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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 August 2006, 07:04 GMT 08:04 UK
Readers' panel: Web anniversary
Sunday 6 August marks the 15th anniversary of the publication of computer files credited as the start of the World Wide Web. The publication, by Tim Berners-Lee, began the spread of computer interaction that has lead to the web as we know it.

There are now 882 million people around the world online reading more than 100 million websites, and with each website offering potentially millions of pages of content.

To mark the birthday we've drawn together a panel of web-users from across the world, to give us their thoughts on the birth, the worst, and the future of the web.

Today's question to the panel: What do you not like about the internet and the online world?

Joe Dynamo
Annapolis, USA

Karen Inda
Prague, Czech Rep

David Mohammad Yaghoobi
Tehran, Iran

Gabriel Kalonde Chingwe
Lusaka, Zambia

Elson Silva
Campinas, Brazil

Seoul, South Korea


Joe Dynamo
Joe used to live in a school bus, now he's an IT consultant
What is wrong with the internet is websites limiting people's expression.

I do not think anything is wrong with the "web" actually.

The web is a place where people are communicating so it will exhibit the same behaviour that any community will.

You have all kinds out there, just as we do in the world.

I think many times people forget to look at the "web" and try to place blame for the bad things that occur there.

The things that happen on the web are just the same things that happen in societies.

People somehow try to remove personal responsibility from things by blaming them on some force of nature, in this case the "web".

If there is a pervert in a town attacking women in parks do you make it impossible for people to use the parks, or do you try to catch the criminal? Is it the parks fault?


Gabriel Kalonde Chingwe
Gabriel is a fan of BBC Africa Have Your Say
Due to certain techniques and failures, I do not like the way anyone can access sites which are designed to corrupt morals or gambling sites which are able to bankrupt you within seconds, remotely.

The internet has also condoned a lot of fraud which has hit the most innocent of people and deprived them of their hard earned savings.

And unsolicited mail, popularly known as spam, is just so upsetting!

Even with high firewalls and other security measures, the spammer is always a step ahead. Thus we have to live with it.

Scammers on the net sending fake messages, swindling people all over the world and claiming they have won millions of dollars if they give out personal details, are very vexing.

Some advice: just delete it. Don't waste time even contemplating if it's genuine.

The BBC recently had a discussion on scammers which was very interesting and educative (please check the archives for you to listen free at your own time), get busy, get online!


Karen Inda
Karen and her husband run their business from laptops
Obviously, junk e-mail is a major problem.

When we are travelling with the business, we depend on internet cafes to check on sales and answer customer queries.

Since we get about five hundred junk e-mail messages per day, it is absolutely necessary to use our own laptop, which has multiple filters and junk folders.

If the internet café won't allow us to hook up our own laptop, we have to either find another café or sift through piles of junk to find the legitimate messages.

We've tried using our ISP's filtration system, but it tends to inadvertently block legitimate e-mails, which is bad for business.

Aside from junk e-mail, the main things I dislike about the internet are pop-up ads and banner ads that move or flash. I find them incredibly distracting when I'm trying to read or work.

People all over the world expect instantaneous responses!
Also, many websites out there are so ugly! There is often no thought given to the aesthetics of the site, and some even take the Windows "look" (which is hideous enough) and add it to their own sites. Mac users cringe when they see this!

Having an on-line business means that people all over the world expect instantaneous responses.

Combine this with living and travelling in many different time zones and our "office hours" never end!


Elson Silva, PhD
Elson researches hydro- and thermo-dynamics online
Likes and dislikes are part of the way that all humans have to learn to see the world. Everything and everyone has a good side and a bad side.

Happiness always develops higher when people learn to enjoy the good side and stand the bad side in the best way possible.

Tolerance and understanding is the best recipe to endure the bad side that always should bother less and less.

All the negative points of the internet are too small and insignificant to bother my mood and let me enjoy the huge advantage I can have on the good side.

A few strokes to delete a spam or removing the ad-ware occasionally is like a common routine of washing my car to keep it clean or dusting off my shoes.

So few people need to hate their tasks of keeping their cars and shoes in good shape.

It's all part of a necessary routine.


David Mohammad Yaghoobi
David runs a blog and a business from Tehran
The things I dislike about the web, though not necessarily in this order, are:

1. Deleting dozens of spam e-mails each day from around 10 e-mail accounts is a tedious affair that consumes far too much time. Having to decipher from the title as to whether I am being sold "Viagra" or offered dubious investment opportunities is a daily pain.

2. As an occasional designer of websites I detest having to build around Internet Explorer's backward display methods. It is ever so tiring to make so many exceptions for this dominant browser.

3. Having recently regressed back to not quite 56kps in a not-to-recent move from the UK to Iran, I have been frustrated with the additional time now needed to access sites and e-mails.

Coupled with the restriction and/or blocking of seemingly uncontroversial sites with the American-made, Iranian filtering system my browsing experience is stunted - dare I go on?

Thankfully, I have once again regained ADSL (at no small expense) and thus the threshold of available media has increased where not restricted.


Gail is a lifestyle and travel writer, based in Seoul
I dislike the lack of credibility that a lot of information on the internet has.

Anyone can publish anything and make it look kosher - ethics, editorial integrity and accuracy are not highly prized features of the world wide web and there is an awful lot of nonsense out there.

But I think the internet mirrors every walk of life, where marketing is so strong now that you have to be extremely selective in what you choose to trust as the real thing.

To balance this, I like the way that you can check things with people very quickly by e-mail and look on other sites to verify what you find.

Editorial integrity and accuracy are not highly prized features of the web
My top three scary thoughts about the internet are:

1. The creeps that lurk there preying on young kids (often making it into the virtual environment of their bedrooms).

2. I am worried that one day someone will steal my identity and ruin my life.

3. I hate spyware. I am certain that all big corporations are stealing information on my decisions and I do not think that this is their information to take.

Tomorrow the panel tell us where they think the web is headed.

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