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grubbyfox
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« on: March 19, 2024 @352.52 »

Maybe some of you already know about the theory that the internet consists of a big load of fake accounts, bots, etc. What are your thoughts about it? Have you seen it in action?

I also came across this video about a week ago - about how Reddit accidentally showed that a lot of "users" are from an air force base. (You can still look at it at the Wayback Machine to verify yourself! I did, lol. Dont even trust whistleblowers, haha.)

REDDIT IS A PSY-OP - >

Invidious link if you dont like going directly to Youtube

[8 minute video. Imo some of the music is a bit too loud in the video, but I forgave it because the content is just mind blowing imo]


I also saw a pretty good video about the dead internet theory yesterday.

Dead Internet Theory - Youtube

Dead Internet Theory - Invidious

[35 minute video so you gotta have some time to kill]

Of course, a lot of bots/automated stuff online isn't all bad. Web crawlers to save websites, some have some function and just do their thing. What really grinds my gears tho, is how there are armies of bots (and people) trying to change a narrative. It's scary as hell!

They touch upon that in the Reddit is a Psy-Op video I linked, but they also mentioned it in the Dead Internet Theory video


I dont really use Reddit actively, so I've not seen it in action, but now that I think about it, it honestly is just a non stop repeat of garbage. On larger subs mainly. Like the AskReddit etc, just the same questions over and over endlessly.
But I know in some smaller subs, someone pointed out that there were "karma farming bots" that would now and again just keep repeating some stupid meme over and over. Just re-posting the same exact meme every few week with a new account. Back then I just assumed it was people who saw a picture and wanted some karma and posted it, thinking it wasn't posted before. But now I dont know anymore.

The reddit bots video really threw me off. I had no idea about that, and now I dont trust any of the larger subs, haha.

I remember this was a huge thing on Twitter some time ago, literal bots with fake pics, fake profiles, fake tweets etc, just en masse commenting, arguing etc. You could usually tell by their username cause it was always SomeWOrdOrName+StringofNumbers.

Every time someone tweeted something (Like a certain president etc), there would be masses of these bots in the replies!

Anyway, I'm rambling. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. The "Psy-op" at Reddit was crazy, lol.  :omg:
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2024 @508.96 »

Some parts of the "Dead Internet theory" are accurate. There are definitely a lot of bots across many spaces of the Internet nowadays and its becoming more prevalent. However some parts of it are also a bit out there imo lol
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2024 @525.27 »

there is definitely a lot of prevalance to this theory, especially if you are just looking at social media. i myself haven't seen many bots online, mainly because i don't use social media except for discord to talk with my friends, but there is a bit of credence to it from what i've seen.

however, the internet is tremendously large, and for the internet to be dead there would have to be way more bots in these spaces, which i think right now is not true, and there would have to be a total lack of actual human creation. with the hundreds of thousands of websites online, including communities such as the indie web, and the millions of users on mainstream social media, that won't be the case for quite some time.

you could definitely say that a lot of social media (and to an extent the modern web itself) is dead, or at least looks dead, but the internet itself being dead is an over-exaggeration.
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2024 @641.93 »

Yeah I think this is one of those things that maybe has a kernel of truth but people kind of take it to the extreme. Like sure Reddit has a lot of bots, and it would be great if there was like a Firefox Add-On to detect them, but I think there are plenty of real people on Reddit as well.
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2024 @651.33 »

I believe it somewhat too; you're the most safe when you stay in vetted forums like this one, chat servers with a small group of friends, etc.

But increasingly when you use search engines, see threads on websites where it is easy to sign up or circumvent bot measures, it's become very evident. Most search results I get on Google now, and some on DDG, are bot sites that make no sense. Even for recipes now, or knowing what features a game has.Even the sites that used to be more reputable increasingly publish unvetted AI articles, and you can tell the in-humanness in it with their weird wording.

When you google symptoms of a disease (I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease a few days ago) you now get medical diagrams or schematics about body parts in the Image tab that completely mismatch the parts of the body or write them wrong (like calling the mouth a mound, or something like that).

YouTube is in my opinion the worst offender.
I recently googled a specific type of news, and the Video section in the search engine was full of bot videos hosted on YT about this event that each had the same topic-fitting thumbnail and title to be found, but was actually just bullshit. If you are not just watching extremely successful YouTubers that have very active comment sections by real people voting with likes pushing the real posts up, you can see a massive amount of bot comments.

It has evolved from the usual easy to spot spam about sexual things or winning an iPhone to trying to comment on the video content or creator themselves, and it looks way more real thanks to advanced AI. I think it's easy to spot AI wording on a longer text, but if it's just "She is so strong and brave for this!" (this is the one I see most often) you can hardly tell. I can only tell because it will be 5-10 bots saying this under the same small creator video that doesn't have too many comments.

Then the profile icons or names give it away for now, but that's getting better too. Even I recently "fell for" a comment I thought was done by the creator underneath their own video until I realized it lacked the checkmark. But thanks to replacing letters that look similar, among other tricks, they can now /visually/ have the exact same username as the original creator and lead people to weird links or say weird stuff to fans.

So I kinda support that theory, and it will get worse and worse the more accessible and easy to use AI is, and harder to detect the better it gets. I would never assume at this point that an article I read that I found in a search engine, a comment in a Reddit thread, a YT comment etc. was made by a human; basically, bot until proven otherwise.
Videos already get successfully uploaded by bots, and soon I think we will see some of the successful creators attempt to save time and money by training a video AI on all their video backlog and just use that instead. How much that counts as bot or dead is up to personal interpretation I guess, but to me it's definitely not good that I can watch a YouTuber do something they never actually did, like an entire video. It's content, but still dead, kinda.

It's actually wild: we had a time where the internet seemed kinda dead outside of the big social media sites and popular venues to most people; but now with more and more people leaving the bigger things to have no online presence entirely or to opt for own websites or smaller spaces like forums, alternatives like mastodon or cohost etc. while the big places get overrun by bots and ads, it actually feels more dead there now and more alive anywhere else.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2024 @661.26 by shevek » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2024 @850.21 »

i would agree that there are definitely merits to this theory but a handful of people do take it to the extreme. some people act like no one they interact with is real or it's like a 50/50 chance. at that point to me it sounds like they have more of a delusion or disconnect from reality than simply being aware that there is a major bot/auto content problem
« Last Edit: March 19, 2024 @852.27 by halcybutton » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2024 @5.43 »

Oh yes, I should mention, I dont believe the "internet is dead" theory is really true - or that it actually means the internet is dead and only run by bots, but I think the "dead internet theory" has a misleading name. Because it doesn't really describe the issue, the symptoms or the results, imo. All platforms are full of real people, even reddit (lol).

But the internet is def being overrun by bots, bots creating bots, farms creating bots creating bots, etc. Every day prob thousands of fake users are being created on reddit, youtube, twitter, etc, just nonsense bots being auto-created, or something created with a mission (misleading info, malicious info etc. i'll get into that.) AI generated profile pics (this person doesnt exist), random ass usernames + string of numbers, random bio, emojis, random posts, etc.

even some of the smaller subreddits ive been on have had users point out fake users, users that simply go copy-paste posts that are like 6 months old or something, and re-post, over and over. Bogging down the feeds with crud.
Yes some of it is just pure crud, just scroll past it, no biggie.
Some is there to misinform and change public opinion about something.

Like in the video I posted, you go on a subreddit and suddenly everyone flames you for being wrong about a topic you thought you were right about. Who's to say what's wrong or right when there's thousands of people downvoting you for being "wrong" ?

There are also "rage baits" - fake accounts who make posts that are just rage bait, meant to make you doomscroll, ragescroll, etc. Meant to sway your opinion about something. This is how propaganda works.

I work at a hotel, and we use online booking portals, and let me tell you. There are literal "farms" (troll farms) out there, who for the last few years have been spewing out bots and stuff relentless.

They sit, non stop, and make fake accounts on booking portals, these accounts make fake reservations, using fake names, fake emails, fake numbers, they post a fake message with the reservation, in order to "trick" us into being phished or something (asking us to use whatsapp etc).

They also send out fake emails that do not get flagged by spam, emails with fake reservations, or emails that are supposed to look like they are official booking portal emails (support). This is going on non stop, for years. For every single company using these huge booking portals that everyone knows of and uses. I wont say which country, but we know all these fake reservatoins come from the same country, because the portal registers which country the reservation originates from, even if they try to spoof the country of the "guest".

So you can imagine the endless traffic of this, to prob several hundred thousand hotels, if not more, every day, for years.
I think the first time we encountered this was in 2020, and then, let's just say it ramped up significantly in 2022.

Why do you think this goes on? Well, who knows. We know that for some of this, this country obviously wants their fingers deep into our hotel systems, because they really want to phish us in some way.

Anyway that was a slight tangent, but it's related to how bots, bot farms, fake users etc are out there trying to sway the public.

The fact that the air force base (where they deal with cyber related stuff) had thousands of "users" on Reddit is just... alarming. It means they are actively using sites like Reddit to gauge public opinion, maybe sway it in some way, etc.

I dont really care that there are automated bots/random "spam bots" out and about. I'm talking the bigger picture. The fact that ChatGTP for example can write full AITA posts, (if it can write it, it can post it), and it can be used to sway/as propaganda/with malicious intent. Because there will be bots saying "Not the AH" for example until everyone agrees that the sky is green and hot is cold, etc.
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2024 @64.04 »

I dont really care that there are automated bots/random "spam bots" out and about. I'm talking the bigger picture. The fact that ChatGTP for example can write full AITA posts, (if it can write it, it can post it), and it can be used to sway/as propaganda/with malicious intent. Because there will be bots saying "Not the AH" for example until everyone agrees that the sky is green and hot is cold, etc.

I think that stuff like this is why I dont like the whole dead internet theory. I dont really agree with how you talk about this, and Im surprised people even give it so much credibility considering it comes from places like 4-chan. This whole dead internet theory feels more like some kind of pipeline to try and radicalize people, and the theory reminds me of those people who say "the world will end on (this and that day)" and it never ends on that day.
One post on another site about the "dead internet theory" from around 2020 blames trans people as being part of why the internet is dead. So i really think that people should not follow this theory or at least the whole theory.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2024 @67.51 by DiffydaDude » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2024 @209.56 »

I wouldn't say this theory can really be applied to social media, but the amount of websites i've seen that clearly are just a slightly tweaked template and simply parrot other websites is worrying to me, they just feel so fake and inorganic that you can't help but assume that it's run by some sort of bot.
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2024 @386.40 »

I think that stuff like this is why I dont like the whole dead internet theory. I dont really agree with how you talk about this, and Im surprised people even give it so much credibility considering it comes from places like 4-chan. This whole dead internet theory feels more like some kind of pipeline to try and radicalize people, and the theory reminds me of those people who say "the world will end on (this and that day)" and it never ends on that day.
One post on another site about the "dead internet theory" from around 2020 blames trans people as being part of why the internet is dead. So i really think that people should not follow this theory or at least the whole theory.

How do you feel it's radicalizing? I feel its anti-radicalizing for me? As in, "you should know that a lot of things are constructed rage bait to fuel hateful fire". Fake accounts spewing untrue hate, etc. Catching bots/fake accounts in lies/bait etc is for me the point in the "dead internet theory" (which again has a very misleading name but it is what it is). I dont really know what post you're talking about that blames trans people for internet being dead? I cant even grasp how that would work, lol. And I've never heard that in a discussion about bots overrunning the internet either.


I wouldn't say this theory can really be applied to social media, but the amount of websites i've seen that clearly are just a slightly tweaked template and simply parrot other websites is worrying to me, they just feel so fake and inorganic that you can't help but assume that it's run by some sort of bot.

Oh yes, I think someone further up here mentioned "bogus" websites that seem to be just a carbon copy of other website templates. Probably all ai-generated to some extent!

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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2024 @499.41 »

I dont really agree with how you talk about this, and Im surprised people even give it so much credibility considering it comes from places like 4-chan.
I think this is a common but immature view to have to dismiss theories and ideas based on where they come from without engaging with them on a deeper level and finding counterarguments there. I sincerely hope that people will one day grow out of this habit that they've internalized from Tumblr and Twitter discourse.

_____

There is a lot that can make the internet feel dead and potentially become a bit dead that isn't necessarily tied to outright bots engaging directly with you in higher numbers than humans (in secret or in an obvious way), if this is what people get hung up about.

There's the issue of accessibility and usability - ads and stories and reels everywhere that annoy people out of using apps or drown out the content by them and their friends and family. They have trouble keeping up with the people they follow because of algorithms. If the core intention for the app doesn't work anymore, more people are likely to drop it. There's also the issue of font size, flashing, triggering topics, outrage, autoplay, sudden screaming or other extreme noises in ads etc. that drive people off of medias.
On the other side, many people stop logging in or delete their accounts because their posts get zero engagement. It makes people lose the will to post, so you will see less of them. In the same vein, online harassment is always rising. More and more people return to being anonymous or having no accounts, not sharing their face or personal details because of fear of doxxing, AI generated images with their face, people making fun of them or insulting them or their post going viral unintentionally, causing them anxiety. Many people immediately stop posting, go private or delete the account when that happens because they cannot handle it. Even if it's just temporary, it can take a while for people to even remake or reopen the account and start posting again, some I guess never do.
There's also a rising group of people who are tired of the privacy concerns and their data being sold, so they also stop or go into more niche online places.
Finally, the research you can do online is becoming more and more unreliable or useless in regards to news, products, health, reviews, even recipes etc. so people have even less use for the internet now or return to other sources that are more credible but also usually need more energy and effort to access. People even have complained about Pinterest becoming useless to them because the furniture inspo they were going for is all now full of AI generated inspo that has mistakes and doesn't work in real life.

Now a bit more out there: if we wanted to go so far, we could even talk about the fact that content on YouTube especially is getting more and more homogenous due to capitalist and algorithmic reasons for years now, where now there's a topic each week every popular YouTuber will cover in the same way, showing the same TikToks and saying the same things. One week it will be Willy Wonka Experience, the next it is Stanley Cups, and we're currently onto Tradwives; the only difference is the mug staring into the camera that will also promote a sponsor that they don't actually use the product of most of the time. It feels completely and utterly optimized and devoid of personality, SEO'd to death, and there was a great piece recently by Polygon titled "The end of the Mr. Beast era" (I don't agree with that assessment) detailing a bit more how this era of content creation came to be. The point is, even when it is not made by bots, it can feel botlike and can contribute to the isolating feeling online that you are alone, even if you aren't, because the content of other people like YouTubers and Insta influencers is completely unrelatable to you and lacks humanity in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.

So if posting is dangerous or doesn't get seen, the use of the sites or apps is a hassle, and the resources you have come to the internet for are increasingly being tainted and unusable plus the people on there seem fake, there will be more movement away from that and less humans visible, even when they lurk. The internet cannot be just dead because no one real posts there anymore (I think spaces like this one will always be around, but are hard to be found), it can also be or feel dead when a significant* chunk of it is not usable or worth it to the general public. There undeniably is a general trend in the popular internet sites becoming user hostile while also becoming AI friendly to market to companies and internet stars to "automate and simplify their processes with AI", and this will have consequences.

All of these affect humans, but not bots, so the bots will keep posting. Even if the number of bots would stay stagnant, the human number has the potential to drop and therefore worsen the problem.

*edited typo
« Last Edit: March 20, 2024 @652.07 by shevek » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2024 @543.48 »

I think this is a common but immature view to have to dismiss theories and ideas based on where they come from without engaging with them on a deeper level and finding counterarguments there. I sincerely hope that people will one day grow out of this habit that they've internalized from Tumblr and Twitter discourse.

_____

There is a lot that can make the internet feel dead and potentially become a bit dead that isn't necessarily tied to outright bots engaging directly with you in higher numbers than humans (in secret or in an obvious way), if this is what people get hung up about.

There's the issue of accessibility and usability - ads and stories and reels everywhere that annoy people out of using apps or drown out the content by them and their friends and family. They have trouble keeping up with the people they follow because of algorithms. If the core intention for the app doesn't work anymore, more people are likely to drop it. There's also the issue of font size, flashing, triggering topics, outrage, autoplay, sudden screaming or other extreme noises in ads etc. that drive people off of medias.
On the other side, many people stop logging in or delete their accounts because their posts get zero engagement. It makes people lose the will to post, so you will see less of them. In the same vein, online harassment is always rising. More and more people return to being anonymous or having no accounts, not sharing their face or personal details because of fear of doxxing, AI generated images with their face, people making fun of them or insulting them or their post going viral unintentionally, causing them anxiety. Many people immediately stop posting, go private or delete the account when that happens because they cannot handle it. Even if it's just temporary, it can take a while for people to even remake or reopen the account and start posting again, some I guess never do.
There's also a rising group of people who are tired of the privacy concerns and their data being sold, so they also stop or go into more niche online places.
Finally, the research you can do online is becoming more and more unreliable or useless in regards to news, products, health, reviews, even recipes etc. so people have even less use for the internet now or return to other sources that are more credible but also usually need more energy and effort to access. People even have complained about Pinterest becoming useless to them because the furniture inspo they were going for is all now full of AI generated inspo that has mistakes and doesn't work in real life.

Now a bit more out there: if we wanted to go so far, we could even talk about the fact that content on YouTube especially is getting more and more homogenous due to capitalist and algorithmic reasons for years now, where now there's a topic each week every popular YouTuber will cover in the same way, showing the same TikToks and saying the same things. One week it will be Willy Wonka Experience, the next it is Stanley Cups, and we're currently onto Tradwives; the only difference is the mug staring into the camera that will also promote a sponsor that they don't actually use the product of most of the time. It feels completely and utterly optimized and devoid of personality, SEO'd to death, and there was a great piece recently by Polygon titled "The end of the Mr. Beast era" (I don't agree with that assessment) detailing a bit more how this era of content creation came to be. The point is, even when it is not made by bots, it can feel botlike and can contribute to the isolating feeling online that you are alone, even if you aren't, because the content of other people like YouTubers and Insta influencers is completely unrelatable to you and lacks humanity in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.

So if posting is dangerous or doesn't get seen, the use of the sites or apps is a hassle, and the resources you have come to the internet for are increasingly being tainted and unusable plus the people on there seem fake, there will be more movement away from that and less humans visible, even when they lurk. The internet cannot be just dead because no one real posts there anymore (I think spaces like this one will always be around, but are hard to be found), it can also be or feel dead when a non-significant chunk of it is not usable or worth it to the general public. There undeniably is a general trend in the popular internet sites becoming user hostile while also becoming AI friendly to market to companies and internet stars to "automate and simplify their processes with AI", and this will have consequences.

All of these affect humans, but not bots, so the bots will keep posting. Even if the number of bots would stay stagnant, the human number has the potential to drop and therefore worsen the problem.

Great write-up!

With many points I did not see discussed in videos, or I didnt even think about myself, but yes, you're right!

Reels, shorts, tiktoks etc, a lot of it is just content farming now, ai/bots, etc. (I know content farming can mean many things, in this case I mean, just random, most likely bot-run accounts, that farm a screenshot and repost it.). I saw an example on instagram yesterday.

Normally on the explore-page, I always click one image/video, then go back, click another one, etc. I rarely "scroll" downwards.

However, if I do, I am instantly hit with the same meme/image over and over. I screenrecorded it the other day because it just got ridiculous. It was some random twitter-screenshot or something, reposted over to instagram with a comment above the screenshot (also in the screenshot), and this image would appear when i scrolled, over and over. like Image, random pic, Image, random pic, Image, random pic, etc. Are we supposed to believe that there were real humans who ALL saw this tweets-creenshot with a comment, downloaded it, reposted it to instagram with their own caption (always some random comment beneath the image, not even any unique comments. just "thoughts?" / "i would love it" etc or something inane.

So instead of seeing actual content by people, I am seeing fabricated nonsense.

And not to mention all the rest you touched upon, the aggravating loud reels/shorts, those STUPID tiktok-ai voices. There's an AI that will download youtube videos for you, clip parts of it, add subs (the sub titles that sort of bloom onto the screen like auto generated CC with glaring mistakes etc), and post it to insta, etc.

You can easily recognise it, it's often weirdly cropped Family Guy clips, with many CC mistakes (often captioning Lois as Louis for example, and mis-hearing Stewie due to accent, misspelling Quagmire's name, or just not even comprehending it, etc). Often with stupid overlays like "click here to win xxx" etc. These are bots cluttering your feed.

But even so, the stupid Family Guy bot-clips, as far as I know, they dont cause any actual harm, they're just stupid.

What gets me the most is the, for example, Reddit bots/Reddit "air force base"-posting. Because this does actual harm.

Let's say there's a 9 month run of fake accounts (chatgtp +++) and they all, every day, make AITA posts that go something like "My Wife did X to me so I did A to her. AITA?", "My wife did Y to me so I did B. AITA?", "My wife did Z to me, so I did C. AITA?". On top of that there are 100s of bots programmed to agree that OP was in the right, they'll mass downvote any real users who comment otherwise, they will all write scathing replies to any real person suggesting otherwise, and shame anyone who disagrees. The verdict is, NTA, OP was in the right, any non-bot reply suggesting otherwise is wrong, and here is why, etc.

9 months later, you may have skewed people's opinion. They start thinking "Man..... all those AITA posts.. wives? Wives? They ...kinda suck, dont they?"

Nobody is immune to propaganda, and humans are pack animals, if we see a group of people agreeing about something, it's natural to want to agree, or at least consider the possibility that what they are saying is true - and online you cannot always tell who is a bot and who isn't, and chat-gtp and other ai text tools are literally training on posts - posts on Reddit for example.

I guess the problem with the coined term "dead internet theory" is that it sounds like there arent humans online, which is obviously wrong, there are - but as shevek says, at this point, a lot of platforms are so overrun by bots, its getting harder to actually be able to view content made by actual people, and find them in the slurry of ai generated nonsense.

What the "dead internet theory" term holds though, I guess? Is a term that may predict the course of these ai tools, unless they change at some point. Because what happens when ai starts training on ai-generated stuff? It starts inbreeding in a way, until it's posting utter gibberish, on dying platforms that are hosting more bots than actual real users. (if, for example reddit or twitter has a mass exit of users.) Which would be kinda funny, lol. Just bots spewing out Ask Reddits, AMAs, AITA, ELI5 etc that are asked and replied to by bots only, haha.

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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2024 @189.63 »

The videos have got me noticing that the questions on AskReddit have become pretty repetitive, and there are now far more NSFW questions. Questions like “What’s one sexual thing you did in public and got caught?” kind of thing. I remember when AskReddit used to be a really interesting place to go through and see the answers to questions, now it’s just boring.

I’ve also noticed a lot more results for videos on Youtube that clearly used AI for a lot of the production.

I think the dead internet theory isn’t real, at least not yet. From what I understand of it, it sounds like a creepy pasta kind of thing, like “What is we live in a simulation?” kind of thing. From what I’ve read from the responses here, though, it definitely feels like social media is going in that direction.

Hopefully, though, it will encourage more people to get their information from verified sources, mostly books and such, and use forums or even the smolnet for surfing and hanging out on forums.
I imagine smaller, or less popular spaces won’t be much of a target for any advanced AI as there will be far more popular and centralised spaces they can waste their resources on instead. One can hope, I guess.

Reels, shorts, tiktoks etc, a lot of it is just content farming now, ai/bots, etc. (I know content farming can mean many things, in this case I mean, just random, most likely bot-run accounts, that farm a screenshot and repost it.). I saw an example on instagram yesterday.

Normally on the explore-page, I always click one image/video, then go back, click another one, etc. I rarely "scroll" downwards.

However, if I do, I am instantly hit with the same meme/image over and over. I screenrecorded it the other day because it just got ridiculous. It was some random twitter-screenshot or something, reposted over to instagram with a comment above the screenshot (also in the screenshot), and this image would appear when i scrolled, over and over. like Image, random pic, Image, random pic, Image, random pic, etc. Are we supposed to believe that there were real humans who ALL saw this tweets-creenshot with a comment, downloaded it, reposted it to instagram with their own caption (always some random comment beneath the image, not even any unique comments. just "thoughts?" / "i would love it" etc or something inane.

I don’t use Instagram, so out of curiosity, did you upload that video anywhere?
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garystu
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« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2024 @281.08 »

RE: Reddit

never go on reddit

reddit is bad because it just sucks ass. none of its users are capable of being funny. an upvote-based social network where the most agreeable information rises to the top is boring as hell. there are misogynists everywhere, and in a NEW mutation, crypto scammers too. You don't need to write a conspiracy theory to explain why reddit is bad lol.

and to be clear, the youtube video "reddit is a psyop" in the OP is incredibly wrong, and goes between wild conspiracy and stating the obvious. "don't believe everything you read online" wow. incredible. so brave. next you'll tell me that social media metrics don't make something true.

---

RE: Botting.

dear god... there's BOTS? on my interwebz? there's always been bots everywhere don't look surprised. dead internet theory sucks, its like a creepypasta that people actually believe in. bots were always intended to be hard to spot, its no surprise they evolved. a lot of "classic" spam is meant to resemble ad copy, but now resembles casual recommendations from friends. of course, as it was always going to.

people got too reliant on algorithm slop and are complaining when the algorithm gives them slop. guys come on.

AITA posts are all fake with no exceptions. even if real they are inherently biased due to the fact they all have unreliable narrators looking for validation online, which is close enough to be fake anyway. they have always been fake, since before botting was invented. culture war vultures have always been using AITA posts to spread their agenda, come on guys. come on, come on, COME ON.

Never go on reddit.
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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2024 @572.18 »

i want to add a sociological minority's tangent on all of this which i think is important:

if it weren't for Reddit, my partner would likely have had a longer period of discomfort whilst researching gender affirmation surgery. they may never have found the answers they were looking for because the majority of information exists on Reddit. there are great sites that host resources about trans stuff but Reddit et al. are particularly good at attracting a community of people and automating the searchability of their posts; the same is true for any platform that has implemented something like tags, flairs and the like.

except Reddit is big. so people work for them - some of whom likely live paycheck-to-paycheck and would suffer from a mass boycott of the platform because software engineering careers are rare and the folks in charge of employment rarely know how to code so finding a new job in a competitive field is a no-go! those software fanatics don't make the rules for Reddit but they do an awfully good job of keeping uptime for their servers. having a load of users on-site keeps those developers and the entire platform paid through advertising amongst other forms. it sucks that this is the capitalistic default with the majority of the web but it's not as simple as flipping a switch when folks' livelihoods are at stake.

there are plenty of issues with Reddit and the internet as a whole - hence why we're all here creating our own websites. yet to claim about any site that it's useless and advocate discontinued use because it's been used disingenuously or because it has shady practices harms folks. there is nuance to topics like this and nobody can fully comprehend every end user of a platform because there are just so many people living their own tailored lives.

i'm aware this is a bluntly written hot take. i'm aware i haven't covered every subtlety i want to. if i did, i'd likely be approaching essay territory and then i've got to start referencing! still, i've always tried to approach the web revival with any one person's sociopolitical welfare in mind which is something i've too often seen seconded in discussions like this about platforms that are diametrically opposed with the general consensus of what the web revival is.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2024 @604.03 by j » Logged

i go by j, she/they :)
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