i made a post a bit ago before the reddit black out even happened, talking about how many AI written articles i find when searching for answers on stuff- usually things a little more specific (questions for video games, tech, everyday things but more specific to you, etc. not just "what city is this state in"). its bad- i basically get that or i get reddit threads when i google. and before the reddit black out, i hadnt thought too much about how those AI threads would be.... the only thing left behind if i didnt have reddit. still i watched the reddit black out live, i watched /r/funny go private at midnight. and yet it didnt really hit the importance of reddit until i went on the next day looking for help on a mac laptop i was restoring and realized all the reddits i checked were private. needing mod help for my server, all private. searching reddit for a game i couldnt remember, private.
theres a lot on the internet that needs to be preserved, kept alive, kept relevant. over and over i see people reminisce on old forums and how theyre gone and be brought back- and i think no ones follows through with the format because places like reddit at least fulfill that to some extent. staying with the mainstream is easier and its understandable, bc its relevant and trying to start up your little forum and advertise it isnt easy. Reddit being mainstream becomes the useful google option for a niche forum subject without being a lone forum you probably wont find in typical google search.
and now Reddit isn't available. the most mainstream iteration of those lovely little forums of discussion and support is not available. does it hit now? does it sink in now how bad this is? the past year- maybe even less than a year- has been so so chaotic and bad for the internet. instagram starting turning into tiktok a while back with its changes to feed and format. youtube has slowly followed suit with forcing short's as more relevant for creators than normal videos. twitter did... well, all of That, a lot of Things. Reddit goes along to make their API paid for. Discord turning to the methods on social media, with username changes and more. tumblr is also shifting so much of their entire deal, i think you should all be prepared for tumblr to become unrecognizable too because theres many hints of it happening- some already here.
when i made my personal website over a year ago, it was partially fun but it was a statement for myself too. it was recognition that social media had become unhealthy for me, and i didnt like how it was The thing that existed now, and that bigs corps suddenly taking more and more control of the web was bad and not something i wanted to be stuck with. but suddenly its not just a gentle step to the side i have taken, still knowing i can be on social media to see my friends and build an audience. but now it feels more like all the walls are crumbling around me, and soon i will have no choice but to jump ship entirely. i went from one, to the other, to tumblr where i had always been- the one site that stuck out from the others at least. had an 'old' format. in many ways you need social media.... because its how you made your friends, its how you stay in touch, its how communities get built these days!!
we can try to move back to the independent, the personal sites, the forums, but we all know its not easy. thats truth. its not going to spread as far as we'd hope, many will not follow suit or not know they can. i can only imagine all the old, tech unaware people who will continue to use the internet, never realizing why they struggle to get info or unknowingly follow nonsense AI articles, and have no idea that anything exists outside of the bubble theyre forced into. Not even the old people, but the young generations that will grow into that too and not get out of it.
im just waiting for the mainstream internet to just become entirely unusable from our perspective and its dreadful to me. trying not to be a doomer but i dont think its something you cant ignore when something as simple as googling slightly more specific questions brings nothing but AI nonsense articles or reddit posts and when one of those massive and only relevant sources is down, there is suddenly nothing.