, 45 tweets, 16 min read
My Authors
Read all threads
This post is dedicated to @WorldEdgeDG and @slatestarcodex, just as it is to Andrew Anglin, Alex Jones, and every other canary in this collapsing, deluge-bound mine of information management. As this account may now be in its last throes, I figure I may as well go big or go home.
McLuhan observed that the essence of a medium itself served to generate a particular style of consumer. As the most sophisticated brainwashing tool of all time, the World Wide Web, dominated by global capital, demonstrates perfectly the light-speed fulfilment of this supposition.
In anticipation of the imminent collapse of the legacy publishers, they will desperately tighten the epistemic reins of their subjects (us), to attempt to keep the reality tunnels they have painstakingly crafted from getting too fragile. As we proceed, this chaos will accelerate.
As the attrition wears on the old media and Silicon Valley, émigrés to the Web-based "free speech" purveyors of Alt-Tech also accelerate. Due to their lack of meaningful divergence from the WWW model, they will (as they already have) face rebuffs for their own moderation choices.
Conventional framing of the Free Speech debate amongst libertarians has naively centred around the idea of publisher liability to accommodate data according to precedents set by First Amendment rulings, along with the frequent misinterpretations of the Communications Decency Act.
As well as failing to apply the dumb pipe argument to services that lie elsewhere in the Web dependency chain, as when GoDaddy and Cloudflare halted the services of Daily Stormer for example, they are of the delusion that the publishers have the obligation of hosting them at all.
Conflict of 'free speech' beyond the confines of the law is seldom-encountered in daily life. Greater are the instances of self-moderation of conversations or negotiations, at the hands of those directly involved. Rarely is one party made to totally abide by the whims of another.
Furthermore, families, friends, companies, tribes, and syndicates have always excluded ideas or people out of a sense of collective benefit, and often at the point of force. This desire remains within any group of coherence, regardless of interference by legislators or judiciary.
Such was a given during the early wave of Internet publishing protocols, which can be seen in e.g. how some of the oldest and largest IRC networks were initially formed as breakaways from even older servers. It is still relatively cheap to set up InspIRCd on a standard VPS today.
And this is partly the reason there's no ongoing epidemic of IRC censoring, unlike with the mainstream Web publishers. Internet censorship is, for the most part, not an ethical issue, but one of finance. While having alternative publishing routes be affordable, no problem exists.
If one is removed from an IRC channel, it only takes a moment to '/join' another. If one is banned from all the major networks, which would be a feat in itself, then running a new service entirely takes no particular skill or a need to distinguish the UX from the current players.
The case was similar with WWW platforms. There was an abundance of smaller or independent sites that were chosen to host static content, and the cost for the high-throughput distribution of video of then-nascent platforms like YouTube was gladly absorbed as an expansion strategy.
In the earlier days of the web (until relatively recently) therefore, it was far easier to rally around a centralised service with an autocratic leadership that was trusted by the users at the helm. When their competition is so fierce, they'll be reluctant to overstep their mark.
But now those services have consolidated under the purview of ostensibly "American" companies, and the global village has been sucked into the nuances of US politics, at knifepoint by the Cluster B jackals who run the show. Unbeknownst to them, this affords us our own advantages.
The hegemon publishers, due entirely to their own policies, have generated a wave of migrants now seeking respite from their insanity. But the platforms they are moving to (the ones that do get gratuitous coverage) are, technologically, no different, as their history often shows.
Now, there are indeed actually-distributed services that fulfil the functions of the WWW, like Matrix (Discord), PeerTube (YouTube), and Pleroma (Twitter) - the latter 2 being ActivityPub-based - only, they get zero coverage from the press, and their adoption strategies are weak.
Because of the nature of the distributed services, they don't have the same requirements for maintenance, legal liability for content within the network, or capital expenditure for network scale. Absent major forces preventing user sign-ups, they trend towards unstoppable growth.
Think of Alt-Tech as a false vacuum. The barrier between them, and the 'true' vacuum, ie, genuinely distributed services that offer actual security, uptime, permanence and freedom, is the user placation in having escaped the much more imminent threat of Silicon Valley crackdowns.
The best thing for the services built on user indexing (UIDX) or federated principles, therefore, is the complete functional incapacitation of all their WWW competitors. Only at that point may we shift into the lower-energy state above, and forever guarantee a place for our data.
As far as cost / benefit goes, expending heavy resources to take down Silicon Valley platforms, though necessary, would hit a level of inertia that hardly bears carrying on with, especially considering the damage they are already inflicting upon themselves without our assistance.
Thus from this, it is clear that the subjects of disruption must be the websites of Alt-Tech. Their reputation, legal standing, financial situation (along with those of their staff) and ability to serve data to users at all, are what stands directly in the way of this transition.
It is only then we will be able to wholly tear away at the data-mining, authority-dependent, conformist technical underpinning of the location-based Web necessary for the old media institutions to flourish - forcing them to play on a field where they lack their current privilege.
The administrators of the Alt-Tech websites must be confronted with this choice: either overhaul their infrastructure to make their service impervious to unilateral takedowns, or render them to a number of techniques which, I do not condone, but shall lay out several examples of:
-Denial of service attacks
-Flooding of their services with useless, contentious or even illegal content
-Cancel Culture-exploiting media hitpieces
-Destruction of servers
-Physical or financial attacks upon the staff themselves, and others close to them
The use of mass-filesharing using content (articles, videos, music, games etc.) pirated from the Web must also be necessary in drawing a significant amount of users onto new platforms with the assurance that this new source of media isn't able to be taken down as the others were.
This not only ensures a steadily growing surplus of content by default, but fosters a sense of security that has historically guaranteed the wider adoption of mediums. Another driving force to new technologies or platforms that warrants addressing: their use for porn consumption.
One may point to the rise of CD-ROMs and merchant processing that was spearheaded by the porn industry in the early days of the web, and the popularity of the Tor Browser as the shining evidence of its security (or more accurately, the perception its users have of high security).
This can be achieved among the distributed services via the systematic mirroring of all content being produced by the studios. Or, to apply Pareto, the smallest section of content which garners the majority of traffic. Recent trends show this to be amateur content, ie, cam girls.
Manyvids has almost 8 million monthly visitors who spend their time there rather than on a Mindgeek service. A sizeable portion of these users are spending their time watching the most popular accounts, which are therefore likely responsible for drawing in most of the MV revenue.
Unlike Mindgeek's own employees, the profiting from copyright infringement of the uploaders of Manyvids is not possible, as an independent distributor of their content. While licences are granted by MV's uploaders to the site, they still retain full legal ownership of their work.
Manyvids' ToS lays out their incentives to issue takedown notices and take legal action for losses incurred from infringement of this content. That and MV's cooperation with services like DMCA Force and DigiRegs to expedite removal is evidently policy taken seriously by Mindgeek.
Therefore, the mirroring of content from relatively few MV uploaders to distributed services would attract disproportionate user activity. Added to Mindgeek's copyrighted media, one has the unique advantage of a selection of content that no business entity can legally operate in.
An index need not actually contain media from X studio in order to damage the revenue of X studio, it merely needs to attract viewers who'd otherwise be spending their time on X studio's website. As an analytics company, Mindgeek depends more on traffic than sales to stay afloat.
Without the same liability in hosting (derived from the lower cost of setting up a federated / UIDX platform as opposed to a large website) and a greater difficulty in outsiders purging certain content, the same barriers to growth of the existing filesharing services are removed.
When combined with the overlooked necessity of an intuitive design (think, simple for a TV-watcher who has just made the transition to Netflix), the sky is the limit. A web presence is not inherently *bad*, but a network must exist beyond it to ensure continuation of the streams.
An easy-to-access frontend would even go a long way towards drawing in traffic. The 'Dyna' UIDX model at the top of this thread lays out a cryptographic-based indexing system lacking any central authority. Unlike federation, UIDX doesn't necessitate interoperability of protocols.
The recently-published GNU Name System standard follows that same broader principle. As the final link of Web dependency not to have a widely-supported alternative, the transcendence of DNS to an autarkic method of resource addressing should remain one of our foremost priorities.
This thread is also to be taken heed of if you produce creative works yourself. The greatest form of archival, the best guarantee for the future existence of your work, is in the form of redundant storage and indexing. That cannot be accomplished with Web-based Alt-Tech services.
Using the tactics above, a small, organised group can have a very disproportionate effect, but they need not necessarily be carried out at all. As they are communicated to more people, the likelihood of them taking place, and thus Alt-Tech's need to migrate infrastructure, grows.
As anyone commanding a large audience or userbase, you have a duty in making those who depend on you aware of this reality, so as to not delude them, or yourselves, about the security they are to expect if the underlying issues of hosting data over the WWW were to go unaddressed.
If you run a forum or an imageboard, then it is necessary to bring our fragmented communities together under a federated banner, and reverse the gradual decay of activity that had been set in motion ever since moot decided to sell us all out. The NNTPChan project must be revived.
If don't operate a Web service then alerting people at large to this issue will still help steer things in the direction of change. And if you are pro-censorship, it's still worth sharing this, in the case this entire premise is wrong and will do nothing but erase the dissenters.
You could also develop proof-of-concept scripts to demonstrate how floods or exploits upon Alt-Tech may hypothetically take place, sleuth the names of Alt-Tech / IB engineers who need some encouragement to move, or write forum or blog posts and articles to help the spread of FUD.
In the mean time, the 'news' providers of times past and their bluecheck armies will triple down in their dehumanisation and gaslighting tactics, as is expected upon any population in the process of being cleansed. Expect increased bans, along with a further creep of legislation.
The result of a full transition away from hierarchic media will eventually galvanise a revolution in our collective psyche. The effects on philosophy and global economics (to name a few) will be profound. As the vanguards of this System die out, they will not look kindly upon us.
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Keep Current with node 🦋

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!