The Internet Corrupts Creators more than Consumers

23rd December 2021

I've read plenty of articles about how social-media consumption can be bad for our mental health. But most focus on the consumers of the content rather than the creators. This article is about how the internet can corrupt content creators.

Firstly we must define what corruption means in our context. For the purpose of this article I will say that corrupted content is content made with an ulterior motive which compromises it's ability to serve it's purpose. With it's purpose being one of the following:

These are the ulterior motives that can corrupt the creator:

Fear of Condemnation

If the fear of being condemned means that you don't write/speak your true opinions then this will corrupt your work.

As the internet allows one to receive a huge amount of negative feedback very quickly from any random person it amplifies this problem. Even to the point where "cancel culture" can make one lose one's job just for saying something that offends someone (even if all you did was point-out an uncomfortable truth).

Obviously with such ferocious consequences for those who go against the collective-consciousness of the internet, it is unsurprising that people hold their tongues.

Desire for Recognition

If you want recognition on the internet you will need to create content that will be popular. The problem is that, on the internet, anonymous likes and algorithms decide what is popular and what's not.

People have optimised their sites for algorithms ever since the search-engines existed. But now with social media people optimise their content to get likes from anonymous people whom they know nothing about, and secret algorithms of unfathomable complexity.

This means that if you really desire recognition on the internet, you are a slave to these anonymous likes and algorithms. Who can imagine how this will corrupt and distort your content?

Advertising Money

If you search Google you will find many articles about how to be a successful content-creator, all focusing on how much money one can make (through advertising and sponsorships).

People who use ads with their content often make huge amounts of money from a small number of "viral" or just exceptionally popular content. This incentivises making large amounts of content to try to "cast a wide net" in the hopes that just one will go viral and make one rich. It also incentivises "click-bait" titles and thumbnails on articles or videos.

This causes media sites to be flooded with low-quality garbage and forces us to rely even more on likes and algorithms to sift through it.

Conclusion

It's up to you to make your own conclusion on what to do about all this. However you may consider these suggestions: