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I figure internet centralization was the cause for all the cultural problems we see today.

AnHero

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I think it's well acknowledged by now that Tumblr and 4chan were the breeding grounds for the respective wings of terminally online unreasonable left and right-wingers through the 2010s. But think about it, would a bunch of teenage girls just be naturally inclined to talking about manspreading and microagressions? Would a bunch of teenage boys just naturally be inclined to talk about racemixing, or the Jews taking over?

I think what happened was a sort of Trojan Horse thing. A teen girl showed up to tumblr to talk about her favourite fandom and write fanfics, and she did, but at the same time was bombarded with posts about Critical Race Theory and Tranny Shit. A teen boy showed up on 4chan to talk about his favourite anime and do some shitposting, and he did, but at the same time was bombarded with posts about Racemixing and Stormfag shit. I'm not really saying any of this was particularly on purpose, (though nowadays they are probably running purposeful psy-ops), I just think it was a negative consequence of everybody letting themselves get filtered onto the same 5 social media site + 4chan.

The thing is, there used to be all sorts of highly specialized websites on the Internet, specifically about one topic, or several, which personally interested the site owner. And the owner of the site could say whatever he wanted on the topic, without fear of censorship, since it was, after all, his own site. There used to be forums all over, about various topics, and all of them had differing standards of moderation, which meant that some of them had biased, power-tripping mods, like on social media, but others had level-headed, rational leadership, which allowed true discussion about controversial topics to thrive. We all know that

This is where 'free speech' on the Internet came from; people setting up their own sites, on which they could post what they wanted. And people surfing the web to find sites that lined up more with their views, where they could speak more easily. This is where 'variety' came from as well, and I think it was variety like this that prevented culture war nonsense from taking root. I mean, would a bunch of young kids on their own little website on some corner of the 'Net be actually interested in talking about the 'great replacement', or 'white imperialism' or 'non-binary identities' or 'degeneracy'? I doubt it. I'm sure it would come up a little bit, but i doubt they would be very autistically focused on it. I like to look at Fanart Central sometimes, (an old art site that got murked when people decided DevianArt would be the default platform, but is still up), and I sort by oldest to see what people were posting in the 2000s, and even when I use by now familiar political buzzwords, I get totally frivolous content, or nothing at all. Basically, with the variety of the older Web, there were 'political-zones' and 'non-political zones' and I don't mean in a way like 'this Discord server doesn't allow politics ' and 'this Discord server does allow politics' but literally whole sites where there might be an apolitical culture, and others where there might be a political culture.

I remember watching this one video about some Harry Potter fanfic writer who raised hell back in the early 00s (this one)

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_DZd78WLQY


And what struck me the most was that there were a number of different websites, each with distinct cultures and allowances, all under the banner of Harry Potter fandom. Some favoured one interpretation on the series and some favoured another. Unfortunately, as the video explains, due to the fact that they were all under the banner of HP fandom, certain people felt it was their duty to 'direct' the fandom in a certain direction so there was a bunch of site vs site drama and weird intrigue. But consider that concept of different sites with different vibes and unmarry it from a particular fandom. Do you think the kind of mass brainwashing that happened on Tumblr or 4chan would have happened if there was such variety in websites as there used to be? I can bet that it wouldn't . Taking Tumblr for example, lets say someone wanted to find somewhere to talk about a certain TV show they liked, so they made an account and hopped on Tumblr. They have a good time, but they keep running into annoying posts from people they follow about how annoying the white characters on the show are, which eventually builds to a point about how white people suck and they should never be happy or whatever. In a world of website variety, this person might decide they're uncomfortable with this sentiment and just fuck off to some other site where discussion is apolitical and strictly about the show they're interested in. But in a world where Tumblr killed myriad dedicated fandom sites (the world we're living in), this person just has to hang around absorbing this toxicity, if they want a place they can discuss fandom at all. Eventually, thanks to associating with such mentalities everyday, they would start to believe them, and spread them as well, continuing the cycle.

What happened though is that everybody decided to board themselves up on giant gated communities, commonly called social media, where, it was decided, they would discuss everything. From profound topics, to the bi-partisan brain fart they spent five seconds thinking about. Normal, moderate people were locked in with partisan psychos and forced to tacitly accept listening to their drivel. People say a lot about how you just have to 'train the algorithm' to keep the bullshit out, but to what end? I can curate my feed for untold lifetimes until it's just music and anime clips, but the minute I watch a video about how Kubrick used perspective in his films, all of a sudden I'm blasted with videos from The Take about how the 'nerd' trope is racist and sexist, or Critical Drinker's 9 millionth video about how woke some new superhero movie is, just because they are all ostensibly talking about movies. I think it would be easier and nicer if all the niches had their own little websites again. It would no longer be a matter of desperately trying to filter out the noise; the noise wouldn't be there to filter out in the first place.
 

WKYK

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this person just has to hang around absorbing this toxicity, if they want a place they can discuss fandom at all.
This line sums it up really well I think. On a more normie scale, it usually comes down to being able to stay in contact with friends. If you don't use instagram, twitter, snapchat, etc. then you're missing out on what your friends are up to, so you feel tied to using these singular apps instead of branching out and creating your own place online. And by staying, it's incentive for others who want to keep up with you to stay on social media, and so everyone stays in the end. It also so happens that all social media platforms don't just let you look at your friends posts but fill your feed with random shit it thinks you'll like, which will likely be politically charged to some degree. Compare this to the alternative where people make their own sites and follow their friends, then they get to choose exactly what content they do and don't want to see instead of subliminally getting convinced a certain political party is out to get them.

But even better, I propose a large man-made EMP bomb that destroys all technology in the world, forcing people to talk to their friends in real life instead of on the computer screen!
 
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4d1

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social media platforms don't just let you look at your friends posts but fill your feed with random shit it thinks you'll like
i mean some like instagram or twitter have got a "following" tab where you can see only people you follow, but admittedly its only really visible and works well on twitter. instagram has it buried under a menu toggle that most normies wouldn't know of where the logo is on the home feed, and it always boots you back to the algorithmic one after a while or if you want to see stories or dms

the thing is you can't realistically expect these corpos to make better social media, because like cigarette companies, they get more if you are addicted to the toxicity and scrolling and arguing and thirst-traps, because you stay for longer and see more ads. the whole profit-thing is the issue, and it has pidgeon-holed social interaction into yet another money machine. they literally own you and your friend groups and your interests now.

In a world of website variety, this person might decide they're uncomfortable with this sentiment and just fuck off to some other site where discussion is apolitical and strictly about the show they're interested in.
and the worst part is, because the majority of normies were never aware of this (zoomers) they think that's all the internet is. profit incentivised social groups that they dont even realise are for profit, and think are some cool app that magically works when they connect to wifi

it's why i like here. it's a chill vibe with other people of similar sentiments, with a focus on discussion and actual interaction rather than aimless consumption and no real issues because no normies bother looking for places like this let alone know.
 
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wot

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Yeah, I really miss how there was a barrier between not only schizos (no matter which way they leaned) and nerds, but also between nerds and ordinary people. The first barrier was thanks to all the crazies being confined to their own little sites, where they never had any chance to influence the rest of the internet. The only way anyone learned of their existence is when someone else would stumble upon it and go "lol dude you see these people?", the closest they got to legit interaction is when outsiders would go there to troll them. The second barrier was thanks to regular people never wandering outside the likes of Myspace and Facebook.

So basically, the nutjobs stayed in their containment zones and spewed their harebrained ideas, the normies stayed in their containment zones and parroted whatever was on the news that week, and the rest of us got to run free. Talk about our favorite things, make friends, create stuff, get a load off from work/school, be comfy. It's not to say nobody held opinions, but people either kept it to themselves or at least didn't start fights or ban people over disagreements (and if they did, everyone mocked them).

At first I thought that we could solve that if by some miracle we returned to decentralization, but so many people have had their brains poisoned by ideologies that we might not be getting that comfiness back. At least not for a long time. Maybe our chances would be better if we got people back onto forums instead of the federated social media (Fediverse, Lemmy) that's been growing lately. At least on forums, you don't have to worry about your voice getting drowned out because you don't have many followers to see/share what you posted, or because you didn't pander to the crowd to get enough upvotes. But there's still power-tripping mods to contend with, and with everyone being ideologically-motivated now, there's going to be way more of those than there were in the old days. Just look at what few forums exist today, almost all of them are like this.
 
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Regal

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The only thing I have to muse on here is that you don't really know who you are or what(/why) you believe until you're like 30+. This is relevant because these spaces were overwhelmingly dominated by people less than 30 years old. The blind leading the blind. And then you have a very similar problem with the 50+ crowd who didn't grow up on the internet, they think it is real (and/or srs bsns), and then in turn also develop into the blind leading the blind problem. That leaves a very small population of people on the internet with any clear view of what's happening, but they are simply outnumbered or taking advantage of all these blind sheep (ie grifters).
 

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The only thing I have to muse on here is that you don't really know who you are or what(/why) you believe until you're like 30+. This is relevant because these spaces were overwhelmingly dominated by people less than 30 years old. The blind leading the blind. And then you have a very similar problem with the 50+ crowd who didn't grow up on the internet, they think it is real (and/or srs bsns), and then in turn also develop into the blind leading the blind problem. That leaves a very small population of people on the internet with any clear view of what's happening, but they are simply outnumbered or taking advantage of all these blind sheep (ie grifters).


Good evening sir, I'm calling to inform you that the internet is, in fact, srs bsns.
 
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AnHero

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Personally I just assume everything people say on the Internet is a joke until proven otherwise. Keeps me from spending too much time engaging with schizoposts.

Speaking of which, how come some people take everything said online at face value? I've baited people for hours by saying patently outrageous shit, and they kept biting.
 

shinobu

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Unfortunately, as the video explains, due to the fact that they were all under the banner of HP fandom, certain people felt it was their duty to 'direct' the fandom in a certain direction so there was a bunch of site vs site drama and weird intrigue.
I hate this kind of "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" stuff. Some people get too invested into a community. The latest example is the Yesterweb imploding because someone basically convinced the higher ups to try to go from the original idea to trying to educate their users on some kind of neomarxist web ideology (I have no clue about politics so I didn't really get it beyond reading the Wikipedia page of marxism), and then they shut down.

The thing is, there used to be all sorts of highly specialized websites on the Internet, specifically about one topic, or several, which personally interested the site owner. And the owner of the site could say whatever he wanted on the topic, without fear of censorship, since it was, after all, his own site. There used to be forums all over, about various topics, and all of them had differing standards of moderation, which meant that some of them had biased, power-tripping mods, like on social media, but others had level-headed, rational leadership, which allowed true discussion about controversial topics to thrive. We all know that
There was even more than just this. There were different expectations for how the web could be used. By this I mean there was a lot more cross-site interaction. The little banners in your forum or your website linked to game trackers or imood.com. There were webcliques and fanlistings and webrings. It really felt like everything was a big sprawling hypertext jungle.
 
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Skookumsquitch

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If we stripped modern internet and left in a state pretty well like Wikipedia is, the world would be a much, much happier (although different) place, methinks.
Granted, this would eventually lead to a myriad of other problems. Utopia is a lie, the universe is a hologramme, buy gold, bye.
internet GIF
 
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punishedgnome

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Things were headed this way in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union, but the 9/11 attacks knocked things backwards and made society more conservative in the early 2000s. I think what you're seeing is the natural progression of a society where no real threat of violence is present and most people's material needs are being met for better or for worse.

If terrorists are blowing up the local Wal-Mart with rocket propelled grenades, people forget about being gender fluid pretty fucking fast.
 
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If terrorists are blowing up the local Wal-Mart with rocket propelled grenades, people forget about being gender fluid pretty fucking fast.
you say, this is what happened in 9/11 and we, else, had to head that future (safe for utopia ofc) - but there would be other problems, - as always...?
 
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punishedgnome

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you say, this is what happened in 9/11 and we, else, had to head that future (safe for utopia ofc) - but there would be other problems, - as always...?
It's not just that 9/11 was a problem, it's that it scared everybody shitless and people thought their life was in immediate danger and wanted big strong men to save them from the terrorists. Many contemporary thinkers viewed the 1990s as the end of history and the beginning of the inevitable worldwide takeover of liberal democracy. The 9/11 attacks shattered that theroy much in the same way recent inflation shattered many notions of Modern Monetary Theory people held after the Great Recession. I think most people in the Western World, even if they believe in climate change, do not seriously believe there is any kind of immediate violent threat to their person.
 
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climate change
i wonder - we know about it at least from 60s, and it was force-feeded in schools since 70s- mid 90s, that we will all gonna die, starve, live in :TM: WaterWorld or Sahara...
like, nothing much happened, only in mid 00s it became "normalized" consensus, but since then, only now there is some mass action (not talking about ozone and 80s Montreal treaty now), like and it is mostly EU, - with those e-cars, no planes intercountry and no cars in city centers (and shitty parking politics)... which is straight foward somewhat retarded (as you said: ) [*bold = quote* ^>]

it's that it scared everybody shitless and people thought their life was in immediate danger and wanted big strong men to save them from the terrorists (pick your spook)

...
 
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stonehead

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It also so happens that all social media platforms don't just let you look at your friends posts but fill your feed with random shit it thinks you'll like, which will likely be politically charged to some degree.
I think this is the problem exactly. Sometimes I talk to my more normie friends about Twitter, and they often say that it's not all bad, and you can just only follow the people you like. But no! That's not true. "The Algorithm" will show you a bunch of toxic drama and celebrity gossip regardless of who you follow. It's not just the culture that's a problem, it's the very software itself. I hate it. That kind of monolithic feed is the exact reason why I stopped using social media.

I mean, say what you will about >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk and Tumblr (I think), at least they don't show you content from places you don't follow or subscribe to. I'm still not going to use them, they deserve some credit for having options to show you the content you want, in chronological order.



@AnHero 's larger point is interesting, but I don't really know enough about the political climate (neither now, nor during the oldweb) to take a hard stance on it.
 

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