Fragile Internet Kept Intact by "Random Acts of Kindness"

Maximum PC Staff

According to a recent presentation by Harvard’s Jonathan Zittrain, the Internet’s delicate and vulnerable nature is held together by random acts of kindness.

As a key example, he cited when Pakistan’s government took YouTube offline in 2008. It wasn’t long before it was back, thanks to a largely unknown, unpaid and unauthorized team of volunteers. “It's like when the Bat signal goes up and Batman answers the call,” said Professor Zittrain.

The same social structure of those helping without any intention of compensation is clear on Wikipedia. “It's like dark matter in the universe. There's a lot of it, you don't see it but it has a huge impact on the physics of the place.”

Image Credit: BBC

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