When Sir Tim Berners-Lee designed the World Wide Web in March 1989, he did so in the belief that what he was creating should be open, free and accessible to all. Since then, the “Open Web” has come to be controlled by a small group of giant tech corporations.
Movement for an Open Web is determined to restore that creation, to reassert the principle of a truly open web. We believe it must be a decentralised, standards-based environment, enabling a diverse and competitive online ecosystem. As such, interoperability is vital to the functioning and development of a free and competitive media and online economy.
It should not be under the control of a single body or group of bodies. It should not be subject to the control of anyone.
Unfortunately, “big tech”, principally Google but also others, have been able to dominate the Open Web for their own commercial ends. Their power is increasing, not reducing, and as their economic might grows so does their influence and ability to stifle competition. Interference with the ability to communicate or rely on business partners is detrimental to the wider society and threatens the future prosperity and existence of the free press, digital media, online security, advertising, marketing and other businesses.
Formed originally as Marketers for an Open Web in October 2020 as a campaigning coalition of digital marketing businesses, the organisation has attracted interest and applications from a wide variety of enterprises concerned at the ever-tightening grip of a few global tech corporations. So, Marketers for an Open Web evolved and changed its name to Movement for an Open Web or MOW.
MOW is fighting to ensure a level and fair playing field. Where we see developments that tilt the balance in favour of one or a small group of companies we will draw them to the attention of the public, media, opinion-formers, regulators and policy-makers, and push for intervention. We do not do this out of any malice towards Google or any other tech corporation, but from the straightforward desire to protect and foster the Open Web.