[News] The Internet Was a Mistake

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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.

Prederick wrote:
Analyzing social media posts from news accounts and politicians (n = 2,730,215), we found that the biggest predictor of "virality" (out of all predictors we measured) was whether a social media post was about one's outgroup.

More here.

Did they cite Don Henley and Danny Kortchmar for their prior work on the subject?

Considering many politicians only go to social media to have a viral takedown, and the overwhelming majority of posts are takedowns or contain slights, I question that analysis. I see a self fulfilling prophecy more than anything insightful.

Prederick wrote:
Think about how you receive information today, compared to fifteen years or twenty years ago.

Social media, internet search, click-based advertising: innovations in information technology and new mechanisms for monetizing information have rewired human communication.

The problem is that this enormous transformation has taken place not as a stewarded effort to improve information quality or to further human well-being, but more or less simply for the purpose of keeping people engaged online in order to sell ads.

A big ol' Tweeter thread, with a link to a paper.

Related: Why some biologists and ecologists think social media is a risk to humanity One particularly fascinating quote compares the advent of social media with the advent of the printing press, and neither technology comes out looking good:

The printing press came out and upended history. We’re still recovering from the capacity that the printing press gave to Martin Luther. The printing press radically changed the political landscape in Europe. And, you know, depending on whose histories you go by, you had decades if not centuries of war [after it was introduced].

So, did we somehow recover? Sure we did. Would it have been better to do it in a stewarded way? I don’t know. Maybe. These major transitions in information technology often cause collateral damage. We tend to hope that they also bring about a tremendous amount of good as we move toward human knowledge and all of that. But even the fact that you’ve survived doesn’t mean that it’s not worth thinking about how to get through it smoothly.

It reminds me of one of the least intelligent critiques of the [Covid-19] vaccines that we’re using now: “We didn’t have vaccines during the Black Death plague. And we’re still here.” We are, but it took out a third of the population of Europe.

I don't think it wise to ignore developments between the printing press and social media.
I have stated in the past that the crisis with social media is compounded by the fact that we still haven't digested the impact of television. We had 150 years to deal with the impact of radio before television came along. Proto social media like BBSes were developed 20 years after television. I'd also say that each technology is an order of magnitude more impactful than the last while being more accessible on top.

The printing press had massive impact but you had to learn to read and there was no consolidation among the languages. Radio reached anyone who could listen and could even effect people who didn't understand the language some with fx and emotion. Television was even more universal in that you could witness what was happening but there were production costs. Social media can be translated in an instant, can reach billions in that same instant, AND the cost of entry is typing on a keyboard. (so in a sense it seems two orders of magnitude more impactful)

And lots of people on social media don't seem to be able to read, either.

YouTube permanently banned Right Wing Watch, a watchdog group that monitors disinformation, conspiracies, and violent rhetoric from far-right media outlets and personalities.

Essentially the group was banned for archiving all the crazy-ass sh*t conservatives say and do while those same conservatives continue to be allowed to post content to YouTube.

EVERYTHING IS FINE, CONSUMER THE ALGORITHM IS WORKING PROPERLY YOU ARE IN THE CORRECT TIMELINE

OG_slinger wrote:

YouTube permanently banned Right Wing Watch, a watchdog group that monitors disinformation, conspiracies, and violent rhetoric from far-right media outlets and personalities.

Essentially the group was banned for archiving all the crazy-ass sh*t conservatives say and do while those same conservatives continue to be allowed to post content to YouTube.

"Gammy, tell me the one again about the evil liberal media and their fake news!"

OG_slinger wrote:

YouTube permanently banned Right Wing Watch, a watchdog group that monitors disinformation, conspiracies, and violent rhetoric from far-right media outlets and personalities.

Essentially the group was banned for archiving all the crazy-ass sh*t conservatives say and do while those same conservatives continue to be allowed to post content to YouTube.

Article was probably updated since you posted by the channel has been reinstated.

Chairman_Mao wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

YouTube permanently banned Right Wing Watch, a watchdog group that monitors disinformation, conspiracies, and violent rhetoric from far-right media outlets and personalities.

Essentially the group was banned for archiving all the crazy-ass sh*t conservatives say and do while those same conservatives continue to be allowed to post content to YouTube.

Article was probably updated since you posted by the channel has been reinstated.

“Right Wing Watch’s YouTube channel was mistakenly suspended, but upon further review, has now been reinstated,” a YouTube spokesperson told The Daily Beast on Monday afternoon."

Not the "further review" of the ban Right Wing Watch appealed that YouTube denied, but the "further, further review" of YouTube getting bad media for banning the people reporting on right wing bull sh*ttery and not the people making the right wing bull sh*ttery.

There’s a possibility that it was just targeted for harassment. Right wing creators love free speech so much that they tend to organize mass-flagging campaigns to get channels they don’t like banned for spurious reasons and youtube just doesn’t seem to care that this happens regularly, only citing that the channels were banned for violating community guidelines. Some left wing channels like The Serfs have went through multiple bans and un-bans because of this.

That Youtube allowed themselves to be manipulated by right wing groups into banning them is not exactly better. Especially since they denied the appeal and only took a closer look at what happened once they started getting bad press about it.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/835zG1a.png)

Prederick wrote:

Me: /watches some Breaking Bad clips.

YouTube: "Huh! Breaking Bad eh? So I assume that, despite literal years of you tuning your recommendations against this, you'd like to see a Jordan Peterson video linked to the subject?"

Okay, we've been over this like 10,000 times, but how in God's name does YouTube think that the 30 Rock clip I'm watching should draw me to a new video from some RW channel's latest "screaming about Hunter Biden" clip?

Like, I'm curious to know how the algorithm does/doesn't work, because exactly how many RW videos do I have to remove before you STOP suggesting them? Is this an issue with the algorithm? Are they gaming the system? Is there literally so much RW content on YT that it's clogging the recommendations?

YouTube Kids is pretty good now but my daughter's use of the main YT site is strictly supervised.

Is there literally so much RW content on YT that it's clogging the recommendations?

Actually, I think this might be it. Flood the medium with so much sh*t that the measures used to produce content/measurement/structure just break and it gives the appearance of RW intellectual dominance.

A lot of right wing creators tend to have multiple channels with multiple videos per day from each channel.

I have to wonder if recommendations and algorithms are region-locked? Most of my recommendations these days usually eventually end up on Little Nas X's Montero video one way or another.

Amoebic wrote:

I have to wonder if recommendations and algorithms are region-locked? Most of my recommendations these days usually eventually end up on Little Nas X's Montero video one way or another.

Canada even has a better Internet than us! I want out.

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