Most of us are familiar with the problems with Big Tech — those “free” walled gardens that we actually pay for with our most private data, in exchange for convenient access to social networks and online marketplaces.
A new film released this month on Netflix, The Social Dilemma, is laying out a scathing case against Big Tech and will crystallize the issues for a global audience of tens of millions.
So if the existing Internet infrastructure is terrible for us, what can take its place?
How do we build an Internet that is more resilient, participatory, and decentralized?
What kinds of technological and regulatory systems do we need to make this happen?
Our next DWeb Meetup will feature a panel of experts to discuss these questions and share with us their visions of the future.
Cory Doctorow will make the case for the legislative path to an interoperable Internet. He argues that regulations could create minimum standards for interoperability and remove existing legal barriers that stifle competition from promising interoperators.
Jay Graber will share her own experience as a founder of Happening, a social network for events, and all the headaches of using Facebook’s API to get the platform off the ground. She is also an independent writer and developer who helped launch the ZCash cryptocurrency. More recently she has written on federated and peer-to-peer protocols and decentralized social networks, and will share her insights into the strengths, limitations, and overall potential of DWeb ecosystems.
Amandine Le Pape will share her experience as a technologist and co-founder of Matrix.org, a not-for-profit open source foundation that is working to define a new open standard for decentralized, persistent and interoperable communications. She will share what steps Matrix has taken to build this open standard and describe their path towards its widespread adoption.
Mike Masnick, who authored Protocols, Not Platforms: A Technological Approach to Free Speech, will give us an overview of how, rather than building new protocols, the Internet has grown up around controlled platforms that are privately-owned. He calls for a return to build and support more open and interoperable platforms, like those of the early Web.
As a community that believes in decentralized solutions, what role do we play in solving “The Social Dilemma?”
As Mike Masnick writes:
At a time when so many proposals for how to deal with the big internet companies seem focused on spite and anger at those companies, rather than thoughtful discussions of how we get to what's coming next, at the very least I'm hopeful that others can be inspired...to come up with their own ideas for a better, more proactive approach to a future internet.