Fake people with fake cookies and fake social-media accounts, fake-moving their fake cursors, fake-clicking on fake websites — the fraudsters had essentially created a simulacrum of the internet, where the only real things were the ads.

How much of the internet is fake? Studies generally suggest that, year after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human; some years, according to some researchers, a healthy majority of it is bot. For a period of time in 2013, the Times reported this year, a full half of YouTube traffic was “bots masquerading as people,” a portion so high that employees feared an inflection point after which YouTube’s systems for detecting fraudulent traffic would begin to regard bot traffic as real and human traffic as fake. They called this hypothetical event “the Inversion.”

Max Read, "How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually.", NY Mag

This is a brilliant must-read linking some of my favorite articles recently like Rising Instagram Stars Are Posting Fake Sponsored Content (if that makes your soul hurt, then you're not alone). The article doesn't even account for some of the many fraudsters like BuzzFeed's investigative report "Apps Installed On Millions Of Android Phones Tracked User Behavior To Execute A Multimillion-Dollar Ad Fraud Scheme" or Fake Retail apps in the iOS app store. But if NYmag were to attempt to report on all the online scams not listed in this article from 2018, the entire tenor of the publication would need to shift into a security blog.

We're surfing on a river of bullshit while each of us contributes our own tiny tributary of turds. We are all to blame for what is happening. To borrow from Esquire's Magazine, it's the enshittening, the active participation in shittifying the web.

Amazon is a terrible place to shop, filled with fake reviews, counterfeits, fake products, stealth Amazon owned brands which they try and trick you into buying and we still shop at it.

FaceBook doesn't give two shits about it's effect on politics, be it hate-speech that lead to murders, enabling Russian meddling, anyone's well being, or the gazillion infractions against privacy and we still use it, continuing to enshitten ourselves. Then there's our Enshitter-In-Chief, a one-man colon catastrophe when it comes to bullshit. He's so full of bullshit that he managed to make 28 disprovable statements (lie) publically a day last month. Even his underlings are more than gitty to perpetuate bullshit.

To lazy to make up your own bullshit? Want to build an empire of bullshit? There's an entire bullshit industry you're probably not even familiar with, even if you've heard of low-rent bullshit like Fiver. There are full-on bullshit mills to generate bullshit on your behalf!

We don't need "Virtual Reality," we're already living in one. Everything is bullshit — Happy New Year.

01/31/23: This article was cited by Castlebridge's blog for the term Enshittening pertaining to the rise of Chat GPT. I wholeheartedly approve as Chat GPT gives us whole new avenues to shittify the web with generative bullshit. Chat GPT's impressive nature is that it produces confidently correct and incorrect information with impunity. We're likely on the precipice of new levels of bullshit when AI models are trained on content generated by AI. To use a dated reference, it'll be the "copy of a copy" effect as illustrated in Multiplicity. In a truly dystopian timeline, this limitation could lock AI to forever a pre-2022 mindset when content can be assumed to be predominantly created by actual meat bags, forever knee-capping human expression from evolving.

Let the enshittening of knowledge begin. We will make ourselves more delusional and stupid in the process.