#WebSci20 – The Future of Web Science by Nathaniel McInnes

Posted on behalf of Nathaniel McInnes

The talk on the Future of Web Science contained a broad spectrum of experts, chaired by the BBC’s Bill Thompson, who gave their opinions on topics around privacy, ethics, trust and more via an in-depth Q&A.

The experts provided their views on the web – Pauline Leonard suggested that one of the best aspects is that it gives a voice to those who would typically not have one, via mechanisms such as social media. Philip Tetlow suggested it is wrong to talk about “the” web, but now we have a situation where we have multiple webs which are in and around the web. Tetlow claims it is a socia-technical system if we like it or not and that one of the defaults about the web is we have to be tracked.

This progressed the discussion into the area of tracking and the issues that surround it, including the ethics of such issue and trust as a whole. There was a suggestion that things should be measurable, but not a surveillance society. In the Covid era, Twitter or Amazon for example have now been arguably forced on individuals for those who cannot go to the shops and have to now use these technologies and services.

Philip Tetlow made an interesting comparison by looking to history to help us understand where Web Science could be going. He further expanded on his idea that in regard to Web.

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