All across the internet, a dangerous idea is taking hold.
To its passionate, demographically consistent, very “online” base of fanatical supporters, it’s a bold new articulation of a timeless struggle for self-determination. To its most vociferous critics, it has troubling echoes of a not-so-distant tyranny. To some, it’s just plain common sense and/or an affront to human nature.
Of course, there’s no way to have this discussion without touching on free speech, censorship, Marxism, reverse Marxism, Kanye West, Me Too, MAGA, The Last Jedi, Infowars, QAnon, Throwback Thursday, Trump, Clinton, and any number of other SEO-friendly search terms demonstrated to stimulate intense audience engagement — as a real human being myself, I of course have many authentic feelings about all of this excellent content.
But at the same time, there are still a lot of misconceptions about whatever the hell I’m talking about: some readers, no doubt, are already down in the comments, engaged in heated debate as to who the real pedophiles are without even reading my bullshit little opinion. On one hand, that really helps us out with the Algorithm (that’s industry jargon for the new god we made), but on the other hand it’s not nearly enough: we need decent, hard-working, right-thinking people to click through to the site, go back to the comments, tell a bunch of other people that they didn’t read the article, then just hang out there for, like, a day or two — if you don’t do it, then the indecent lazy wrong-feeling subhumans most certainly will.
It’s uncanny: everywhere you look, everyone else is being pushed to threatening extremes. The Left is becoming brutally authoritarian and/or dangerously ahierarchical, the Right wants to enslave you to a fascist military order and/or unfettered neo-corporatism, digital journalism is intrepidly storming the gates to expose hidden truths and/or hooking each and every one of you monkey-brained rubes on your own perfect cocktail of perpetually escalating personal reinforcement and tribal threat — the point is, something sinister is sweeping through the people who aren’t you, and we have all the best information on it.
Whether it’s a slightly edgier version of your own ideas or a slightly edgier version of those other folks’, get ready to hear a lot more about it, because sweet holy mother of fuck does it ever drive traffic to these shitty, bloggy, empty little thinkpieces.