Reflecting on this year’s Internet Health Report
To watch 2020 unfold on our screens was to watch the best and the worst of the internet amplified tenfold. Those of us fortunate to have access to high quality internet and devices felt the loss of connection to our friends and family and colleagues deeply, but we were able to maintain other kinds of contact. Unlike others who lost access to not only their support network, but to their education or livelihoods, and critical public health information, too.
Every year the Internet Health Report looks at the internet’s vast potential for both good and for harm. It unpacks the ways in which individuals and societies intersect with tech, and asks what can be done to build a healthier internet. For our 2020 Internet Health Report, launched today, we chose to double down on solutions.
Writing the report in the middle of a global pandemic demonstrated with more urgency than ever before that internet health and human health exist in lockstep with each other. And when those with the power to shape the internet choose to ignore its health, it costs us all dearly.
As long as those with the power to make change ignore the systemic racism of software specifically and of the internet more broadly, we cannot begin to build a healthy internet for anyone.
As long as those with the power to make change consider people’s personal lives a reasonable source for profit with no accountability for their practices, we cannot begin to provide the next generation of internet users privacy and safety online.
As long as those with the power to make change accept that decades of hard won labor rights do not apply when work is accessed through a platform, income inequality will continue its stratospheric rise, nor will we be able to adapt workplace safety to the modern era.
What gives me so much hope in this painfully challenging moment is that solutions exist. Large and small. In this year’s report we asked over 100 experts and activists to share their solutions for a healthy internet. They are our north star: the people who are on the ground, fighting for an open, safe, transparent, internet. And it is my hope that those with the power to (re)build the internet start following their lead.
The Internet Health Report isn't the culmination of Mozilla's work — it's the beginning. It's one of the many ways we work toward our mission to fuel the people and ideas and solutions. With our fellowships. With our campaigns. With our research and analysis. With MozFest. And with you.