TLDR: The dark web is commonly associated with ALL Tor users, associating them with criminals. We need to bring awareness to this misconception by shedding light on Tor.
Hey r/privacy! I own a privacy/security-based YouTube (and DTube) channel where I try to spread good information on methods to improve user’s habits to better improve their digital life.
A comment which consistently pops up is a user asking (or telling) me if (that) what I do is wrong, and it’s being used by criminals around the world to fuel the dark web. When I try to explain to these users that Tor isn’t intended to be used by criminals, and how it’s an extremely important tool for people who care about protecting their digital privacy…they typically refuse to listen and simply state stats about how many CP images were shared in 2016, or how many credit cards were shared, etc…
To each of these users, I have begun asking them to email me some basic information about their personal lives, since this is the same information they hand over to companies on the daily. Not ONE person has sent it to me, but this has failed to make ONE person change their opinion on the “Dark Web” and why personal privacy is important. As effective as this seems to us, it doesn’t seem to impact disbelievers…
The problem with the Dark Web is it is 99/100 times associated with illegal activities. The name in itself implies fear, and we’ve come to accept the scary stories which have risen from this mysterious side of the internet.
We NEED to educate people on this topic if we hope to work towards a more private digital world… People need to understand: 1. Using Tor DOES NOT mean you’re on the dark web. 2. The Dark Web is NOT solely used for illegal activities, and it’s a very important tool used by advocates around the world. 3. The Dark Web IS NOT the Deep Web. People are unaware they are accessing the deep web everyday.
Once people understand these three key points, they may discover that this “Dark Web” isn’t quite as scary and dark as people make it seem.
An idea I had in order to put this side of the internet in a better light is by renaming it…to the “Private Web”. If we start calling this side of the internet the Private Web, we are accurately portraying the purpose this side of the internet gives its users.
I’m not sure if renaming something can make a huge difference, but I do believe that the misconceptions behind the Dark Web are a huge roadblock in our future goals towards a fully private world. I’d love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to comment anything you have to say 🙂
Let’s fight for the Private Web!
Edit- A certain user reminded me to include use-cases for Tor…here’s an excellent reference from the official website: https://www.torproject.org/about/torusers.html.en