Gopher is a protocol used for serving up text, graphics, audio, and multimedia to clients. There is no graphical design and this means every page works the same and it doesn’t require any familiarity to move from Gopher hole to Gopher hole. Gopher is simple! Gopher is the perfect replacement for the garbled mess we now call the internet.
Bjorn Karger wrote the Gopher Manifesto on November 16, 2000 and it was Slashdotted on November 23, 2000. His treatise brought to light the fact that Gopher is a viable alternative to a corporate dominated web that has become increasingly commercialized and has lost much of the original spirit of ingenuity and freedom of the early days.
The Modern Internet Is Dying
Today, we have Article 13 in Europe in which all sites must now use content recognition technology to flag any material that resembles copyrighted material. Do you like memes? You won’t be able to post them soon because your videos, text, music, photos, and essentially anything could potentially contain copyrighted material in them and you will be breaking the law for showing them. Made a remix or mix tape? Want to post streaming content on Twitch? You may soon be unable to do so because of these laws being passed.
You can read more about Article 13 thanks to the electronic frontier foundation.
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Will Gopher Make A Come Back?
I believe it will in some ways. As the internet becomes increasingly hostile to content creators I believe we will see a resurgence of Gopher use. I also believe that combining Gopher with Tor could be a viable method to make Tor a worthy privacy enhancing tool again. My ultimate goal however is to get Gopher working with Freenet.