They’re looting the internet

This is the state of the modern internet — ultra-profitable platforms outright abdicating any responsibility toward the customer, offering not a “service” or a “portal,” but cramming as many ways to interrupt the user and push them into doing things that make the company money. The greatest lie in tech is that Facebook and Instagram are for “catching up with your friends,” because that’s no longer what they do. These platforms are now pathways for the nebulous concept of “content discovery,” a barely-personalized entertainment network that occasionally drizzles people or things you choose to see on top of sponsored content and groups that a relational database has decided are “good for you.”

↫ Edward Zitron

Corporate social media has gotten so bad, they’re basically unusable. The rare times I open Facebook to like a picture my mother posted or whatever, I’m just gobsmacked by how utterly unusable it has become. I’ve never used Instagram, but whenever I accidentally end up there, I have no idea how to navigate that place. YouTube is more ads than video if you don’t pay for Premium (which I do, because I use YouTube a lot so I get enough value out of it). Twitter is barely worth a mention – it’s no surprise that a social network bought and run by a nazi is now even fuller of nazis than it already was.

It’s not just social networks, either. The web as a whole feels like it’s been looted and plundered, and turned into a flyover state strip mall. Browsing the web is, for me at least, virtually impossible without autoplay blockers, my Pi-Hole, Consent-O-Matic, and settings to permanently block requests for location and notification access. The rise of “AI” has only made everything even worse, especially now that the big, wealthy content networks that, yes, own all your favourite technology news websites are also looking into it.

Luckily, there’s also a countermovement brewing. I’ve focused OSNews’ entire “social” strategy on Mastodon (and the various other ActivityPub tools), as it’s the only social medium that’s usable and enjoyable. With the nazis remaining on Twitter, and all the brands and influencers on Facebook (or Threads or whatever), everyone else interested in technology coalesced around the Fediverse, and it’s been a massive boon for a small website like OSNews trying to steer clear from all the SEO enshittification. There’s no spam, only relatively small, approachable brands, no influencers, no algorithms – just real, ordinary people, who also care about a usable, fair, and equitable web.

I hope that OSNews can eventually be run without any ads at all, but that’s going to take a lot more consistent work from me to convince more and more people to support us through Patreon or Ko-Fi, or for companies to become sponsors. However, I am convinced it’s a better route to take than trying to chase the SEO dragon, because we all know where that leads to.


  1. 2024-04-16 4:03 pm
  2. 2024-04-16 5:01 pm
  3. 2024-04-16 5:04 pm
  4. 2024-04-16 6:38 pm
  5. 2024-04-16 7:37 pm
  6. 2024-04-17 3:01 am
    • 2024-04-17 10:23 am
  7. 2024-04-17 12:26 pm
  8. 2024-04-18 3:54 am
    • 2024-04-18 9:25 pm
  9. 2024-04-19 1:20 pm
    • 2024-04-19 1:23 pm