The post-Web Internet: Is this (the future of) television?

Politics & Society
re:publica 2016

Short thesis: 

The demise of hyperlink was caused by the social media and mobile applications. How is this shaping the future of the internet and what is its impact on our societies?


The Web, as envisaged by its inventors, was founded on the idea of Hyperlink. Derived from the notion of hypertext in literary theory, hyperlink is a relation rather than an object. It is a system of connections that connects distant pieces of text, resulting in a non-linear, open, active, decentralized, and diverse space we called the world wide web.

But in the past few years, and with the rise of closed social networks, as well as mobile apps, the hyperlink and thereby the web are in serious trouble. Most social networks have created a closed, linear, centralized, sequential, passive, and homogenous space where users are encouraged to stay in all the time — a space that is more like television.

The web was imagined as an intellectual project that promoted knowledge, debate, and tolerance; as something I call library-internet. Now it has become more about entertainment and commerce; I call this tv-internet. (This is extensively articulated in ‘The Web We Have to Save‘ published in July 2015 by Matter magazine.)

I will discuss the consequences of such shift for the future of the internet, media, and our societies.

Stage 1
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - 11:15 to 11:45


Freelance journalist and media analyst