The web will not be the saviour

The co-editor of Global Voices, Ethan Zuckerman, is interviewed about his thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of the internet (clue: we have a long way to go to truly integrate a worldwide population into the technology):

I think one of the things that’s most exciting about the Internet revolution is this idea that we might be connected to people all over the world. And that we might expand to include the one billion people who are online now, the two billion people who’ll be online in about five years and eventually the 6+ billion people all over the world. The truth is that it’s much harder than that; and that actually we haven’t done very well at connecting. The fact that we have digital networks that tie us all together doesn’t mean that we actually pay attention to one another and it doesn’t mean that we actually have dialogue with one another. And the truth is, I think if you look at the last 10 – 15 years of development of the commercial Internet, we’ve actually done a very very poor job of finding people who come from very different backgrounds than we do. I think in many ways, what the Internet has helped us is to find people who you have got a great deal of common ground with. The Internet has been very very powerful for people who have esoteric interests, specialized interests, who find friends in other parts of the world who have that common ground with them. Where we’ve had much less success is using the Internet as a place of dialogue between people who are coming from very very different background and who might have very different opinions.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

Site by Common