Sometimes, it’s obvious from the get-go that a moment in tech history is . . . well, historic. Other times, it’s clear only in the fullness of time. Yet another type of historic moment flies largely under the radar, shaping our lives more than most people ever realize.
As Fast Company celebrates our 25th anniversary, we’ve compiled a list of 25 moments that have defined the tech industry since our first issue hit the stands with a cover date of November 1995. (These calls are tough to make, so we also picked 10 runners-up.) For better or worse—and sometimes both at the same time—these events have had lasting impact. If there’s some alternate universe where they never happened, it’s a different place indeed.
1. Section 230 plants social media seeds
Brought into law alongside the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Section 230 of the Communications Act says that online services can’t be sued for their users’ content. While it predated YouTube and Facebook by nearly a…