how it has changed with time.
The current internet
The internet as we know it is largely a product of the 1990s. This was the decade when commercial use of the internet took off, and companies like AOL and Netscape became household names. The web browser was invented, and HTML became the standard markup language for creating web pages.
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The 1990s were also the decade when the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was founded. The W3C is an organization that sets standards for how the web should work. Its best-known standards include HTML, CSS, and XML.
The late 1990s and early 2000s saw the rise of search engines like Google and Yahoo! These companies built their businesses by indexing websites and making them easy to find via search keywords. Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin also developed the PageRank algorithm, which ranks websites based on their popularity.
The centralization of information and the gatekeepers of the internet
The search engine boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s led to the centralization of information on the internet. A few large companies came to dominate the market, and they continue to do so today.
These companies are known as the “gatekeepers” of the internet. They control what users see when they go online, and they have a significant impact on the way businesses operate. The problem with this concentration of power is that it can be abused.
The gatekeepers can censor content, restrict access to information, and collect data about users without their consent. Several instances of abuse have been documented in recent years. In 2018, for example, Facebook was embroiled in a scandal over the misuse of user data.
Though arguments are often made about the necessity of the central