In this edition of The Web Untangled, our monthly series dedicated to unpacking issues core to digital access and rights, we look resolutions we all can make in 2020 to fight for the web we want.
2019. A year that saw big tech slapped with record fines for privacy violations, a global decline in internet freedom, a slowdown in the rate of people coming online and a widening digital gender gap.
30 years on from its invention, the web’s benefits come with too many risks — disinformation, privacy breaches, online abuse and scams leave us facing the risk of a digital dystopia.
This isn’t the web we want.
The web we want is safe and empowering for everyone. It protects our rights and offers a space for us to express ourselves creatively and fearlessly. It is inclusive and affordable for all.
So how do we get there?
As we head into 2020, here are some New Year’s resolutions we can all take to bring us closer to the web we want.
1. Back the Contract for the Web
The Contract for the Web — created by experts and citizens from across the world — sets out a vision for the web we want and gives us a global plan of action to get there. Back the Contract to help build a web that works for all humanity.
2. Get smart about online safety 🔐
With privacy scandals and data breaches dominating the headlines, what’s an average web user to do?
Access Now has you covered, with simple steps you can take to stay safe online.
3. Don’t feed the trolls 👹
Social media is a breeding ground for trolls touting messages of hate and abuse. Starve them of the attention they crave with this practical guide from the Centre for Countering Digital Hate.
.ORG — the online home for nonprofits — is at risk. A proposed sale to a private equity firm could mean huge price hikes for domain names and censorship of nonprofit voices.
Do your part to #SaveDotOrg by signing Electronic Frontier Foundation’s petition urging Internet Society to stop the sale.
5. Give the gift of privacy 🎁
As you plan your holiday shopping, look for gifts that keep your friends and family safe and secure. Check out these guides from Mozilla and NordVPN for inspiration.
6. Fix the glitch to end online abuse
Harassment and abuse are raging online — and women and girls are disproportionately affected.
Glitch empowers women with digital self-defence training and equips web users with tools to take action against online abuse. See how you can be part of the solution.
7. Take back your data
Companies are tracking your every move online.
Find out how they are exploiting your data and what you can do, with this explainer from Privacy International.
8. Unleash your creative side 🎨
Our co-founder and web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee imagined the web as an open space for collaboration, creativity and innovation.
Help fulfil Sir Tim’s original vision by trying your hand at creating web apps using Glitch’s simple tools.
9. Think before you share
A deluge of disinformation is flooding our online world. Learn how to identify it with the slow down and think method from The Verge.
I also want you to be cautious and critical about what you are absorbing from what you see on the Web. I want you to question the source of information you are seeing, and nurture and respect truthful information sources. When you see something, how you react is important.
– Sir Tim Berners-Lee
10. Take action on global digital gender equality
Men are 24.8% more likely to have access to the internet than women.
EQUALS — the global partnership to bridge this gender digital divide — gathered initiatives working to make our online world more inclusive in an interactive action map. Find a project near you.
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