[off topic] dead internet theory

marc marcx2 at welz.org.za
Tue Sep 7 23:41:31 BST 2021


I came across this, err, rather creative line of
reasoning at




Maybe start with the second link, especially if you are easily
weirded out.

I suppose not everybody has an appetite for this topic,
given that wild fringe theories are by definition by and
for outsiders...

But I don't think it is necessary to believe it - it
remains a useful story regardless - something like a
fable (you know, like the one involving the
fox, the raven and the grapes - the one that gives
us the concept "sour grapes").

Here the useful observation is that the internet (or
at least the shallow web) has changed, and not
only in obvious technological ways, but also in
the way people interact with it - that people
are now holding back from posting longer, thoughtful
ideas, and that what is put on line is more "staged",
"click-baity" and "recycled". Famously the top N
subreddits are all managed by the same pool of moderators...

So it would be neat to hear from people here
if you also think the web has (almost) emptied of
real conversations with real people and what 
explanations you might have for it.
I can come up with some:

- That enthusiasm just wanes as the internet is no
  longer something new and people just get older...

- That saying something controversial (nevermind
  offensive) online now has real-life consequences
  and sometimes completely disproportionate ones

- That the effort to monetise or content-pad
  a site means that the same bland tips, jokes
  or memes are recycled

- That SEO has elbowed the small, personal site out of 
  the way, and the spammers have poison the its comments

- That the internet has turned ever more into TV, and
  people have turned into passive consumers, the kind
  that the content industry wants 

- That the real humans have just disappeared
  (I want to say raptured :-) into the nooks and crannies
  of the internet, including mailing lists and... gemini 
  capsules ? 
- And, just maybe, there is a better internet that  
  we don't know about, because it has a rule that you 
  don't talk about it



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