Home » Tim Berners-Lee’s “Oh, Yeah?” button could have changed the internet.

Tim Berners-Lee’s “Oh, Yeah?” button could have changed the internet.

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Twenty-five years ago on December 3, 1997, Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, said: I was talking to At the W3C conference in London. His speeches are notable for his early reviews of the web, its early development, and his thoughts on the future of the web.

One Idea Berners-Lee Raised in a Lecture — The Idea he had been thinking for over a year— It was undeniably wonderful. He suggested equipping all browsers with what he called “oh yeah?” button. The idea was that as we navigated the web, we would start building trust through signed metadata. will generate accumulation. “With this, you can ask the computer why you should believe it, instead of just asking it for information,” he said.

Imagine “Huh?” Click the button. Just enter your credit card number and click a button to see amazing deals that will be yours. Yes Yes?, you think. You press “Oh yeah?” button. I’m asking the browser why should I believe it. Then you can ask the server to provide some credentials. Perhaps a document signature or a list of documents representing the validity of that key. Those documents are signed. The browser combs the server, looking for ways to convince you that the page is trustworthy and worth buying. Maybe you got a recommendation from a magazine and it’s endorsed by a friend. Maybe it comes up with an endorsement by the seller’s bank that has an endorsement from your bank.

Please note that the “Are you sure” button is not really intended to confirm information or find the “truth”. Berners-Lee was not suggesting that ontological certainty arises from his web mob’s ranking of his web sites disseminating the most accurate information. Rather, clicking the “Huh?” button suggests a more paradigmatic truth. That is, a reasonable approximation of whether what you read on the web is generally considered trustworthy by most people.

The “Oh yeah” button represents an early warning that we all need to be more skeptical in cyberspace in the future. It also acknowledged that there is a high possibility that it will be used for With so many politicians, salesmen, criminals, thugs and liars out there, you’ll need an easy way to deal with them in your daily browsing.

If it had, it would have addressed so many problems plaguing the web and social media today (e.g. “fake news” accusations, disinformation campaigns, catfish phishing, etc.) from the start. must.

Still, in the end, the “oh yeah?” button was never installed in the browser. Too many factors conspired against it. Berners-Lee’s original example pointed to a direct challenge to advertising. As the web grows more and more commercially, the idea that the typical truth about an advertised product’s claims could be revealed at the click of a button has become a growing concern for the web’s usefulness as a sales vehicle. represented an almost existential threat to “Oh yeah?” As the web evolved towards social media, buttons may have also brought about increased tension and discussion. A mad uncle’s browser’s “Oh yeah?” button informed you about his latest Facebook conspiracy.

In spite of its admirable skepticism, the “Oh yeah” button also contained important flaws that would only become apparent in the age of algorithms. button presents us with a clear and unique paradigm truth, as no two social media feeds are exactly the same. Similarly, there are no two “oh yeah”s. The button returns the same result. In 1997, Berners-Lee was too optimistic about the future potential for storing and distributing shared realities. We know we like social media algorithms that lead us to a world where prejudices and beliefs don’t have to be skeptical. Click a button to check out a hilarious political meme that reaffirms exactly what they already know to be true?

In hindsight, we eventually exchanged “oh yeah”.button Like buttonand it was huge error.

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