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.
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.
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: Heterodox. Now, I am wondering why the Establishment is so heterodoxiphobic. Hetodoxy used to resuscitate dying organizations, societies and civilizations. But, alas, now it has become mere conspiracy theory and racism. Sigh.
On another note, I suppose we all have our technological thresholds. For my mother-in-law, she stopped at the cell phone; no need for internet or computers for her. In my own case, my “line in the sand” was social media: Fakebook, Twatter, Snarkchat, Instagrift, et al, ad nauseum. Call me old fashioned, but no thanks. Of course, to each his own, tho.
That said, regarding what I would like to claim as the true “Unsocial Media” that is scattered all throughout the Interwebic Blogosphere: May it ever remain unenforceable, unmonitored, unregulated, unorthodox , unadorned, uncensored, unchained, unfiltered, unsettling, unpleasant, unrelenting, unwavering, unremitting, unscheduled, unhindered, undeterred, unpleasant, unprofessional, uncorrupted, undeniable, unassimilated, unprecedented, unashamed, unexpected, unfunded, unlimited, unscreened, unbridled, unfamiliar, undomesticated, unregistered, unrepentant, unconventional, unmanageable and unending…. well, you get my drift.
Maybe it will last forever. Maybe it won’t. Perhaps Robert Frost was right and “Nothing Gold Can Stay”. We shall see.
In the meantime, keep rockin’ the free world there Z-man and, stay free, man.
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 as they are to mainstream news media. China, Russia, the European Union and now the US government will simply not allow the free flow of information.
The Alt-Right, if it is to have any measure of success, must have members in our city councils, judges in our courts, reporters in our media, police officers, firefighters, soldiers, sailors and most important of all, teachers in our schools.
There are no easy solutions here; we either undertake the tasks necessary or we fail.
By the way, did Hillary, in last nights debate, really report that our nuclear missile response time was four minutes? Did she learn that from 17 different intelligence agencies?
No rules on Gab.ai
See you there.
#2A #GabVets #GabFam
Gab lets all the dangerous Americans self-identify. May not be such a good idea wshtf.
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. Though I’m sure that if the biotech was available, they’d cut the males out of the picture altogether.
Modern Progressivism is just a modern version of Shakerism. There’s a reason the Shaker settlements are now museums.
Uh, zman, the Shakers didn’t believe in having sex. The modern progressives believe in having all kinds of sex, the more in denial of real world body design the better. Hmmm, that doesn’t lead to reproduction, and they also champion abortion, so eventually there won’t be anymore . . . Ok, I see your point.
Not really. The vinegar drinking scolds of today like talking about their lady parts in public, but they don’t have much sex. Surveys show that even teens are having less sex, a lot less sex, than previous generations.
But I’m having so much fun with the hive scenario. Overly made up harridan queens ruling over millions of plain Jane workers and butch, spike-haired warrioresses. Of course you’d have a stable of wispy-bearded demi-men (think your typical male NPR listener) who when not engaged in their primary function (drone) would sit around and fret about how dreadful it all is to have to sleep with all these women.
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is spongy and bruised
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.
Then they get beaten up again in the ER!
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.
I’m not picking on black guys or any non-whites, here. There are lots of ’em who also know how to fix stuff. Just not enough of ’em. And I will also say that Africa has LOTS of black guys. But electric power? Tar roads? Water systems? etc, not so much. I’m only imagining a white guy-less USA, here.
I say let the cultural marxist, SJW hags have their country. Who they gonna call to fix the all-important toilet when all the white guys are gone? coffee shop-dwelling femiNazi activists totally HATE crapping on the ground & wiping with corn cobs, you know. How about that elevator in their commie co-op? Stairs are greener. Greenest after about 5 or 6 floors.
Car doesn’t start? Bummer. No fresh, trucked-in food at the Commie Mart? Maybe they can teach some holistic railroading & semi-trucking skills at the community center. Teach some snowflakes how to drill for, transport & crack petroleum, while they’re at it.
Those gas & diesel pumps will go dry in a day or so, after white man exodus. Hydro dam need some maintainance? A few girrrlz from the nail shop wil help with that. Internet went down, so there’s plenty of free time for them.
When some islamic warlord from who-knows-where comes along to rape & pillage & throw gays off rooftops, who they gonna call to send the troops packing? A bunch of black guys from the hood who shoot little pistols sideways – like in rap videos? HAHAHAHA! Good luck with that.
Hag-Merika will have no 2nd amendment, no gun ranges, no weapons – except for 5′ 2″ 200lb wymyns cops. And they also will shoot like the hoodies. And wear burkas. Gun misfire? It’s because allah wills it.
After a storm, who will fix the power in the white-man-less nation? or the tar road? When their house starts to burn down because of lack of maintenance, who will come to put it out? Anyone?
More wymyns & sissies? Good luck driving that big (unmaintained) truck to the fire. Good luck hauling the giant, heavy hose to spary water, etc. Speaking of power, Hagmerica still has some operating Nuke power plants. Who will keep that running? Wymyn’s studies PhDs? Sure! Because.. FAIRNESS.
In my imaginary world where these clones & disciples of Hitlery run it all -sans white guys, I bet it would only take a couple weeks for a catestrophic halt to all civilization.
And sitting on WHite Guy Island, sipping a nice craft brew, watching my crops grow, with a ball game on the radio… not one shit will be given.
Fred Reed could not have said it any better.
Hell, yeah, Crispin. Where can I get tickets?
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 people like us as irredeemable deplorables. You don’t target and smear an entire segment of a society and then just leave them alone to go about their business.
TOR is and was compromised from the start. Just downloading it will put you on all kinds of lists. And for what?
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.
let me introduce you to the word “tautology”
I’ll see your tautology and raise you a “sphincter”
Sphincter says what?
How do you get on the hidden internet? Where can I read more about this?
“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 column for pay under my real name and have been doing so for eleven years now, so I have that outlet. I’ve happily switched to Infogalactic and am pleased to see as many alternatives to leftie-media as might be of interest. The thing is, I don’t like spending too much time in front of a screen.
Debates were . . . viscous . . .
You could be stuck to one for days.
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.
Actually, bulletin board systems predated the internet. Remember the big latecomer, Prodigy?
I think the first BBS systems rolled out in the 70’s. They were pretty much what the name says. They soon evolved into discussion forums.
I think the real driver for on-line debate in the early days was newsgroups. That got a lot of people involved and that’s where “internet culture” was incubated.
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???
They are using the old exclusivity tactic to build interest. By keeping it hidden for now, they are driving up curiosity. From what I was told, they will open up once the beta trial is done.
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 think that your dismissal is will likely be a mistake.
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.
“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 the worst order), we have become a nation divided. It is disgusting beyond words. To think what has been done so we will become such a divided people.
Just think how distasteful these terms are to you. I know they are to me, because there is an underlaying sense I somehow smell a rat when I hear the term like “diversity”, or “white privilege”. They are things that constitute incredible contradictions in terms, double standards dressed up as moral imperatives I am supposed to submit to. And if that isn’t a double standard, that I am required to be politically correct by submitting to somebody’s cunningly disguised agenda of imposing their “moral” standards and thought control, it is the greatest double standard imaginable.
And that is how cultural marxism the sonofabitches to shoved up my arse without my say so, input, no regard for the legacy of the traditions and principles long standing I was raised on and have lived a healthy happy life, not hurting others.
While they themselves are the most despicable dishonest people imaginable. And perfumed cowards.
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.