[off topic] dead internet theory

Alice lia at loveisanalogue.info
Wed Sep 8 07:58:49 BST 2021


In my experience the shift between a user led internet and a tech company led internet happened in the early tennies, linked to the rise of smart phones and social media.

The small web, done by people who are not trying to monetize or self-promote still exists, it's just harder to find because it does not interest search engine and social media algorithms.

The blame doesn't fall entirely on tech companies: the fact that, from early on, people have been unwilling to pay for internet services has played a big role in shaping the internet as we know it now.


On 7 September 2021 23:41:31 BST, marc <marcx2 at welz.org.za> wrote:
>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
>  section.
>- 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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