Mozilla Looks Into Health of Internet
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Mozilla has released The Internet Health Report v.0.1 covering five key topics: decentralization, digital inclusion, open innovation, privacy and security, and web literacy. It marks the start of an open-source initiative to document the state of the internet.


moz healthbanner


Mozilla’s goal is to start a constructive discussion about the health of the internet and it has provided fuel for the debate by publishing a 40-page report collating research and statistics from multiple sources that reveals what is currently healthy and unhealthy.

Introducing the report Mozilla (or moz://a as it now styles itself after a rebranding exercise that has banished its Godzilla-derived monster) states:

The Internet is an ecosystem. A living entity that billions of people depend on for knowledge, livelihood, self-expression, love…. The health of this system relies on – and influences – everyone it touches. Signs of poor health in any part impacts the whole. We’re all connected.

This initial version, which is provided as a pdf as well as on its own dedicated website, is described as:

[A] prototype – a snapshot of a moment in time in the life of the Internet – [which] identifies five health markers that we believe are worth paying attention to and offers an initial prognosis for each.

The introduction concludes:

Together, we’ll strengthen this living document into an annual report on Internet health. In the months ahead, we’ll facilitate a gathering of community to collaborate on ideas, research, and ways to measure. This will influence version 1.0 of the report, to be released in late 2017. We hope that it will inspire worldwide action toward an internet that grows healthier as it grows.

The five topics and their fundamental questions are:

  • Open innovation
       How open is it?

  • Digital inclusion
      Who is welcome online?

  • Decentralization
      Who controls the Internet?

  • Privacy and security
      Is it safe and secure?

  • Web literacy
      Who can succeed online?

Among the healthy findings, Mozilla points out that over three billion people online commenting:

There are now more Internet users in emerging economies than in developed economies, which is a big step towards increasing the diversity of voices online. That’s worth celebrating. Mobile phones have put the Internet within reach of more young people, women and rural areas than ever before.

The unhealthy corollary is that half of the world's population is still offline and that mobile-only access limits what people can do online:

moz halfoffline(click in image to enlarge) 

Another barrier to inclusion is the fact that most languages are underrepresented on the web. Among the headline facts presented are that 52% of all websites are in English, even though only 25% of the global population understands English and that while Chinese is the second biggest language on the Internet in terms of users, but only 2% of Web content is in Chinese. Compare the size of the yellow circles - percentage of internet content - with that of the blue circles - percentage of internet users for the top 9 languages on the Web:


(click in image to enlarge) 

In addition to charts, many of them maps which show where around the globe the situation is healthy and unhealthy, there are also "featured stories" addressing each of the issues. This means that the report offers a good deal of interesting reading that invites response and is a call to action.

The report includes its own timetable, indicating that that Version 1.0 will be published at the end of the year and that it is seen as an ongoing annual exercise: 

moz health roadmap

Feedback is important for the success of this initiative  You can comment via the website and sign up to receive email updates and the report encourages readers to email its editor Solana Larsen. 


moz helathsq


More Information

Internet Health Report v.0.1 website

Internet Health Report v.0.1 (pdf)

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 January 2017 )