Sir Tim Berners-Lee has warned that "bad things" could happen if the internet is allowed to develop unchecked.
Berners-Lee is widely acknowledged as being the 'father of the world wide web' for his pioneering work in the early 1990s.
The eminent computer scientist told The Guardian that the internet could turn into a place where "untruths start to spread more than truths, or it becomes a place which is increasingly unfair in some way".
Berners-Lee labelled 'blogging' as one of the most difficult areas currently facing internet development.
"The blogging world works by people reading blogs and linking to them. You are taking suggestions of what you read from people you trust," he said.
"That, if you like, is a very simple system, but in fact the technology must help us express much more complicated feelings about who we will trust with what."
Berners-Lee reiterated these concerns to the BBC. "If we do not have the ability to understand the web as it is now emerging, we will end up with things that are very bad," he told Radio 4's Today programme.
"Certain undemocratic things could emerge, and misinformation will start spreading over the web. Studying these forces, and the way they are affected by the underlying technology, is really important."
Berners-Lee's concerns were aired after he announced the launch of a long-term research collaboration between MIT and the University of Southampton that aims to turn the web itself into a fundamental science.
The Web Science Research Initiative will generate an agenda to understand the scientific, technical and social challenges underlying the growth of the web.
Research will focus on the volume of information on the web which documents more and more aspects of human activity and knowledge.
Discuss Berners-Lee's views on our Forum here.
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