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Is the Web for everyone?

Watch Prof Les Carr & Prof Susan Halford talk about how the Web is continually evolving & how the focus will shift as new steams of users come online.
LES CARR: What next for the web? It’s a very interesting question. But, of course, it’s not like we’ve finished a phase of development in a sort of that the web has arrived, and now we’re thinking, oh, what can we have in the web plus, plus. The web is continually changing and it ain’t finished yet. I always think of computer science as a branch of science fiction, a way of people saying we’re a bit unhappy with the way the world works at the moment. We want to have some exciting new or better ways of doing things. Let’s use this marvellous technology stuff that we’ve got, all these computers, and the networks.
And let’s try and imagine a better way of doing things, a better way of organising things. And there’s some of that on the horizon I think.
SUSAN HALFORD: The web’s never going to be finished. The web is always under construction. And the web is going to be what we make it in the future. I think a really important question for the future is who that way is. Because the web that we have now, we know very well, it started in Switzerland. It’s spread all over the world, but it’s not spread over the world evenly. And what’s made the web up until now is mainly the west. It’s mainly uses in the west. It’s mainly the concerns of the big corporations and the governments in the west.
What’s that web going to look like when the new streams of users come online– when new kinds of businesses, new kinds of governments, and ways of doing things start to shape the web and how the web evolves? And I think that’s the really– you know, we assume that the web is the way it is because that’s just the way the web is.

In this video, Professor Les Carr and Professor Susan Halford talk about how the Web is continually changing.

They also point out that the whilst the Web, until recently, mainly focused on the concerns of big corporations and governments in the West it will change even more when the rest of the world fully embraces it. This leads us to the following question:

Is the web for everyone?

Tim Berners-Lee famously said about the Web at the opening of the Olympics 2012 ‘this is for everyone’. Do you think that this is true?

Universal access to the Web is an ideal in which the concept of net neutrality plays a fundamental role. This is a highly contentious issue. Some think net neutrality is the only way to achieve the Web we all want, and some others think it is an obstacle.

In the following three steps, Professor Les Carr will introduce the concept, and will present arguments for and against net neutrality.

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Web Science: How the Web Is Changing the World

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