If you've ever been online and seen videos of pimple popping, people hurting themselves or each other, cow hoof trimming, or one of the many other categories of undesirable, triggering, illegal behavior, and or gross things that you've never searched for, you may begin to feel a desire to turn off the Internet for good like I too have felt more often.
The Internet is now like Times Square in New York, also tailored by marketers and shop keepers, with a wild collage of advertisements playing on every screen and speaker, all trying to capture your attention. Most of the content you see, including children doing a catchy dance are now commercials, and people are slowly beginning to notice that advertising is not actual nor truly valuable content. Ads now are the items that charade as honest content, but end up being flashy and hollow presentations that promise us great experiences if we "like and subscribe" and (somehow send money of course) to their creators.
If you actually follow the trail of undesired content you see on social platforms now (which I did a few times just to get the truth) you often find that there are pyramid-scheme levels of investment to many ads with little useful content behind them a lot of the time. Many of the honest creators with real value never come across your view because they don't have the advertising budgets to be able to make it to the point of being visible... Yes, as I've said before, things aren't fair on the Internet, but daily it worries me even more that our options as content creators and even content consumers are shrinking fast, and being able to truly select what we personally want to see and hear will soon become a distant dream.
The "cow hoof pedicure" video was likely a promoted ad run by a hoof trimming specialist who was just trying to generate business in a bad economy, as well as the videos of pimple popping often brings clients into a dermatologist's office, but neither of the problems really related to me at all and they still showed up on my feed somehow, not because of my individual preferences, who I followed on the platforms, or because of my prior view history, they showed up on my timeline because someone paid to promote the videos. Our children as well now may be seeing a myriad of veiled ads disguised as real content, some containing even sensitive and negative content that escapes past moderation teams as well because individuals and businesses also hack the system to gain profit. I'm not against the pimple popping doctor, nor against the cow pedicurist at all mind you, however It would be nice if I had a way to "block" those particular hash tags somehow now that I'm bombarded with the undesired content across multiple social sites I frequent.
Some promoted ads are compelling, yet many promoted content posts now have psychological impacts upon us in ways we haven't yet accounted for. Now that social sites and apps are dominant across our Internet experience, and now that content and behavior is tracked across the entire Internet, we face new and very complex challenges in the process of managing our mental health and positive motivation as we individually work on the Internet to find what we truly (and individually like).
Behind the scenes we're often categorized and stereotyped by code based on our behavioral characteristics, our geographical location, what we buy, and based on who is connected to us as friends. We are at the mercy of corporate executives now more than ever, and our Internet experiences are becoming less about individual control and more about a pre-defined user experience without us even knowing it. In some cases, platforms generating ad revenue defies the model, and that's when we get unexpected and often saddening or shocking suggestions, and it's on the rise now as revenue is placed above value by platforms.
It's more and more obvious to individuals now that when they go online that the people in their friends lists barely see the content they post now. Internet business success advice is now a huge field for marketers, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has surged as a field of study for everyone from Nike executives to your neighbor down the street that runs a makeup tutorial channel on YouTube. Almost everyone providing content online has taken a wild turn from providing once-specific, well produced, and knowledgeable content based on their specialization to providing hastily put together, poorly scripted, and jump-cut filled content that is meant to capture attention quickly and inspire you as the viewer to follow them and like their post for more of the same content. This new trend also floods out the valuable video or web site you once used to be able to find online about how to pair your phone with your car using Bluetooth, or how to plant tomatoes, simply because now... that stuff doesn't really generate money for platforms even though it means a lot to you.
I write a lot about the dying value of the Internet and there's a reason... I've seen it since it's inception, and know how great it was to be able to access pretty much any book in a library without using microfilm after years of searching through shelves and reading volumes of content before I found answers... Now that process of viewing volumes of content before finding answers is coming back, with sponsored and "non-skippable" ads prior to it all. There is a huge underlying problem when the news and facts that we greatly rely upon become sensationalized content. There is also a problem when government and consumer protection units don't truly educate themselves on the dynamics of technology and create regulation to reign in bad behavior.
We used to leave the process of creating ads to large corporations like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Nike because advertising used to be a very costly process and production values were very high. Most of us can recall the Iconic Pepsi commercial when Michael Jackson's hair caught on fire... Back then they even had a prime time show to award TV commercial producers and teams. More recently, with the advent of social media, a few TV channels have turned into thousands of "nooks and crannies" where ads can be placed... Many of these social media sites spent years offering their platforms to us (the general public) for free, and many of us clicked through flashy ads that were run by many of these companies and it used to pay the light bills for them (apparently). We saw new feature updates on many of these sites as a result to connect us with friends and to help us share our individual work, and it inspired some really great original content and ideas... Then it all began to go dark as things started doing this new thing based on an old term: GOING VIRAL. Through going viral, many very unknown people became celebrities of sort... They ended up finding career-level success across platforms if they could manage to re-create that viral success over and over again, and they often gained agreements with companies and others to covertly promote products and services in their "recurrently viral" content. "Viral creators" used to be regular people creating videos on YouTube and various other platforms, usually with low production value, and the content would motivate a lot of people to join specific social platforms overnight, as a result these platforms decided to shift towards elevating certain creators to their front pages more than other (undiscovered) content creators, and suddenly the dynamic sites where every user was on 'equal post footing" lost major ground to the viral economy.
After a few years of developing influencer economies, social platforms and large corporations shifted towards "super-monetization" of the viral content economy... "Monetization" in the case applies to the process of converting an Internet trend into profit through the sale of products or services. For example, a creator can make a compilation of car crash videos and then at the end, subtly advertise their legal office in order to generate a client base from people drawn to the videos (also subtly cementing their company's brand identity through publishing multiple videos on the same subject)
Social platforms began to only allow the most influential, viral, and "liked" content to rise to the top... They also began to create automated systems that allowed small companies and individuals to pay for custom promotion of their posts, which created new revenue streams and that began to corrupt the model of post equality on platforms even further.
This move left unknown (and non-promotional-ad-running) content creators to struggle with "keeping up". Many unknown creators had already over-invested themselves into expensive equipment to increase their content production values, many basement producers were putting out content that rivaled major studios, in many ways content thrived for a time, but potential for hard and expensive failure increased dramatically for creators in their attempts to be discovered. We saw cases of content creators doing the wildest things to be discovered including the worst kinds of things; being arrested by police, abusing their children, falling off of cliffs during selfie attempts, and fights at iHOP (among many other now forgotten but once very popular viral trends).
"Organic Growth" refers to the process of being discovered as a creator through natural means of someone seeing a part of your work and then clicking through to find more out of personal connections. It also includes the process of subscribing to a particular creator to see newly published content into the future.
Fast forward to our reality now, many creators are slowly discovering that their organic growth is completely throttled by platforms in order to encourage them to grind harder to gain attention for their specific art, advice, personality, or business by doing dramatic, expensive, dangerous, and flashy things that in reality mostly serves to bring attention to the platform rather than the individual creator. Many creators are finding that only a small percentage of creators profit from all of their investment into going viral. Many creators already work hard for free to create engaging content already (which is THE MOST valuable commodity on all platforms). Now with limits placed on natural ability to share work (even on a non-viral basis) to followers that creators have built over years of work, social platforms are quickly losing favor among unknown creators. On the flip side, viewers and listeners that frequent social platforms to find news, music, video, editorial, and other content are beginning to notice how much their experiences are on train tracks, and how search results are being modified to provide tailored results rather than accurate results related closely to their search terms.
Creators, already overburdened with the process of making quality content are now saddled by almost every platform in paying to pay for promotion of their content every time it it published in order to have it seen, much less to be discovered by an audience, otherwise their content languishes out of public view. Frankly, this model for social platforms is not sustainable, as content creators are the bread and butter of social platforms. If content creators migrate away from individual social platforms due to the high cost of success on them (and start their own web sites for example) the downfall will be quick, because communities of viewers and listeners will quickly be drawn away to other places as well, and simply stop logging in... We've seen this happen before, and it's guaranteed to occur again.
The recurring conflict in modern times for social platforms seems to be rooted in whether they should work to please their shareholders, their unique content creators, or their consumer base, and the answer is probably for social platforms to develop valuable membership-based services for creators and consumers that aren't driven by the need to please investors. Natural law is that creators should only go viral for the right reasons, because people identify with them. When that natural law is corrupted for profit, it only yields 5 seconds of fame, poor search results, more dramatic events from attention seekers, a highly unstable creator economy, and more undesired "pimple popping cow hoof trimming" videos that you won't be able to escape unless you unplug everything.
The reason why you see undesired & emotionally triggering content more often online & why it's a bad omen for us all
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