Dead Internet Theory

Who Are You Really Talking to Online? The Dead Internet Theory Explained


  • Dead internet theory posits bots & AI control online interaction, suppressing human content.
  • Examples include generic responses & AI-generated content with excessive engagement.
  • Internet traffic shows 50% from non-human sources, bots polluting platforms with spam.

MUO article which paints a dismal picture for general Social Media. We see a fair bit of it here too, but most of you recognize and ignore the generic AI contributors—even if the poster is human. Keep doing that!
This of course excludes our much-loved resident bots, which we have labeled 'Community Contributors' for clarity.

Is this the death spiral of generic mass SocMed? Advertisers are going to cotton on pretty quickly, especially as results slow to a trickle or less.

Will we see a growth trend for smaller human-curated media like PCG forums?
bots, on social media, are used to flood conversations and reinforce ideas by repeating them using slightly different words. So they work great on social media as they can push counter arguments off the front page. But they don't work all that well on forums.

Well, the last part depends how active moderation is at trying to stop it. It can work on forums if you don't fight it. Hate to imagine here if we didn't. Spam bots can sure make asking questions or finding answers, on forums, completely pointless... i remember. 2020 wasn't that long ago.

AI posters will improve. We can recognise them now but it really depends on the sources they get info from and how well they trained as to if we can continue to spot them.

Best answer is to accept it and try to use AI to fight against it. Lets start an arms race.


Community Contributor
I've seen this for a long, LONG time. Since the mid 90's, back in the Usenet days. Certain people didn't like folks posting transcripts from court cases regarding the Church of Scientology - especially when it included their secret teachings. So, they started spamming all the topics in alt.religion.scientology. 75%+ of the posts in every topic would be extra-long posts full of nothing but random phrases. Of course, there was no moderation at all - nobody owned the group.

Is this the death spiral of generic mass SocMed? Advertisers are going to cotton on pretty quickly, especially as results slow to a trickle or less.

Here's a radio story for ya:

After you get through the why-not-have-5-heads silliness (hint: because that's called "monstrous" not "beautiful"), they talk to a guy about why he's doing it. Answer: AI influencers.

Remember how, back in Asimov's robot books, all the robots' names had to be R. something? I'm starting to see the wisdom in that.
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long so I don't expect Brian to watch

Usually you'd be correct, but as replied to wherever else you posted this, the guy is very good, does decent analysis. Well worth 90 minutes if interested in the bot topic—even if it's centered on Team Fortress 2, it references other popular multi games for comparisons.

PS thanks for finding a good home for the thread :)

Lets start an arms race

There's been flood control in forum software for ages, which would go a long way towards protecting against any rapid swamping. I imagine Steam could do sth similar to slow the number of accounts suddenly logging into TF2 if they wanted to.

AI posters will improve

I don't mind if AI can provide 'better' info than humans. I've relied a lot more on AI for decades to find useful websites for whatever I'm researching, so it will have plenty of positive uses.

It's in what you call "reinforce ideas by repeating them" on general SocMed where a lot of danger lies—we've seen how easy it is to cause significant shifts in society attitudes via manipulation of popular media.

radio story

I remember around mid-10s reading about a number of AI models which were being used in fashion and as influencers with SocMed accounts.

I don't get why participants in that radio story complained about the similarity of the pageant to a human one. There are a myriad of outlets for alternatives, so don't expect a cat at a dog show—start a cat show.
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Very interesting article. That is kind of the reason why I wanted to return to forums, sadly we still have some bots and “fake posters” here, but a lot better than some of the other internet circles I used to hang around in.

I’m a habitual commenter, I comment a lot across the likes of YouTube and Facebook mostly. Most of the interactions you have on those sites seem genuinely real enough. TikTok on the other hand is full of bots, or just people without really great commenting etiquette, I think a mix of both. Returning to posting on forums has for the most part been really great. Besides here, I occasionally post on the IGN Boards, and both forums have proven to have tight-knit communities of real people which is much better than talking into the void on Twitter where you may have lots of followers but your posts get pushed down the timeline for various reasons.

Algorithms rule everything including the big social media sites. Of course when you make a post on YouTube or TikTok, without an already built audience you are fully expecting the algorithm to do its thing or not. You are at the mercy of hoping your video has enough appeal that the algorithm dictates your video should been seen by more people. When it comes to things like Twitter or Facebook, you are expecting that your friends and followers will see it, but a lot of times it can also get pushed down out of sight from the people you want to see it.

Forums are structured a lot more “professionally” for lack of a better word. It’s a lot easier to see posts and replies you missed. You can see everyone’s posts right away, rather than just letting the site show you what it wants to show you. With all this being said, being posters on a forum, it’s important that we weed out bots and fake posters. I know I type like I’m an AI (no one would have told me that prior to 2021…), but I appreciate well written, well thought out posts and proper grammar, generally just more thought out into posts apart from a typical YT comment. I’m not perfect in those regards by any means, but if I typed like this on a YouTube comment, no one would read it. I think it just helps facilitate a more natural conversation, or in the case of the monthly discussion threads, a place to let your thoughts free. Different sites require different levels of typing skills I suppose.

I rambled on enough, hopefully that’s enough to prove I’m not an AI :ROFLMAO:
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