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Going back to Twitter I now see the concept of "going viral" as what it actually is, a weird and unhealthy obsession actively encouraged by platforms through the frustratingly mysterious black box of their algorithims. And it's not like this is accidental either, this is gradual and deliberate social engineering on behalf of large corporations that transforms normal reasonable people into obsessive, dysfunctional content farms. We were never the consumer. We were the product.

This is specifically damaging to creative types I think. They're told that they can make a living off of doing art online, and some can, but that is a fraction of a fraction. The online art market is hilariously oversaturated, and basically forces you to make as much stuff for free as possible, with little to no return, for years on end without noticeable progress. I'm not really sure what the alternative is to this, given that traditional methods of promotion are either inaccessible or extinct.

Because it's more or less common knowledge that algorithms favor images, and don't like long posts much, as a writer I've essentially been told to get fucked. I'm probably better off pursuing traditional methods of publishing, realistically I'll be doing a mix of both on and off line but I realize that online should not be my main area of focus.

Anyway I'm probably just going to use social media for what it was actually meant to be used for, being social without a long-term goal or an ulterior motive. It's really for the best.

@DayGloChainsaw The proper alternative, imo, would be to ensure everyone has their needs met without having to worry about a job.

Then, when people make art for free, it doesn't matter because there's no need for profits in the first place.

twitter, being seen Show more

twitter, being seen Show more

@DayGloChainsaw I work in indie app marketing. That word adopted for that context has always disgusted me. It’s like they were hiding the sliminess in plain sight. “Viral.” 🤢

@DayGloChainsaw Oh, no shit.

Why else would all the big "trends" be movie hype and celebrity bullshit?

Why else would the viral videos on YouTube always be footage of dumbasses drinking liquid nitrogen and trying to launch bottle rockets from their butt cracks?

@DayGloChainsaw Removing the corporate profit aspect doesn't seem to me to remove the temptation to achieve virality.

It happens that currently the Mastodon culture discourages it, but if you're hooked on the feedback of social media attention, Mastodon will still provide that hit. I can look at my "kitten picture" post from a few hours ago and see 15 faves, 5 boosts, and saw them in my notification feed.

I see that the profit-motive algorithm-encouragement lessens the incentives, but on personal levels, they're still there.

But maybe like alcoholics and addicts, the culture can respond differently. It has a good start, I think.

the economy of the marketplace of ideas Show more

the economy of the marketplace of ideas Show more

@DayGloChainsaw For a second I thought you said you were going back to Twitter. Pang of horror

@DayGloChainsaw Yep, Twitter is basically engineered to encourage free work you're giving up the license. That's why I'm only shitposting on Twitter (this + 280 characters).

@DayGloChainsaw Also, they've changed the term "algorithm" to mean "secret sauce".

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