Multiple Internets

From AC: A redditor notices that his Internet appears to be different than his wife’s.

Everyone knows about shadowbanning, but have you thought of the scale? My wife and I have “different internets”. I’m 40 and pretty much use 4chan, YouTube and HBO Max. She’s 23 and uses all the other shit. But when we watch YouTube videos on her phone and look at the comments they’re completely different versus on mine. My YouTube comment sections are mostly /pol/ tier while my comments don’t even show up on the more controversial topics on her phone, yet we can compare them side by side and they’re there on my phone. Anyone else experience this? I’m pretty sure I’m on a “quarantined” version of the internet.

I suspect that everyone has his own custom edition of the Internet that is essentially a version of YouTube’s recommended videos writ large. People are creatures of habit, and gamification has proven that a few subtle nudges here and there can significantly alter their daily routine; most people habitually visit the same 5-10 sites every day with only occasional forays made outside of those sites on the basis of links provided to them there.

For example, if you are a regular here, then you are going to be occasionally visiting Arktoons, Anonymous Conservative, Contemplations on the Tree of Woe, the Daily Mail, Russia Today, Bounding Into Comics, Global Times, and the Arkhaven blog, seven of eight of which are generally outside the Narrative. But if you are a regular at Yahoo News or Drudge, then all of your forays are going to be to mainstream sites where the Narrative is tightly enforced.

I found it interesting that since being kicked off Blogspot by Google, my reported site traffic has reliably remained around one-third its previous daily average, despite the fact that no other objective standard indicates a decline of any kind, let alone one so precipitous. There are a number of potential reasons for this, but one possibility is that being off a mainstream platform makes it easier for the Internet-wide shadowban system to guide the casual visitor away from a specific site through a variety of methods from buried search engine results to redirecting to fake mirror sites.

More significantly, the increase in AI bots means that “popularity” and “site traffic” are now irrelevant variables. Just as anyone can now have 10 million nonexistent “followers” on Twitter, a site can have 50 million nonexistent annual “readers”. But none of this really matters and all of it should be ignored. Because sooner or later, reality will unmasks the illusion and reveal the truth.

For example, we’ve repeatedly tried to take advantage of the “popularity” of authors whose ebooks are hugely successful on Amazon, through publishing and crowdfunding alike. And what we’ve reliably learned, much to our surprise and their dismay, is that these extremely “popular” and “bestselling” authors have much smaller cross-platform followings than your average Unauthorized creator, literally an order of magnitude smaller. This doesn’t mean their success on Amazon isn’t real, although it does suggest a perilous reliance on the affection of the A9 algorithm, but it does mean that their success cannot be reliably transferred to any platform other than Amazon.

The same is most likely true for popular Tiktokkers, YouTubers, and Patreon patrons. Not unlike players on the various Warcraft servers, the denizen of one Internet can, but is unlikely to, cross dimensions and appear on another Internet. So this observation may point toward one of the primary uses of AI-generated text, which will be to provide the content and comments for fake social media followers that were hitherto missing from the accounts of those whose fake popularity is generated in support of the Narrative.