Lisbon — On Monday, the inventor of the world wide web called for a “contract” to make the internet safe and accessible for everyone as Europe’s largest tech event began in Lisbon amid a backlash over its role in spreading “fake news”. About 70,000 people are expected to take part in the four-day Web Summit, dubbed “the Davos for geeks”, including speakers from leading global tech companies, politicians and start-ups hoping to attract attention from the more than 1,500 investors scheduled to attend. Tech firms now find themselves on the defensive, with critics accusing them of not doing enough to curb the spread of “fake news”, which has helped polarise election campaigns around the world and of maximising profits by harvesting data on consumers’ browsing habits. British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, who, in 1989 invented the world wide web as a way to exchange information, said the internet had deviated from the goals its founders had envisaged. “All kinds of things have gone...

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