The Internet and the World Wide Web are some of the most revolutionary inventions since the printing press. Just as with the printing press, the ability to mass produce and distribute information creates a new power in people. The creation of the World Wide Web in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee allowed people to have access to pretty much all of the known information in the world with new resources being added every minute, and as the saying goes, “knowledge is power.”
When the Internet was just picking up popularity, Libertarians saw it as a place where information and ideas could spread freely without the interference of government or big businesses. They believed in a place, a cyberspace, where everyone had free equal access to create, comment, and share ideas and information. When Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, he had the opportunity to capitalize on his revolutionary invention, but he chose not to. He decided that anyone and everyone should be able to have access to information. The Internet is the “Great Leveling of Humanity” because it provides people with the power of learning. In an instant, anyone with internet access can find information about how to perform tasks, where to find locations, share their art and ideas, and anything else one could think of. There is no longer a need to find a book or speak to a professional when searching for information about a topic. All a person has to do is find a computer, and the world is at his or her fingers. You can experience and see parts of the world that were never imaginable to someone that hasn’t been there. The opportunities that Internet access on the World Wide Web provide are endless, and you don’t have to be someone of privilege to utilize it.
On the other hand, however, the Internet provided another tool for big business to use. There were those, like Apple inventor Bill Gates, who saw the Internet as a means to buy and sell goods and services as opposed to the original concept of sharing. The Internet has become more of a capitalistic society in more ways that one. A person can go online to buy and sell almost anything, and the Internet is controlled by the capitalist elite. While the Internet is an unlimited source of information that is ever growing, a few certain sites dominate the traffic. Google receives over 40,000 search queries every second.
The creation of the Internet and the World Wide Web gave people the ability to expand their knowledge beyond what they could physically experience, and that information was readily available in excess. While a few big names may dominate the web traffic, the benefits of having access to the Internet far out-way the detriments. Having this access is all about obtaining the power to do something. Be it to create, learn, experience, buy, or sell, the Internet provides a gateway to all the known world.