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How Does WordPress Fit into the Open Web

WordPress makes it easy to create different types of sites, as well as powering over one-third of the top 10 million sites, based on current data. The web just turned the grand old age of 30, which now means that the web is over 30 years old.

So how does WordPress fit into the open web?

The open web is termed as being open and accessible for all people. The Open Web Foundation, which is an independent non-profit organization, is dedicated to the development and protection of open, non-proprietary specifications for web technologies. The World Wide Web Foundation, which was started in 2009 by web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, exists to advance the open web.

WordPress.com heavily enforces takedown requests in relation to DMCA requests. Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has rated WordPress.com very active in relation to digital privacy rights. WordPress.com and Automattic strongly believes in a free and open net, with net neutrality still a hotly discussed topic.

The flip side is that WordPress.org self-hosted sites and WordPress.com blogs can be used for spreading fake news.

Having WordPress be free, open, and committed to free speech means that it allows anyone to express their thoughts and opinions, even if those thoughts and opinions are ones everyone might not agree with.

This quote was taken from an episode of Recode Decode in August 2018 by Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg:

“We’ve always had a robust terms of service team, you know, being something that people publish kind of everything on. We had to develop that very early on. So we’re big supporters of free speech, and WordPress is open source so even if we don’t like you, you can run it someplace else on your own host. But for things that we host and run and provide our kind of company backing to, implicitly through hosting it, we do avoid hate speech, we, you know … egregiously fake or harmful things, we’re pretty good at getting off the system.”

Automattic made changes last year to WordPress.com Policies & Safety > Private Information in relation to a report made last year. Those changes do not effect WordPres.org self-hosted sites.

WordPress can be used for an open web, but it also depends on what your definition is of an open web. WordPress will move forward in being an inclusive and diverse platform for anyone to use, and it can be a force for good as well as force of disinformation by the fact that it is an easy way to manage content and create a site with.

 

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Sebastian Moran on Github
Sebastian Moran
Sebastian Moran is a WordPress performance expert and technical liaison for MainWP.
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