September 10, 2010 – With each new advance in computer technology, it seems to be followed by a malicious exploitation of that particular technology. For example, after email became popular, spammers exploited it for advertising and for fraudulent practices, not to mention using it as an excellent delivery method for computer viruses.  An interesting question was raised about this in’s article, “Will the Semantic Web be the Spamantic Web?

Another example is metadata – it appears in the HTML code of web pages to let website authors provide information about their pages’ content. However, these tags quickly became unreliable, as malicious website owners used them to deceitfully attract Internet users to their sites, and search engines learned quickly to ignore the tags. Is that what the future holds for semantic technology?

For the past ten years, we’ve been told that the next big advance in Internet technology is the semantic web. If history does indeed repeat itself, it seems the semantic web is posed to be exploited maliciously. How do we protect ourselves? Have the designers considered the potential damage that could be done?

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.