AMP Letter

The openness of the world wide web has been formative to my career, my ability to express myself and my insights about the world around me. Aware of how seminal the Internet can be in stimulating equality I am committed to combat any threat to this crucial openness. As an advocate of responsible innovation I will call out sources of power when they subtract from the equality of the web.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is one such power source.

The search engine Google is without a doubt the most powerful and important gateway to open information in the world today. Their control over what we see and what we do not see is in itself alarming. When they misuse this power the world needs to pay attention.

Here is how Google’s way of handling AMP is a problem:

  • It applies a policy of favouritism by displaying AMP-enabled websites more prominently than others simply on this very premise, that they are AMP-enabled.
  • By promoting AMP-enabled websites Google are effectively maintaining a gated community of content that keeps users within the Google ecosystem.

This is not about shutting down AMP. This is about opposing preferential treatment for the wrong reasons, a practice that must be minimized in a gateway to public knowledge. The web must be more than Google. For this reason I have signed A letter about Google AMP, where you may read more about the issue and the alternative approach proposed by professional contributors in the web community.

Per Axbom

Per Axbom

@axbom

Per Axbom is a Swedish communication theorist born in Liberia. For two decades he has educated digital professionals and helped organizations with digital usability and accessibility. Per makes tech safe and compassionate through reflective reasoning, human-considerate design, coaching and teaching. You can hear his voice on UX Podcast.

Digital compassion book cover Per's recent handbook on managing ethics in tech, Digital compassion, is available to order from Amazon in Kindle format. Send an e-mail to Per for more options.

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