The internet increasingly brings people together. More and more areas of the world are getting connected to the web, especially through mobile devices in places less developed. A high percentage of citizens in developed countries have easy access to high-speed internet as well. Never before has human civilization had this capability to communicate or access the entirety of human knowledge almost instantaneously.
There are countless other benefits to the internet that affect people every day. Work, socializing, planning, educating, learning, and much more are improved by the internet. Still, there are some warnings of the dangers of the internet, especially the explosion in data and social interaction online that the Web 2.0 movement created.
Jonny LeRoy at openDemocracy recently wrote an article concerning “web 1.984.” This title is in direct relation to George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.” In the novel, the government had surveillance of its population and control over every aspect of society. In his article, LeRoy is warning us of the problems that come with free, user-based platforms like social media that connect the negative aspects of Orwell’s society with reality.
Essentially, LeRoy is concerned about the massive amounts of data out there on individuals and groups. This data is being mined and analyzed by private corporations and by organizations within the government that have little oversight from the public. He also writes against the business model of providing free services and profiting off of the sale of the information a business collects from its users.
The concerns go deeper than that, especially since Edward Snowden began releasing his information about the data collection of the NSA around the globe. LeRoy stands strongly on the side that individuals should expect privacy online. He rails against the argument that if you’re doing nothing wrong then you have nothing to hide. To find out more about his perspective, feel free to read his article linked above.