Is web and access to web a basic human right like freedom from torture or the right to a fair trial? People seem to think so. And my home country Finland was the first country to include it in the law in 2009. It does make a lot of sense when we consider the basic human right of freedom of speech. A special difference is the requirement of technology to achieve this right to be part of the web.
The screen capture above from BBC news is lovely, even if out of date, depiction of the spread of the internet. It shows how there is inequality in achievement of this human right. Joshua Goldstein addresses this gap in his blog post earlier this year. He referred to The Affordability Report by Alliance for Affordable Internet he co authored while writing about the access trap related to internet. The following quote really surprised me:
[ the majority of people for whom broadband is unaffordable live not in the poorest countries, but in larger (lower) middle-income countries with high income inequality]
To somewhat separate the issue of internet accessibility from raw country wide economics to internal economics and balances of the society, opens up discussion of inequality as a contributor to lack of human rights. If access to web is a human right, is the participation in the web communities a human right also?
This leads to us having a global civic duty to contribute and take part in the creation and curating on the web. And as a follow up of this we have a responsibility to curate with integrity. As journalists of our global human knowledge base , the web, we need to have integrity and kindness as Kim Jaxon underlined in this week’s Connected Courses webinar.
This is where the “nuggets” from larger texts or products come in. Delving into specific phrases of someone’s text and deriving more and/or different meaning out of the words is a form of curating and adding to the human knowledge and archive of the human experience. To do this well, increases connectedness and makes the web more interesting and informative place. Case in point for me was a “nugget” made by a fellow Connected Courses contributor. This little contribution by Brooke Lester turned out a large wake-up call and eye opener for me. It showed the massive potential connectedness of our contributions on the web.
The mentality of quality over quantity applies to web contributions and along with kindness in our actions could steer the web to a truly collaborative innovation space.