[News] The Internet Was a Mistake

A thread for updates on the various ways the internet is destroying everything and the undying hellsites of social media. Let's all laugh at the abyss.

I love how the media is just skipping right past the part where that letter laid out a pretty reasonable justification for 9/11 - as well as a goddamn airtight case for not funding Israel’s warmongering - in favor of a “Kids These Days” narrative.




Musk says he's going to sue Media Matters because he doesn't like their reporting and this somehow is going to help protect free speech.

He's literally suing people because he doesn't like their speech.


I like how he admits that it is theoretically possible for content by those advertisers to appear next to those posts, but basically waves it away that it's "not the typical user experience" for those ads to appear near bad posts.

Then follows it up with "We think that eight of those nine posts praising Hitler and claiming the Holocaust wasn't real were fine anyway so what's the big deal".

Stay classy, Elon.

See you at discovery, Elon!

He doesn't have to wait until Monday. He can file it right now. All suits are filed electronically in 2023.

Will he even get to that point this time? I'm gunna bet - no.

Thermonuclear? Sounds like terrorism, Musk.

@lindayaX wrote:

Protecting the freedom of speech could not be more urgent and important. Now, more than ever!



I'm of the opinion that hand-wringing over AI deepfakes is at least a little overwrought; pretty naive to think that a lot of people's mental spank banks aren't at least partially filled by people they know, and using AI as a prosthesis for the imagination is maybe unsettling, but doesn't actually move the needle much.

That said, when your entire sales pitch is "the person you're fantasizing about would rather you didn't but can't do anything about it even as you throw it in their face with impunity," that's pretty f*cking gross.

You've given no consideration to the damage that can be done to a person's life by disseminating deepfakes of them, though. Which TBH feels like an example of male privilege - us middle aged dudes are not going to be the ones being deepfaked, after all.

There's already many examples of people who've lost jobs when intimate pictures/videos of them surface. Now make that trivially easy to inflict on literally everyone.

If anything, it's vastly UNDERblown.

The court has been open a couple of hours now. No sign of any law suit, thermonuclear or otherwise.

In keeping with tradition, perhaps the court will force him to file the suit.

It's a pointless exercise, but one must wonder how the usual suspects would respond to, say, someone suing Project Veritas for one of their hit pieces and a state DA getting involved, saying they would investigate them for “potential fraudulent activity."

Prederick wrote:

It's a pointless exercise, but one must wonder how the usual suspects would respond to, say, someone suing Project Veritas for one of their hit pieces and a state DA getting involved, saying they would investigate them for “potential fraudulent activity."

Ken Paxton: Media Matters would like nothing more than to limit freedom by reducing participation in the public square.


Nowhere really to put this, so I'll put it here:

I am left deeply skeptical and frustrated by the viral "Silent Genocide in Congo" tweets going around. Like, to the level where I'm beginning to think it's an op. For a variety of reasons:

1 - Every single one of the viral tweets generally blames the US, the UK, France and frequently, Israel. Not a single one mentions the very large East Asian country primarily responsible for the manufacture of our smartphones, and has been working HARD to expand its influence in Africa over the last decade.

How are you blaming solely the West when China has literally cornered the global market on cobalt mining? They own most of the mines in the DRC and Rwanda, and not a single one of these tweets mentions that! It is an omission so colossally glaring that it makes me question who got this stuff trending.

2 - Totally unsourced claims. Millions are dying, and yet no-one is reporting on it, not even Congolese media. All fall back on the "that's because they're not TELLING you" Q-Anon level logic.

The BBC has an entire page devoted purely to news from the DRC, including recent podcasts with Congolese journalists about the country's issues.

But "no-one's talking about it."

Mind you, the New York Times was reporting on the genocides in neighboring Rwanda in 1994. It certainly didn't get much international attention, but it was not completely ignored.

This requires us to believe that a larger genocide is being perpetrated (other tweets, wholly unsourced, of course, say that six million have been killed, a number I'm sure that was just reached totally randomly) that no-one, including media from the affected nation is reporting on, beyond wholly unsourced Twitter claims.

3 - Not a single one of the viral posts is capable of naming the people having the genocide done to them, beyond a generic "Africans." This is, flatly, f*cking racist. The DRC is a nation made up of over 250 different ethnic groups. Genocides, generally, target specific ethnic groups, and again, there is literally zero reporting on such a thing.

The 1994 Rwandan genocide was, quite famously, perpetrated by Hutu militias against the minority Tutsis and some Twa as well. The Armenian genocide was perpetrated against ethnic Armenians. But this one appears to just be broadly targeting "Africans."

4 - The ones that do mention the very real internal displacement of millions of people in the DRC somehow do not mention the belligerents in the conflict. I haven't seen one even say the M23 rebels by name, and to me, if you're going to make claims about a "silent genocide" you probably should be getting all the parties involved correct and naming them.

The closest I have seen them come to acknowledging M23 is the, again, unsourced claim that the US/UK/etc. are funding Uganda and Rwanda to invade Congo.

Now, the UN has found that Rwanda created and commanded the M23 rebel group, but given that it's made up primarily of Tutsis, this seems more likely an extension of the wounds of the 1994 genocide. But if they are being funded to control the mines and provide slave labor, you mean to tell me that China would not be loudly protesting US-funded militias stealing resources from its own mines?

They are correct, at least, to point out that the DRC by far is the leading producer of Coltan in the world, and together with Rwanda, makes up over half of the world's supply. They are correct to point out the legacies of colonialism and ongoing economic exploitations. They are right to point out that the people who work in those mines are paid pennies, if that, for brutal, backbreaking labor that ultimately enriches companies in many other countries that are not in Africa.

All of that can be true and yet the initial claim can be incorrect.

And yet, i'm watching people say we have to boycott the big tech companies (which, fine, frankly! Functionally impossible if you want to live in the modern world, but if you wanna do that, great! I'm not a fan either, but it's also almost impossible to do. Also, let's say you try and buy a non-Apple/Google phone: Where do you think the materials to make it came from?) IN A TIKTOK VIDEO AND NOT TALKING ABOUT CHINA.

I think this stuff is being RT'd by a bunch of genuinely well-meaning, compassionate people who do not appear to be thinking it through and are doing the same level of "research" anti-vaxxers did.

If you care about this stuff, it's important to be clear-eyed, honest and correct about what the issues facing these countries are.

tl;dr - The Congo genocide tweets are the kind of viral misinformation that works best, a false claim stemming from a completely reasonable critique. Moreover, the wholesale omission of China from these dialogues should bring up genuine questions about astroturfing and similar social media campaigns.

Next you’re gonna tell me we didn’t STOP KONY in 2012.

The Remelia Guys Moved Over To TikTok

More than a few readers asked me to look into a new TikTok subculture called BRG, which stands for Based Redacted Gang or Based {ableist slur} Gang, depending on what social platform you’re on. The group was investigated recently by “maia arson crimew,” the “mentally ill enby polyam trans lesbian anarchist kitten” hacker that got ahold of the TSA no fly list earlier this year. I’m aware that this is already A Lot Of Internet, but this is only going to get weirder the further we go.

I was surprised to find out that BRG, what I’ll be referring to this group as from here on out, is actually, itself, just a rebrand of an online collective I’ve covered a few times in this newsletter — the Remilia Corporation.

I first came across Remilia in January 2022. They were the organizers behind the failed Spice DAO project. A bunch of crypto evangelists got into a Discord and tried to raise money to buy Alejandro Jodorowsky’s story bible for Dune so they could turn it into an animated Netflix series. Except they didn’t seem to realize that simply buying a copy of the book wouldn’t grant them the actual rights to do anything with it other than look at it. The DAO bought it for 2.6 million euros, regardless, and disbanded a few months later.

Remilia then launched a line of NFTs called Milady Maker, which allowed users to make customized chibi anime avatars and it quickly turned very racist. I interviewed the former “head” of Remilia for Fast Company at the time, a pseudonymous user that went by Charlotte Fang, among other names. And came away from it with more questions than answers, but I think I got the gist.

Remilia started as a Twitter DM group of edgy sh*tposters that wanted to court the attention of reactionary bloggers like technofeudalist Curtis Yarvin, who was building a crypto-friendly operating system called Urbit. And Urbit was getting funding from Peter Thiel, which Yarvin was then using to bankroll a lot of the fascist digital “art” coming out of New York’s Downtown Scene in the years immediately following the pandemic. Remilia’s whole schtick was reinventing “schizoposting” for Gen Z. Schizoposting is a 4chan trend where users pretend to — or actually have, I guess — a mental breakdown via memes. It’s been linked to at least one mass shooting, but it’s not always political.

Anyways, my understanding is around the time the Spice DAO was imploding and Remilia was getting “canceled” for Milady Maker going off the rails, there was a schism inside of the group, with some members wanting to go legit and become a proper crypto startup with others wanting to lean further into extremely esoteric occult fascism. A story as old as time. I lost touch with them after that, but I’ve seen a few Milady avatar accounts try recently to pivot into being AI guys.

Which brings us to BRG. I thought startup investor Julie Fredrickson’s X thread on BRG was a pretty useful explanation of what’s happening here: “An aesthetic ironic meme account that combines the aesthetic of AI-generated content, Chinese propaganda, fake woke spiritualism, hyperpop/glitchcore, and schizoposting.” That is, if you can understand any of that.

More simply, I would just say that it’s a bunch of trolls trying to trick young women on TikTok into sharing far-right memes and hopefully convince a couple of them to buy some NFTs. And, incidentally, BRG’s perceived success seems to hinge on the same right-wing misunderstanding about TikTok and its scale that every other conservative group has right now. A lot of BRG accounts are proudly declaring that they’ve infiltrated and schizopilled the social network. And yeah, one of their videos has gone sorta viral, which was just a Remilia copypasta dubbed over footage likely stolen from a Chinese video app. But most of the BRG-related content I’ve seen is borderline invisible in terms of views on the app and is largely being shared by other BRG-affiliated accounts.

This is where you ask if any of this matters. And the answer is, unfortunately, yes. Groups like Remilia and BRG are one half of an extremely stupid ideological battle tearing apart tearing apart Silicon Valley — and OpenAI, specifically — right now. And before last Friday, idea that the biggest names in tech could read too many blog posts and end up developing what are essentially two competing religions and could then be willing to blow up billion-dollar companies in defense of those religions was, honestly, too stupid to believe. And yet, here we are…

Which means it’s worth understanding what these two sides want. And it essentially comes down to speed. On one side is effective altruism, or EA, and on the other is effective accelerationism, or e/acc, which is mainly what BRG is promoting on TikTok right now.

The altruists, which includes folks like Elon Musk and Sam Bankman-Fried, believe that maximum human happiness is a math equation you can solve with money, which should be what steers technological innovation. While the accelerationists believe almost the inverse, that innovation matters more than human happiness and the internet can, and should, rewire how our brains work. Either way, both groups are obsessed with race science, want to replace democratic institutions with privately-owned automations — that they control — and are utterly convinced that technology and, specifically, the emergence of AI is a cataclysmic doomsday moment for humanity. The accelerationists just think it should happen immediately. Of course, as is the case with everything in Silicon Valley, all of this is predicated on the unwavering belief in its own importance. So it’s very possible that if we were to take the actually longtermist view of all of this, we’d actually end up looking back at this whole thing as a bunch a weird nerds fighting over Reddit threads.

this whole thing as a bunch a weird nerds fighting over Reddit threads.

With billions of dollars destabilizing the country/world.


The poster QT'd himself into the replies of a sh*t ton of big accounts, grinding for those Elon bucks.



It's amazing how fast he's fully redpilled. I'm shocked he's not approvingly retweeting Laura Loomer yet. He's already in Poseobic's mentions.

A civil war? In Europe?

Civil. That kind of war? Among nation states...

The dumbest mother-f*ckers you ever saw.

It makes sense when you consider that Elon genuinely believes the "Woke Mind Virus" is a threat to civilization.

Prederick wrote:

It makes sense when you consider that Elon genuinely believes the "Woke Mind Virus" is a threat to civilization.

No, it really doesn't. Nothing about any of it makes sense. I know we'd like to think that he's so full of nonsense that if we add more nonsense to it it'll overflow and go back to being regular sense, but it doesn't work that way. It just makes him even more incomprehensible.

I wouldn’t say any of it is incomprehensible, this is all just commonplace stuff in conservative spaces, Elon isn’t going to be immune to it just because he’s “eat me” rich. Dude spends all his free time on twitter, I’m surprised it took him so long to be more open about the racist culture warrior bs.

As if IMC has any idea what's going on in Europe.

I can’t express how happy I am that I have no idea who this IMC person is, despite the fact that he is clearly a Very Important Person based on the blue Xitter checkmark which he purchased.

A Malaysian neckbearded asshole who has become a leading light of the U.S. online right.