The Dead Internet Theory is a disturbing yet plausible idea that suggests that most of the internet is generated by artificial intelligence and paid media influencers. The theory claims that this is done to create consumers for new products and to sway public opinion and control the collective attitude or outlook of people or culture. Before the internet connected cell phone and the mass adoption of the home computer, the internet was a place where people came to express passions, hobbies, feelings, and thoughts. It was unfiltered and not selectively shown based on algorithms. However, today's internet feels empty and devoid of content. The same repeated threads, pictures, and similar replies are reposted over and over again to the point that it's unremarkable anymore.
The Incomplete Puzzle of the Dead Internet Theory
According to the Dead Internet Theory, there is a massive and incomplete puzzle here. Some people have a piece or two, but none of us have all the pieces. The incomplete puzzle connects us all, so it's in our best interest to try and find as many pieces as possible. The algorithms and computer programs have been manufacturing content for at least a decade, and that's the reason for the same bland and seemingly created in a lab song over and over again. The YouTube that used to be about expressing yourself is now about trends, and if you talk about the wrong thing, your video gets demonetized or removed.
The Sterilization of Fiction and Escapism
The internet feels so fake and manufactured because it’s produced content made to distract and occupy your mind. Why get out there and march in the streets to demand better wages or safer working conditions after a grueling day of work when you can go home and saturate your mind on endless mindless escapism? The new super glitter moon is happening tonight, and Jimmy Kimmel just said something hilarious. The algorithm is here to feed you an endless supply of content based on what it assumes you want. Fiction has become sterile and caters to the lowest common denominator, and music is the same bland song over and over again.
The Heart and Soul of Anime
Anime and manga are popular and beloved today because they are such a complex and passion-driven art form. More often than not, the art and story and manga are all created by one person on a weekly basis. There are actual humans behind this content, and because of that, it's so much more enjoyable than so much of the generic computer-created nonsense that is shoved in our faces today.
It's important to realize that much of what we see on the internet is fake, and it's easy for AI and computer programs to create plausible articles and disseminate them. Algorithms are used to keep us engaged and hooked on websites and apps for longer, and to accurately collect our likes and dislikes. Nuance isn't allowed, and dissent and critique are suppressed. Public opinion is pushed by a handful of specific people carefully selected and manicured for us, and for every hot button issue, there is a deliberate and more often than not manufactured angle which is going to be pushed towards us to keep us fighting rather than collectively coming together. There is a reward and punishment system built into social media to push things in certain directions, and bots are used to derail conversations on subjects they don't want discussed and to divide and conquer on real issues to break down any progress that could be made.
The Internet is Full of Fakes
The internet is full of fake people, fake comments, fake faces, and fake articles. It's terrifying how much of the internet is actually real, and how many things could be completely fictional. Deep fakes are also becoming more common, where computers and AI can replicate faces and voices accurately. This means that we need to be careful about what we believe and trust on the internet, and assume that much of what we see is fake.
Algorithms and AI are Used to Manipulate Us
Algorithms are used to keep us engaged and hooked on websites and apps for longer, and to accurately collect our likes and dislikes. The algorithm will do whatever it takes to keep our eyes glued to the screen and our wallets spending money. The AI and algorithms are also used to push public opinion, and world news is pushed only by a handful of specific people carefully selected and manicured for us. There is a small overton window of a loud discourse, and if you stray outside of that window, everything is done to squash you or hide you away. Discussion and understanding aren't good for business, and so nuance isn't allowed.
The Internet of Old is Dead
The internet of old is dead, and there is a new internet on our smartphones that is different from the internet on our PCs. Algorithms are used to cater to our likes and dislikes, and what we see on one device can be completely different from what we see on another device. This means that we need to be aware of what we are seeing and how it is being presented to us.
Social Media is a Psychological Game
Social media is a psychological game being played on everyone. There is a reward and punishment system built into social media to push things in certain directions, and bots are used to derail conversations on subjects they don't want discussed and to divide and conquer on real issues to break down any progress that could be made. The obvious point of social media is to make the points go up, and this system discourages dissent and encourages conformity.