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Creator of the web never expected it to be used for 'kittens'

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On this date in 1989, Tim Berners-Lee submitted a proposal outlining what would ultimately become the World Wide Web. He took time to reflect on his monumental invention during a Reddit AMA today. "25 years later, I'm amazed to see the many great things it's achieved - transforming the way we talk, share and create," wrote Berners-Lee. Another thing he's amazed to see? "Kittens." That was the answer he provided when asked to name one thing he never envisioned the web being used for. Berners-Lee also said — as he has previously — that he almost called the World Wide Web by another name: the Mine of Information. "None had quite the right ring," Berners-Lee said of the rejected names, which also included The Information Mine and The Mesh.

Jokes aside, the tone of his Q&A session was largely serious and echoed remarks he made on net neutrality earlier in the day. "I want us all to think about its future and ask how we can help make it a truly open, secure and creative platform – available to everyone," he wrote. It didn't take long for the topics of data collection and NSA leaker Edward Snowden to come up. On Snowden, Berners-Lee said, "I think he should be protected, and we should have ways of protecting people like him. Because we can try to design perfect systems of government, and they will never be perfect, and when they fail, then the whistleblower may be all that saves society." But he noted that some aspect of web surveillance may be necessary "to fight crime." When it comes to shaping the future of the web, Berners-Lee says that everyone should make their voice heard and play a role. "It is up to us. It is an artificial creation, as are our laws, and our constitutions."