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The Internet needs to go back to the Wild West

 

How many websites do you know of? 10, maybe 20, some might even know 30.

 

But I know everyone knows the following sites: Amazon, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, Netflix, Youtube, and Twitter.

 

How many sites run by a single person do you know of? Likely none.

 

Contrast this with how the web was back in the 90s and it's nearly unrecognizable. Back then, the internet was basically a decentralized mesh, with most sites being run by regular people who just wanted a website. It was ugly sure, but it was full of creativity. If you're in need of an example, go to wiby.me, a search engine for people’s personal websites, and search for a topic you're interested in, I'm sure you'll stumble upon some gems.

 

But having an individual site isn't the norm for many people today. Instead many are reliant on the aforementioned sites to host their content, speech, and conversations for them. This is a problem because now losing access to one site is more than just a mere inconvenience.

 

Imagine if any of these sites were to go down, or if you were banned from one of them. If it were Google, you could effectively lose your family's history of photos. If it were Facebook, it could be your conversations with loved ones. The point is, the damage from losing access is enormously high, and there is no way to get any of your data back. And if you don't keep proper backups, you're really out of luck.

 

The amount of faith and trust that we have in these institutions is incredibly high, and it makes it all the more easy, not to mention tempting, for these companies to blackmail their users. This is why we need to go back to how the web was back in the 90s, back in the "Wild West" era of the internet. Back when things were in our control and not just a handful of executives in Silicon Valley.

 

So please, spend some time to make your own site, it seriously has never been easier. You in essence need three things: a domain, some html documents, and a server to host it on. It's seriously that simple. And most of these are easy to come by as well. If you are in search of a free domain, you can go to 'dot.tk' and register a completely free domain name. If you need more direction than what I've written, there are countless tutorials.

 

So go out there and be creative, and do your due diligence to keep the internet free.

 

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.

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