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Tim Berners-Lee weighs in on fake news, net neutrality

World News Publishing Focus

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Tim Berners-Lee weighs in on fake news, net neutrality

Interviewed by the Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner, Berners-Lee puts some of the blame on Google Ad system for the fake news phenomenon during the 2016 US presidential elections. He estimates that as Google Ads gives financial rewards to ads that get clicked, fake news producers eventually figured out a way of creating highly clickable – but untrue – headlines and content.

As for the spread of fake news on social media, Berners-Lee identifies targeted advertising as a major issue, and proposes banning it for advertising by political bodies.

Berners-Lee also stresses the importance of online privacy, and that the arbiter on questions on anonymity and accountability should be the court system, although AI and companies themselves can take the role initially. Specifically, he is against Facebook evolving into a “universal media monopoly making editorial decisions”.

Berners-Lee is a strong supporter of net neutrality, underlining its importance in the development and spread of the Internet and the World Wide Web, and urging people to fight against plans to limit it.

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2017-05-10 12:54

Author information

The news publishing industry is experiencing transformation at an ever-growing pace, with new policy issues arising as the landscape changes.

We will be examining policy discussions that will define the news publishing environment of the future, the key topics being internet governance, privacy and copyright. Click here to learn more about our work.

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