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posted by chromas on Tuesday January 22 2019, @12:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the RFC3271 dept.

Researcher Ruben Verborgh explains how to re-decentralize the World-Wide Web, for good this time. He argues that decentralization is foremost about choice and thus people should be free to join large or small communities and talks up Solid as a primary option.

Originally designed as a decentralized network, the Web has undergone a significant centralization in recent years. In order to regain freedom and control over the digital aspects of our lives, we should understand how we arrived at this point and how we can get back on track. This chapter explains the history of decentralization in a Web context, and details Tim Berners-Lee’s role in the continued battle for a free and open Web. The challenges and solutions are not purely technical in nature, but rather fit into a larger socio-economic puzzle, to which all of us are invited to contribute. Let us take back the Web for good, and leverage its full potential as envisioned by its creator.

Earlier on SN:
Tim Berners-Lee Launches Inrupt, Aims to Create a Decentralized Web (2018)
Decentralized Sharing (2014)

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by c0lo on Tuesday January 22 2019, @12:14PM (3 children)

    by c0lo (156) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @12:14PM (#790040) Journal

    I mean, I don't think the 10% of the non-crap on the internet is more centralized now than it was 10 years ago.
    If I'm right (am I?), then having 90% rest of it centralized is an advantage: you know where not to go.

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  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday January 22 2019, @12:24PM (2 children)

    by c0lo (156) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @12:24PM (#790042) Journal

    The concept of centralization does not pose a problem in and of itself: there are good reasons for bringing people and things together. The situation becomes problematic when we are robbed of our choice, deceived into thinking there is only one access gate to a space that, in reality, we collectively own. Some time ago, it seemed unimaginable that a fundamentally open platform like the Web would become the foundation for closed spaces, where we pay with our personal data for a fraction of the freedoms that are actually already ours.

    WTH? Nobody is forcing people to join a closed space, "where we pay with our personal data", you are still as free as 10 years ago to bring up your own web and/or mail server - maybe even cheaper than in the past. And yet, sheeple flock to Facebook/Twitter.

    As such, the existence of yet-another-solution (like yet-another-standard []) will convince people to stop using Facebook... exactly how?

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @02:24PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @02:24PM (#790074)

      It’s called the network effect. Once in place it is a virtual lock-in: you choose Facebook because most of the people you know are already there. You stay at Facebook because all your connections are there. Think back to the early days, Facebook had several competitors, all gone now. Even Google+ Is now throwing in the towel. It is a lock-in that can only be cracked by something drastic like decentralization.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday January 22 2019, @10:43PM

        by c0lo (156) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @10:43PM (#790336) Journal

        And what's the incentive for the overwhelming majority of the population to get out of FB and jump into the decentralized 'escape pods'?