The Internet as we know it is dying

By Andrew Leonard It was a week of rage, nostalgia and despair on the Internet. Sure, you could say that about any week on the Internet. But last week delivered some prime material. Check out this gamer exploding in fury at the rumor that Google — “The King Midas of Shit!” — might buy the hugely popular streaming gamer site Twitch TV. Or this sad note from the founder of the venerable “community weblog” MetaFilter explaining why a Google-precipitated decline in advertising revenue had forced him to lay off three much beloved staffers. Or this diatribe from a Facebook manager, savaging the current state of the media. All is not well on the Web. While the particulars of each outburst of consternation and anger vary significantly, a common theme connects them all: The relentless corporatization and centralization of control over Internet discourse is obviously not serving the public interest. The good stuff gets co-opted, bought out, or is reduced to begging for spare change on the virtual street corner. The best minds of our generation have been destroyed by web metrics, dragging themselves across a vast wasteland in search of the next clickbait headline. At Twitch TV, the gamers are worried that Google’s “copyright monster” will tame their freewheeling Wild West and obliterate years of work. At MetaFilter, the inscrutability of Google’s page-ranking algorithms determines whether publishing outlets live or die. The Facebook rant underscores how unsatisfying our viral media diet has become. It’s a big mess. The last two lines of the Facebook rant are “It’s hard to tell who’s to blame. But someone should fix this shit.” That’s easier said than done. Read the full article here:

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