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Weird conspiracy claims the Internet is 'fake'

September 7, 2021 | Comment icon 81 comments

No, the Internet is not a fake produced by an AI... Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Junior Melo
A growing number of people seem to believe that the 'real' Internet went offline several years ago.
We've seen more than our fair share of 'out there' conspiracy theories over the years, featuring ideas and concepts ranging from the potentially feasible to the downright absurd.

This latest one - which suggests that the Internet we use on a daily basis is actually a fake created by an artificial intelligence - fits firmly in the latter category.

There seem to be different versions of this conspiracy doing the rounds, however what they all have in common is the idea that the original, 'real' Internet went down several years ago.
Known as 'dead-Internet theory', the concept implies that the Internet was taken down by an artificial intelligence and that all the user-generated content you see online today has also been created by that same AI to put forward the appearance of a large number of users.

Some believe that 'the government' is secretly behind it all, with a group of highly-paid 'influencers' helping to perpetuate the illusion that the Internet is still buzzing with activity.

The entire thing is nonsense, of course, however such conspiracy theories provide an intriguing glimpse into how the human mind works as well as how such bizarre ideas actually get started.

Whether this particular conspiracy is likely to stick around, however, remains to be seen.

Source: The Atlantic | Comments (81)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #72 Posted by Tatetopa 7 months ago
Money?  Google found a way to prioritize searches to sites that advertise and make them money. Every web address becomes a potential money generation site.  Internet providers prioritize paying sites with lots of advertising traffic.  Everybody else gets pushed to the outskirts.  Anything that does not show up in a search is unavailable unless you already know th eaddress. 
Comment icon #73 Posted by Tatetopa 7 months ago
On many days I have agreed with you.  Some of the adventure and unexpected is gone but the utility is still there. I use it for education quite a bit now, but the surprises have become much rarer.
Comment icon #74 Posted by Manwon Lender 7 months ago
That's a frightening thought how do they survive, I bet they have Neanderthal DNA, that must be the problem!!!!!!!! Peace my friend!!!!!
Comment icon #75 Posted by Manwon Lender 7 months ago
Like you my friend I use the internet to expand my horizons, but I do remember the beginning of this thing we call the Internet. I joined the US Army in 1978, and in 1983 I was given a Computer to use as part of my Job in the US Army. Well honestly I did not even know how to turn it on much less use it, but like all things in the Military was I sent to a civilian class for 1 week Training. The Computer was made by Wang Laboratories and it was  possibly the first Wang Professional Computer,  but it turned out to be a great learning tool and a great experience. it had a 8086 16-bit CPU, a MS-DOS... [More]
Comment icon #76 Posted by jmccr8 7 months ago
Hi Manwon Then I am a Neaderthal as my phone doesn't own me I own it and sometimes it sits somewhere when I am doing other things like working in the garage or leave it in the car when I am working. Tech has it's advantages that I use to my end but it has no idea the scope of what I do because it is not with me and I have dedicated machines that know me in a specific way because I do not sync them. Things serve a purpose and for me if they are assuming my need I am suspicious of how that is used in whatever way I try not to leave footprints yet still be seen to those that need to see me and I ... [More]
Comment icon #77 Posted by jmccr8 7 months ago
Hi MYLES i REMEMBER SITTING ON THE SECOND STORY ROOF OVER THE BATHROOM WATCHING COLOR TV AND LISTENING TO THE SAME SHOW THOUGH THE OPEN WINDOW OF MY BEDROOM. Sorry for the cap locks and normally would edit but at least I made and effort in my closing by not yelling at you PS my hearing aide should be here soon so I hope that fixes the yelling bit.
Comment icon #78 Posted by Manwon Lender 7 months ago
That's actually a great way to live, and I respect it. Personal security to me is to level you can't even imagine, I even use an encrypted router and software built by a friend who designs such things for military applications, every time he's updates the software he sends it to me, about every 6 months. It's impossible for anyone using the internet in my home to use a infected devise or to try and download anything infected from online. My router will destroy or completely block any infection from reaching my devises. So I need absolutely no Virus protection at all, plus I only use Apple prod... [More]
Comment icon #79 Posted by jmccr8 7 months ago
Hi Manwon  Thanks, life has taught me to be cautious and I am well aware of how tech tracks. Given my life I may be able to imagine ore than you think, war is war we have both survived our battles even if they are not done yet and attitude is everything. I do not have the advantage of the tech you use but have several security and cleaning apps from one company that has served me well because of how I browse and  the protocols that I use in my use in of this type of tech. I have no problem with saving files that have been scanned and wiping the drive if I suspect that it has been compromised, ... [More]
Comment icon #80 Posted by ZOXS 6 months ago
There definitely some elements of truth in the article I read. You can see bots posting on Reddit. They farm karma. Bots are relatively new. We didn’t see them in the 90s or much in the 2000s. The internet is trending into a more AI centred network just not to the extent the conspiracy is claiming.
Comment icon #81 Posted by llegendary 4 months ago
There's a difference of being a conspiracy and being painted as a conspiracy theory. When something is smeared as a conspiracy theory, you have to take a very close look because those are cases of (this was deleted off of this website after the word "of" when I mentioned the next wording)  wwrrongg tth1nk and are harmful to governing interests.

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