Unsocial Media

The coining of the term “social media” was not the observation of a new phenomenon or some new way for people to interact. Bulletin board systems had been around since the early days of the internet. By the early 1990’s, there were millions of people posting on these systems. Newgroups and e-mail lists were also around in the early 1990’s, as cheap modems rolled out to the public. Message boards came along in the mid-90’s and soon took over as the dominant community platform on websites.

The new term to describe what was happening was the signal that new controls were coming to discourse on the internet. Something that is social, community owned, must have community standards. Those standards must be enforced and that means people must be given the authority to enforce those standards. In other words, it was the starter’s gun unleashing the totalitarians and pink skits to goose step in and start pushing people around on-line. Now, everywhere you go, there are posting rules and moderation.

What was fun about the internet in the olden thymes was the lack of rules, at least in terms of what you could say and how you could say it. Debates on bulletin boards or news groups were viscous vicious (It was late and one “slipped” through editing) and no holds barred. The term “troll” used to mean a poster who trolled for attention by posting provocative things. That’s what made these things fun. The early on-line communities were experiments in social dynamics, without the usual social limitations. This old list of Usenet types gives you a flavor of it.

Un-monitored and unregulated arenas for people to speak freely are a danger to the established order, so it did not take long for the usual suspects to start looking for ways to put an end to it. There was also the fact that millions of people were getting on-line, without knowing that internet culture was a bit rough. Polite always triumphs over right and before long all but the underground sites were heavily regulated. Sites like Faceberg and Twitter were built on the idea of pleasing the easily offended.

The trouble with policed communities, is the old saw about who will police the police. The sort of people that go in for being site moderators, are exactly the sort of people you never want in those positions. It’s not long before they start abusing their power and people start getting banned. It’s why Faceberg is mostly for old people to view pics of their grandchildren. It’s also why Twitter is imploding. When milquetoast users like Instapundit are deemed out of bounds, it’s a matter of time before all the interesting people are gone.

It’s also why alternatives to the mainstream options are growing up all of a sudden. Gab is the first alternative to Twitter with any chance of succeeding. Quitter is actually a better platform, but it has not caught on with English speakers. Gab is targeting the alt-right and troublemakers like me, promising an anything goes environment. They are also improving on the concept, rather than trying to please the managerial class. Longer message lengths and a better interface are the two obvious improvements over Twitter.

Vox Day is behind the alternative to Wikipedia. It’s called Infogalactic and it is intended to be the non-PC version of an on-line encyclopedia. Like Gab, they are using better technology to improve the user experience, but the real point of the effort is to be an alt-right alternative to Wikipedia. To quote the associated blog, “The single biggest problem with Wikipedia isn’t Jimmy Wales or its outmoded 1995 technology, but the fact that it is patrolled by 532 left-wing thought police who aggressively force their biased perspective on the rest of the world.”

My bet is someone is plotting an alternative to Facebook or simply something better, that serves a similar purpose, but without the social justice warriors. The fact is, Facebook is not doing anything all that clever from a technological point of view. There’s also the alternative media sites with open comments, that are the intellectual engine of the rebellion. This story in the neocon magazine American Interest about the boom in high brow sites catering to heterodox opinion is worth a read.

I think what we are seeing is two things. One is the Progressive enforcers have squandered their legitimacy enforcing rules that are unenforceable. People get tired of being treated like children by depressed women taking revenge on the world as forum moderators. So, there is demand. There’s also the fact that people trafficking in the ideas popular on the fringe want to debate with others into the same things. There’s nothing more dull than reading a comment section filled with mainstream drivel.

The downside of this, and the inevitable consequence to the current social unrest, is a balkanizing of social media. Gab will be Twitter for hate thinkers, while Twitter will be the home of the establishment, assuming Twitter remains in business. There will be those who get their news and analysis from hate thinkers like Sailer and those who read establishment sites. The internet will be a world of fractured reality and that will inevitably show up in society as a whole. To some degree, that already exist in terms of who watches which cable news channel.

The downside of this process is it means the alt-right, Dissident Right and whatever else this thing we’re doing is called, is going to self-ghettoize. The people who still read National Review, for example, will not see comments from hate thinkers like me. At the same time, hate thinkers will stop reading the mainstream press and lose perspective about the greater world around them. Instead of “bringing people together” social media will end up amplifying the balkanization of American society.

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Doug
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Doug

“Social Media” is like civil rights, they are dress rehearsal for civil war. Like the term Racist, and racism, they are used to divide people, get them to go at each other. It is divide and conquer in no uncertain terms. Look through history, no self respecting tyrant worth their salt doesn’t employ divide and conquer to rule a peoples souls they want to have unlimited power over. And look around us, at what is being foisted on us by the “political elite”, (I detest that term, for they are neither, they are crooks and grifters, liars, thieves, scalawags of… Read more »

A.T. Tapman (Merica)
Member
A.T. Tapman (Merica)

Hi Doug, We will at least have a place to plot against the bastards in peace.

Those were the days, AFN on usenet was a complete riot, a laugh a minute.

Member

Balkanization Schmalkanization I want a voice. Remember back when the leftists were the guys with all the alternative newspapers and we had bupkis? We’ve had a taste of having a voice and we’ll be damned if Hillary or Obama or Soros takes it away from us.

Guest
Guest
Guest

Gab won’t last six months if they don’t get rid of the idiotic login page to view content. What are these morons thinking???

Member

I listened to CNBC, for six months, try to figure out and explain the twatter logged in users vs not logged in users vs active users metrics. This is the main reason for twatter’s business side problems. Nobody, including twitter CEO’s, has ever explained it well. I’m fine with the login. Keeps ’em wondering. No Ads, user funded, no censorship. Scott Adams of Dilbert fame got blocked at twatter for anti-establishment and anti hillary stuff. He just moved over to Gab. Vox Day is there as well. It’s growing fast. Although it’s still in beta and in it’s infancy, I… Read more »

Lorenzo
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Lorenzo

Actually, bulletin board systems predated the internet. Remember the big latecomer, Prodigy?

james wilson
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james wilson

Balkanization is a great improvement over uniformity, however it was to be enforced. It may be the only healthy system that there ever was. When newspapers were king in the 1800’s not a “balanced” one could be found. The idea would have been found preposterous. The left will remain moribund, just as now, but that is in the nature of it’s character. The right will have no end of argument with itself just as now, but if anything it will be freed to make more progress. Truths are not a democratic or egalitarian process. Let the dogs loose.

thor47
Guest
thor47

Debates were . . . viscous . . .

You could be stuck to one for days.

Member

“It’s why Faceberg is mostly for old people to view pics of their grandchildren.” Exactly, in my case! First got on it to spy on my adult children, whose posts revealed a different narrative than that I fantasized. Most informative. Then it was a means to reconnect with far-flung friends. Now it’s the grandkids, although mine live 70 yards across the way. Other than that… I don’t have Twitter or any apps or even a cell phone, don’t plan on getting any of that stuff. Commenting on sites like this will do fine for me. Then too, I write a… Read more »

Tdurden
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Tdurden

It would be a not bad idea to become familiar with TOR and the “hidden” internet. Yes, there is a lot of very shady shit happening there, but it’s about as much of a visit to the wild west days of the mid 1990’s world wide web as you’re going to get. It’s not perfect in it’s privacy and security, especially if you end up getting the complete and undivided attention of fedgov and it’s near limitless resources, but it’s a lot better than nothing. Especially since we’re likely to be dealing with a fedgov run by psychopaths who view… Read more »

Solomon Honeypickle IV
Guest
Solomon Honeypickle IV

TOR is and was compromised from the start. Just downloading it will put you on all kinds of lists. And for what?

Tdurden
Guest
Tdurden

Like I said, it’s not perfect. I’m sure that the bad guys are running more than a couple exit nodes. I’ll opt on the side of at least trying to assert my right to privacy.

I promise you that we are ALL on some kind of list.Get enough people using things like TOR and the list becomes meaningless. It’s just you, me and 5 million of our closest friends.

Solomon Honeypickle IV
Guest
Solomon Honeypickle IV

let me introduce you to the word “tautology”

Tdurden
Guest
Tdurden

I’ll see your tautology and raise you a “sphincter”

Karl Hungus
Guest
Karl Hungus

Sphincter says what?

prcd
Guest
prcd

How do you get on the hidden internet? Where can I read more about this?

Member

All that is happening on the web reminds me of some anthropology study I read about. Once a tribe gets to about 120 or so, a feud breaks out and the loser splits off into a new tribe with his followers. Of course, what we’re going through is on a much larger scale. I wonder if the feminists and SJWs aren’t heading to some sort of hive society with all behavior within the hive rigorously defined (with social media and the threat of public shaming the means of control). Males wouldn’t have much function in that world except as drones.… Read more »

Tdurden
Guest
Tdurden

I think it will be a teachable moment for the SJW’s here in just a few years when they find out that the people they are in such a hurry to import in large, unvetted numbers don’t give fuck all about their safe spaces and micro aggressions as said SJW’s are beaten into silence. Then we get to call them evil racist bigots for daring to complain after the ER patches them up.

Solomon Honeypickle IV
Guest
Solomon Honeypickle IV

Then they get beaten up again in the ER!

Crispin
Guest
Crispin

As long as the Cyborg chicks are super hot, I would be fine with fleeing to “White guy Island”. Maybe we could reverse the polarity of the Bush Secret Weather Machine and make Greenland a fantastic, temperate redoubt. Lotsa white guys are scientists & engineers. We like to solve problems and fix stuff. We could have a fight club (but not talk about fight club). Start a few gold mines, plow up plenty of land for crops, lay down some nice blacktop, skim off a few nice factories from all over the decaying vestiges of Western Civilization. It’s all good.… Read more »

Dutch
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Dutch

Fred Reed could not have said it any better.

tim s
Guest
tim s

Hell, yeah, Crispin. Where can I get tickets?

Member

No rules on Gab.ai
See you there.

@ProGunFred
#2A #GabVets #GabFam

Old Surfer
Guest
Old Surfer

Gab lets all the dangerous Americans self-identify. May not be such a good idea wshtf.

MSO
Guest
MSO

The entire ‘Internet’ is suspect as a viable information transfer mechanism, especially as a one-to-many versus one-to-one scheme. Recent attempts by the US government to regulate Internet services ran into constitutional constraints so the US government moved to transfer control of the Internet offshore. Out of the reach of the US constitution, those who seek to restrict the information highway will have a largely unimpeded task. That the Alt-Right seeks to establish the free flow of history, news and education will necessarily result in isolation as they are, and will continue to be, forbidden access to mainstream Internet channels just… Read more »

Uncola
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Uncola

Z-man’s essays are always informative. Even when he writes about circumstances and happenings that are commonly understood, he does it in such ways that offer fresh perspectives. Also impressive is his prolific fluency on so many various topics. Either he doesn’t have a day job, or writing flows naturally from his gigantic brain as naturally as breathing. Anyway, it is not my intention to be overly effusive and, obviously, I have nothing to gain from such overt praise, but I still wanted to say it before I forgot. Also, thanks Z-man for adding a new word to my vocabulary today:… Read more »

GoneWithTheWind
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GoneWithTheWind

The first social media was the petroglyphs and hieroglyphs of the ancient peoples. Humans wish to communicate with other humans even if they don’t know them, They feel like they have something to say and that their are others who want to hear what they have to say. For better or worse this is a human need.