Tim Berners-Lee, Father of the World Wide Web, has expressed how the web had made him feel both sad and amused. Sad because the web has been an avenue for humanity to show their dark side. Amused because the Internet has enabled the "wonderful side" of the human mind to expand.
It was in 1990 when Berners-Lee created the Web. During that time, he was in Switzerland working for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, also known as CERN.
Commenting on how the web is a clear reflection of human nature, Berners-Lee had hoped that using the web would pave the way for discovering tools, fora and new methods of communication in order to eliminate geographic barriers and gain a better understanding on a global scale.
"I had hoped that the web would provide tools and fora to break national barriers and provoke a better global understanding but it's staggering to me that people who must have been brought up like anybody else will suddenly become very polarized in their opinions and will suddenly become very hateful instead of very loving," said Berners-Lee. "Well, maybe it'll happen in the future. Maybe we will be able to build web-based tools that help us keep people on the path of collaborating rather than fighting."
The Science Museum in London is having a new exhibition called "The Information Age." Part of the exhibition of the week features the computer that Berners-Lee used to run the first ever website. Looking like a small black cube, it was said to be built by NeXT Inc of Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple. Probing further at the cube, it still bears the label that Berners-Lee had placed. On the label, he had given out a warning that says "This machine is a server -- DO NOT POWER IT DOWN!"
At the opening of the Science Museum, Berners-Lee also commented on how his brainchild has been given a different image by a minority group of people.
"They are using the web for organized protests against oppressive regimes; it appears that it is not the private medium we once thought," said Berners-Lee.
Berners-Lee is referring to how the web has been used for cyber bullying and the exploitation of women by an increasing number of misogynists. It has produced a new group of web users identified by research as Internet trolls or people who willfully inflame others on the web for their own amusement.
According to the Pew Research Center, 60 percent of Internet users claimed that they have witnessed cases of derogatory name calling. Another 53 percent said that they have seen how a person has deliberately embarrassed another on the net.