To mark the occasion, Tim Berners-Lee, the man widely credited with inventing the web itself, spoke out about the problems with that model. For starters, while half of the world is online, half of the world is still without access. While the web is technically free, it tracks our every move because advertisers crave surveillance. While platforms like Facebook and Google connect us to friends and information, they control over half the world’s online ad revenue, which means independent media sites must rely on their good graces to stay afloat at all. Thanks to Instagram and Snapchat, #sponcon blurs the line between reality and commercials. Plus, in this ad-driven world, scale is ultimately what matters most, and scale begets scale. Because so much of the web points its way to Amazon affiliate links, it helps the world’s largest online retailer grow even bigger, rather than promoting competition.
In other words,