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>It seems to me that the biggest difference is the extent to which the average internet user gets his content from other internet users (reddit, facebook, twitter, etc) instead of designated content creators with reputations to uphold.

This is as old as humanity, and has always been the case for the majority. See the chapter "Social Proof" in the book "Influence":

https://www.amazon.com/Influence-Psychology-Persuasion-Rober...




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