How much do you know the Hypertext Transfer Protocol? HTTP made the internet a different platform altogether. But, it could be under a new threat. This is the Hyperlink Tax threat.
There are activists who are against this tax, though. Some of them are the Save the Link and OpenMedia campaign. Tim Berners-Lee came up with the original HTTP in 1997. Now we have the one-year-old HTTP/2. It works with all browsers.
The term Hyperlink is easy to understand. Hyper means over. The link is a reference to another point. It could be a web page, program, image or file. When you want to read about something further, you could just click a link to open it in a new window or tab. You can also click to download a file.
How hyperlinks have affected the internet
Hyperlinks have made the internet open and transparent. It contains unique URL strings that identify any type of content. Since Google uses the hypertext structure, it has enabled websites to follow suit.
Hyperlinks are important to bloggers, social media marketers, and other internet users. They help them sell and earn revenues. Internet posts received huge readership just because of the hyperlink system.
Would the internet work without hyperlinks?
YouTube would be so hard to use without direct links. People would use YouTube web interface to locate videos. Bookmarking would be harder than now. A user would have to log in and then add bookmarks to their playlists.
You would not share YouTube videos without a formal agreement with YouTube. If we were to login to enjoy any service, the providers would track, control and restrict us.
The America Online, AOL, contribution
The AOL was a promising company in the nineties. But it wasn’t a supporter of the hyperlinked internet. It made services such as news available only to subscribers. After buying Netscape in 1999, AOL died away. Netscape was in support of open and hyperlinked internet.
Now there is a European threat
The French news outlets and other European channels keep sites from connecting to them. They support content curation and use it as a business model. They see a hyperlink system as a method of abolishing their business model.
So far the European Commission wants you to pay a hyperlink tax. This will happen each time you refer a reader to their site. This is absurd and a complete misunderstanding of what a hyperlink does. It does not plagiarize content; it promotes it.