The Web Is Evolving and Worsening

Alex Pareene, Defector:

We are living through the end of the useful internet. The future is informed discussion behind locked doors, in Discords and private fora, with the public-facing web increasingly filled with detritus generated by LLMs, bearing only a stylistic resemblance to useful information. Finding unbiased and independent product reviews, expert tech support, and all manner of helpful advice will now resemble the process by which one now searches for illegal sports streams or pirated journal articles. The decades of real human conversation hosted at places like Reddit will prove useful training material for the mindless bots and deceptive marketers that replace it.

The way I often must to search the web today for useful, factual information is already similar to — as Pareene writes — “searches for illegal sports streams”. My queries contain so many Boolean operators that DuckDuckGo gets confused, and Google requires me to confirm I am not a robot.

Spending time on the web does not end with a search query, but it often begins that way. Burying an informative public, open web under a bunch of robotically generated material and pablum from marketing ghouls would be an indescribable loss. The rise of more private communities is a positive development, but only in coexistence with a public web.