Title: Tides of the Internet
So many things in life end up being compared to water. It's the source of carbon
based life, but it's also an extremely dynamic substance. You push it, it moves.
It crashes against other objects, and is swung back. It seeps into things. It
can be gaseous, and solidified into ice. The Internet is also like water, but
More than ever, there are groups and sometimes individuals who are trying to
change a narrative. Get a story going that makes life better for them, or
portrays a rival in poor light. It's selfish, and betrays the purpose of
propagating news to people.
I have been working on a blog entry about Reddit's current enshittification.
It's not quite ready, mostly because I'm waiting for the shitshow to play out.
It's only been one day since they started charging exorbitant prices for their
API use. I have already begun distancing myself from Reddit (since I used third
party apps and the old. subdomain) and have a bunch of thoughts regarding this
whole social media experiment.
I hopped on the gophersphere before work to check phlogs, and learned about
tfurrows's NotFox project, which lines up really well with my values
regarding news. I know intuitively that I'm not going to get the full story from
a "news" organization. I might get somewhere approaching the truth if I read
all the "big" names, but what if they're all in on the same messaging? Media
can obstruct the truth just as much as it can promote it, and there aren't any
real social controls on "journalists" misleading the public. Publications make
"mistakes" all the time as they skirt around legality and sometimes morality
to generate clicks. Lives are made and ruined by what these outfits publish.
Coordinated media campaigns can be based on completely false information,
but still harm the intended target. In recent history I am reminded of Linus
Torvalds and Richard Stallman who have both been victims of such attacks from
By putting a spotlight on the news organizations and targeting their use of
language *en masse*, we can take a step back and analyze the broad message
instead of getting lost in controversial details or blame games, which gets
people talking, arguing, clicking, and most importantly to these organizations:
tfurrows has earned at least one interested visitor with NotFox, and I know
a couple people who might be interested in the concept as well. I would love
to see this sort of thing applied to various other news outlets. I'm thinking
Ars Technica, Kotaku, The Verge, all these so-called "nerd-friendly" or gaming
publications that always seem to steer things in ways not congruent with
dominant community attitudes. Crypto, NFTs, and "AI" articles should also be
analyzed imo, because they lead to illicit markets and misrepresentation of what
technology is actually doing to content to arrive at its results.
Hell, aim it at Hacker News, LWN, and Lobste.rs while we're at it. The free
software and open source worlds are also (less) plagued by manipulated
messaging, though it's usually only for-profit entities or rival projects doing
Should there maybe be sections of topicality on NotFox? I'm not sure where the
scope of NotFox ends -- news can be a deep rabbit hole if you don't lay down
boundaries or criteria. Having an idea of what the mainstream media is going on
about is valuable, even if I'm not really interested in their engineered
If a community of news-skeptical people is desired, a weekly blog post or thread
for people to discuss how that week's news was distorted could be a good start.
I'm not sure how popular the idea would be but it could get people talking.
Thanks for this website, and for bringing it back for a second chance, tfurrows.
I look forward to further developments!
also on port 70: gopher://consensus.circumlunar.space:70/1/notfox