What is the Importance and Value of the Availability of Information on the Internet?


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Samuel Chiltern answered
The democratic nature of the Internet and the applications which run on top of it, (such as the World Wide Web) are what makes it so important and valuable, to me at least.

Inequality Is Still Prevalent
It may be the case that access to the Internet is not equally distributed across the globe and that the publishing of information is heavily-biased in favour of first-world countries. However, connectivity is growing rapidly, and initiatives to provide universal access are gaining ground.

Low-Cost Marketing
The web presents a distinctive shift from traditional publishing platforms, such as newspapers and television, which require enormous capital to set up, operate and promote.

The viral nature of the web means that original, quality content can reach a large audience rapidly and at little or no cost. This makes it easier for marginalised groups, who may have a valid message that might otherwise have gone unacknowledged, to communicate with a global crowd.

Access for All
Many books, journals, newspapers and teaching resources have been made freely or cheaply available across the web. This means that it's now possible for those in poorer countries to access this wealth of accumulated knowledge easily, and to then use it to improve their own lives. I'm not sure if I could go as far as to say that this helps to alleviate poverty, but it is a step in the right direction.

Globally Available
The distributed nature of the Internet means that resources are always available, wherever there is a data connection. This makes it easy for teams of people who work many miles apart to collaborate on group projects.

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