Why Is the Web So Monotonous? Google

Does it ever feel like the internet is getting worse? That’s been my impression for the last decade. The internet feels now like it consists of ten big sites, plus fifty auxiliary sites that come up whenever you search for something outside of the everyday ten. It feels like it’s harder to find amateur opinions on matters, except if you look on social media, where amateur opinions are shared, unsolicited, with much more enthusiasm than they deserve. The accessibility of the top ten seems like it collapses the internet into a monoculture of extremism, and, perhaps even more disappointingly, a monoculture that echos the offline world.

Contrast this to the internet of yore. By virtue of being hard to access, the internet filtered away the mass appeal it has today. It was hard and expensive to get on, and in the absence of authoring tools, you were only creating internet content if you had something to say. Which meant that, as a consumer, if you found something, you had good reason to believe it was well-informed. Why would someone go through the hassle of making a website about something they weren’t interested in?

In 2022, we have a resoundingly sad answer to that question: advertising…

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