If you search for the phrase I hate texting On Twitter and scroll down, you’ll start to notice a pattern. An account with a @pixyIuvr handle and a glowing heart as a profile picture tweeting, “I hate texting, I just want to hold your hand” received 16,000 likes. An account with the handle @f41rygf and the pink ball as a profile picture tweeting, “I hate texting Come live with me” received nearly 33,000 likes. An account with the handle @itspureluv and the pink ball as profile picture tweeting, “I hate texting, I just want to kiss you”, received over 48,000 likes.
There are slight changes to the verb selection, username, and color scheme for the girls, but the idea is the same every time: I’m a fan of the age of smartphones, isn’t this related? Yes, that’s for sure! But some people on Twitter did he asked Whether they are really, really, just people who are fans of the smartphone era saying something related. They point to them as possible evidence to prove the validity of a wild idea called the “Dead Internet Theory”.
Let me explain. The dead internet theory suggests that the internet has been completely taken over by artificial intelligence. Like a lot of other online conspiracy theories, the audience for this one is growing due to the discussion led by a mix of true believers, cynical trolls, and curious chat lovers. One might point, for example, to @_capr1corn, a Twitter account with what looks like a blue orb with a pink spot in the middle as a profile picture. In the spring, the account tweeted “I hate texting and cuddling,” then “I hate texting, I just want to hug you,” then “I hate texting just come live with me,” then “I hate texting I just want to kiss you,” which It got 1,300 likes but it didn’t perform as well as it did with @itspureluv. But unlike a lot of other conspiracy theories online, these theories have a bit of truth to it. Person or robot: does it really matter?
Dead Internet Theory. It’s terrifying, but I love it. I read about it at the Macintosh Café on Agora Road, an online forum with the polka-dotted Margaritaville vibe and the self-granted honor of “The Internet’s Best Secret!” For now, the background is a recurring image of palm trees, warm pink sunsets, and some sort of liquor pouring into a rocky glass. The site is largely dedicated to discussing lo-fi hip-hop, which I don’t listen to, but it’s also to discussing conspiracy theories, which I do.
In January I stumbled upon a new thread titled “The Dead Internet Theory: Most of the Internet Is Fake”, shared by a user called IlluminatiPirate. Over the next few months this will become ur text for those interested in the theory. The post is quite long, and some of it is very confusing; The author claims to have compiled the theory from ideas shared by anonymous users of the paranormal section 4chan and another forum called Wizardchan, an online community based on gaining wisdom and magic through celibacy. (In an email, IlluminatiPirate, an operations supervisor at a California logistics company, told me he “really believed” in the theory. I agreed not to identify him by name because he said he feared harassment.)
The post, brimming with occasional offensive language, notes that the internet died in 2016 or early 2017, and that it is now “empty and devoid of people”, as well as “completely sterile”. Much of the “supposedly human-generated content” you see online has been created using artificial intelligence, IlluminatiPirate claims, and propagated by bots, possibly with the help of a group of “influencers” on the payroll of several government-collaborating companies. The intention of the conspiring group, of course, is to control our thoughts and get us to buy things.
As evidence, IlluminatiPirate offers, “I’ve seen the same threads, the same photos, and the same responses I’ve reposted over and over over the years.” argues that all modern entertainment is created and recommended by an algorithm; nods to the presence of deepfake technology, which suggests that anything at all may be an illusion; and links to New York A story from 2018 titled “How much fake internet? Turns out, a lot of it, actually.” “I think it’s pretty clear what I’m subtly suggesting here in light of this setting,” the post continues. “The US government is engaged in AI-powered gas lighting for all of the world’s population.” So far, the original post has been viewed more than 73,000 times.
The Internet is clearly not a government psychological device, even though the Department of Defense had a role in its invention. But if that’s the case, the most compelling evidence for me is the Dead Internet’s observation that the same news about unusual events related to the Moon seem to repeat year after year. I swear I’ve been saying this for years. What is a blood moon super flower? What is a giant pink moon? A quick search of this month’s headlines just shows: “There’s something special about this weekend’s moon,” “Don’t miss: Rare, ‘blue moon’ rises tonight,” and “Why a blue moon this weekend is so rare.” “I just don’t understand why everyone is so invested in making me look at the moon all the time? Leave me alone on the moon!
The Dead Internet Theory is an apt idea because it is downright silly, but it has been spreading. Caroline Posta, founder of Berlin-based media platform New Models, noted this recently in her contribution to an online group show organized by the KW Institute of Contemporary Art. “Of course a lot of this post is paranoid fiction,” she told me. But the “overall idea” seems right to her. This theory has become food for dramatic YouTubers, including one that summarizes the original post in Spanish and has been viewed nearly 260,000 times. Speculation about the theory’s validity started popping up in the widely read Hacker News forum and among fans of the popular YouTube channel Linus Tech Tips. On a Reddit forum on the paranormal, the theory was discussed as a possible explanation for why threads around UFOs are “hijacked” by robots so often.
The spread of the theory was not entirely organic. IlluminatiPirate posted a link to his statement on several Reddit forums discussing conspiracy theories, including the Joe Rogan subreddit, which has 709,000 subscribers. In r/JoeRogan’s comments, users argue sarcastically – or honestly? – About including a robot. “I’m definitely the kind of loser who would get tricked into living among bots and never realize it,” a member of the Something Awful forum adjacent to 4chan commented when the theory was posted there in February. One replied, “It looks like something a bot is posting.” Even hilarious arguments about how everything is the same.
That particular conversation continued down the bleakest way imaginable, to the point of this comment: “If I were real, I’m sure I’d be there living each day to the fullest and experiencing all I could do in every given moment of the relatively infinitesimal amount of time that I’ll be in it instead of posting online about nonsense.”
Anyway…the dead internet theory is a long way off. But unlike many other online conspiracy theorists, who are really boring or naive or driven by weird politics, dead people online have a certain point of view. In the New York The story that IlluminatiPirate evokes, writer Max Reed plays with paranoia. He writes: “Everything that once seemed definitively real now undoubtedly looks a bit fake.” But he makes a strong argument: He points out that the majority of web traffic probably comes from bots, and that YouTube, for some time, has had such high traffic from bots that some employees fear “reflection” — the point at which its systems start looking at bots on the They are original and humans as non-original. He also points out that even engagement metrics on large and powerful sites like Facebook have been greatly inflated or easy to play with, and human presence can be imitated by click farms or cheap bots.
Some of this may get better now, for better or worse. Social media companies have gotten a lot better at preventing the purchase of fake views and fake likes, while some bot farmers, in response, are becoming more sophisticated. The major platforms are still whack-a-mole with non-original activity so the average internet user has no way of knowing how much they see as “real”.
But more than that, theory Feel True: Most weeks, Twitter is taken over by debate about how best to practice personal hygiene, or which cities have the worst food and air quality, which somehow turn into allegations of classism and accusations of murder, which for whatever reason are not actually as offensive as classism. anymore. A celebrity sorry. The music video contains break the internet. The meme became popular and then became boring. “Bennifer may be back again, and no one is more excited than Twitter. At this point, you could even say the point of the theory is pretty clear, it’s a cliché – people talk about longing for the days of weird web design, personal sites, and service menus all the time. Even Facebook employees say they miss the “old” internet. Big platforms Act Encourage users to have the same conversations, emotion arcs, and cycles of anger over and over, to the point where people may find themselves behaving like robots, responding impulsively in predictable ways to generated objects that, in all likelihood, evoke that very response.
Fortunately, if all of this starts to bother you, you don’t have to rely on a wacky conspiracy theory for mental peace. You can just look for evidence of life: My best proof that the Internet is not dead, is that I wandered into some strange site and found silly talk about how the Internet came to be, And therefore deceased.