The internet thrived because it was decentralized, lacking a center or controlling authority. Starting with the rise of smartphones in 2007, it became increasingly centralized, to the point where six companies control its content, and seem to be colluding on ideological imperatives.
This gave rise to the Dead Internet Theory:
The Dead Internet Theory is a loose term used to describe a range of changes and oddities in the structure and content of the internet, which have become increasingly prevalent in the last decade.
- A massive increase in bots, including the idea that their presence and activity may now be far greater than that of actual people, or at least to a much greater extent than people have been led to believe.
- The homogenization and centralization of online content.
- The death of a once-rich landscape of smaller communities dedicated to a vast array of subjects, hobbies, niches – all now replaced primarily by disorganized, impermanent, and easily controlled discussion on platforms such as Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- The idea that AI, considerably more advanced at present than we have been led to believe, is being utilized online for subversive or malevolent purposes, including the creation of increasingly bland and mindless media of the modern world.
It’s worth noting for those of you who are unaware, the aforementioned bots have a strong presence on 4chan. They, as well as apparent shills, have appeared in most or all /dit/ threads to date.
In my view, this was caused more by the economics of the internet itself. The model of a decentralized community works when people are of roughly the same ability level and inclination, as they were back in the 1990s when most were Anglo-American college students.
Once AOL came around and the internet was opened up to the general population, following the idea of Crowdism, the medium adapted to the audience: the internet came to resemble daytime television more than a Wild West of outlaw intellects.
With the rise of internet companies, the need to earn advertising income took over, and consequently, the message tailored itself to the wishful thinking, emotions, and shopping habits of the audience, but this audience was defined by media, which wanted to find a new set of hippies to use as its rebellious sub-culture in order to promote liberalization, or erasure of cultural norms so that more products can be sold.
This dovetailed with changes in the American electorate, causing media to begin pimping the idea of White replacement in the 1990s, and the new internet companies acted on this, promoting a multi-racial and Left-leaning audience.
As a result, the same conformity that afflicted American society after diversity appeared then took over the internet, creating a mono-culture of anti-culture, or a system based on tolerance instead of acknowledged wisdom, values, and standards.
This, and the need of internet companies to massively fake their figures in order to sell ads, explains the decay of the internet through centralization more than any other theory.