Lord, what isn’t the unholy combination of media deregulation and information technology that really should have been regulated but wasn’t capable of? I suppose the problem with spreading unchecked bullshit is pure capitalism when you get right down to it. When creepy ass nonsense starts selling, the imitators are inevitable and then out of nowhere a single spark has ignited a spectral fire of flaming unhinged narrative. I honestly first noticed this when shit like Ghost Hunters took off years back and then all of a sudden everything was “paranormal”. Once the market was demonstrated, now a million fools were dicking around in the dark with bad camera equipment all over the internet. If I’m remembering correctly, this sprouted up at roughly the same time “conspiracy theory” shows started succeeding on a bigger scale as well. I mean, people aped Nu Metal shamelessly back in the day so we should have seen this coming. When good capitalists smell a buck, they pounce.
But this new trend of telling white people they’re victims so they’ll vote for increased inequality? This shit never should have been a thing in the first place and as fucked as the internet is, let’s not try and pretend it didn’t start with “Libertarian” billionaires and pillhead assholes like Rush Limbaugh. They found a formula that worked, invested in it heavily, and now we’re stuck with an increasing deluge of this fearmongering garbage. Go Team Us! (read the full article over at the Independent):
“The most famous I’ve ever been, in the fluctuating sense of internet “fame”, was when I was playing an internet strategy game in the late 90s. There can’t have been more than a few thousand players, but the Geocities site I wrote for on game tactics had a huge audience and stratospheric traffic.
In adult life I’ve been a newspaper columnist, done live TV, lectured to packed rooms and more. But there’s nothing quite like the buzz of being intensely famous inside the focused communities that gamers form.
I also learned a metric crap-tonne about how online communities of angry young nerd dudes function. Which is, to put it simply, around principles of pure toxicity. And now that toxicity has bled into wider society.
Kevin Kelly’s famous diktat – that an artist can make a living with “1,000 true fans” – probably wasn’t meant to include Nazis. But the same idea that empowers tens of thousands of writers, musicians and other creatives today also unleashes destructive forces.
In a twist on the “1,000 true fans” principle worthy of Black Mirror, any alt-right demagogue who can gather 1,000 whining, bitter, angry men with zero self-awareness now has a self-sustaining full time job as an online sh*tposter.
Social media has been assailed by one toxic “movement” after another, from Gamergate to Incel terrorism. But the “leaders” of these movements, a ragtag band of demagogues, profiteers and charlatans, seem less interested in political change than in racking up Patreon backers.
Popular alt-right provocateurs can pull in hefty figures via Patreon, over $8,000 a month for some leading YouTubers. These figures style themselves as leaders of a new political movement, defending the world against the “menace” of Social Justice Warriors. But the real alt-right business model is much simpler than that.”