Legitimising previously underground industries could have long-term negative implications for the participants.
I must admit I struggle with aspects of the 'new economy'.
That's the term I use for some areas of how people are making money off the Internet. Yes, I know that renders judgement on the personal choices of others, but being discerning and exercising judgment is still legal. For now, at least.
It took me a while to accept the legitimacy of the 'influencer'.
They are the men and women who cultivate (or fabricate) an ideal online presence to attract social media followers and sell them things.
It's an entirely make-believe industry where digital filters are used to change your appearance and hired accessories are used as everyday props.
For a few dollars, you can hire a private jet stage to create the ultimate travel experience to share with your fans online.
The millionaire lifestyle can be captured for around $100 an hour.
Ostentatiously displaying what others covet has been the elixir of snake-oil salesmen forever.
And the influencers do it because it continues to be highly profitable.
Those at the top of the game can be paid tens of thousands of dollars (or more) for endorsing a product in a single post.
But it's not only the digitally famous who peddle their influence.