Does Web 2.0 Need the Help of the Law?

The internet and its users have always been proud of operating in an open, free, and anonymous network. These characteristics are a large part of the internet’s rapid rise to dominance all over the world. Web 2.0 technologies have enabled people to communicate easier and with more people.

Social media, blogs, smartphones, and plenty of other gadgets and technology have changed everyday life and communication. But are things moving too fast? Do we need laws to protect ourselves from situations that stifle integration and data sharing? Maybe.

That’s the question that Martin Bryant asks in a recent article on The Next Web about protecting the social web we’ve grown to love. He raises some interesting points. Despite being pioneers of the beliefs and ideas behind web 2.0, Facebook has recently shown a desire to close off its service from the datasphere. Specifically, they’ve cut off useful and user-driven apps like Yandex’s Wonder and Twitter’s Vine.

Martin goes on with more examples, writing, “There’s Facebook pulling Twitter Card support from Instagram, Twitter pulling friend-finding capabilities for its service from Instagram, Facebook pulling voice messaging app Voxer’s find friends access.” and much more. You get the point, right? There seems to be a lot of closing off of the web going on which is not what was intended!

When platforms that pushed and created the web we know now limit and close off their services, something isn’t right. After all, all of the data that people are sharing is theirs. They should be able to access and use it in any way they want from any platform or program. At least, that’s what Martin and many believe.

Martin’s primary argument stems from the fact that constricting data access stifles innovation. Innovation is always needed to drive the internet forward, create new technology, and create a better user experience online. Laws to protect access might help keep this going if the big web 2.0 companies don’t change their tune on their own.

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