People survive by passing information between themselves,” Lanier, 61, told the Guardian in an interview. “We’re putting that fundamental quality of humanness through a process with an inherent incentive for corruption and degradation. The fundamental drama of this period is whether we can figure out how to survive properly with those elements or not.”
The exaggerated focus on Twitter in recent months after its chaotic take over by billionaire Elon Musk follows longstanding concerns about Facebook and others, including state actors. He mentions “psychological operatives” working for Vladimir Putin and the Chinese communist state apparatus. All of them are filtering or promoting information for their own gains. In short, the web is not a free market of information as originally envisioned. It is a gamed system being rampantly abused.
If we can coordinate ourselves to solve the climate crisis it’s a fundamental sign we haven’t become completely dysfunctional
“There are all kind of intermediaries. They might be the people who own a platform, recently Elon Musk, or third parties who are good at sneaking in influence. The interveners can be varied. Some are official, some are revealed, others hidden. Some are competent, some incompetent. Some are random, like an algorithm that someone made but didn’t understand.”