I recently finished the fantastic TV series "Halt and catch fire" (highly recommended) and one sequence struck a chord with what we live in nowadays on the www.
Here's that sequence:
I recall when I was working on my first websites. I was more interested in learning how to write and publish websites, and sharing that knowledge along the way. I wasn't pretending to know, I was only sharing things that I had found working, in the hope of helping the next fellow.
But I believe it all changed with the arrival of social networks.
The arrival of social networks came with a critical component included: followers. With it, you could display your (virtual) success to everyone, showing who was the most popular kid in town.
And just like that, we went from a place where anyone could freely write anything, to a place where everyone started to pretend. They started pretending how great they were on their field. They started pretending how they look. They started pretending how rich they are.
What made the web free in the 90s sense described in the video above was lost to those who fights to be the most popular.