This is the first in Cadwalladr's series on the corruption of the internet by bad actors - with advertising dollars lying at the root of the problem. I wonder what those early internet pioneers would say if we went back in time and told then that the internet architecture they were designing would lead to a future in which an advertising company with was THE big winner. Jaron Lanier once told me that they would have laughed in our faces. What has happened is a mistake. As Astra Taylor has pointed out, the internet was supposed to be the "people's platform" - and it has been stolen from us. Our democracy is at risk as well, as techno-utopian libertarian models which would give Ayn Rand a wet dream proliferate.