There is that word again…

When scanning the news, I stumbled upon an article in Wired with the title “The Reddit Blackout Is Breaking Reddit“, itself being based upon another article in EFF titled “What Reddit Got Wrong“. And both of these articles cite (but link to different places in the web) a third article by Cory Doctorov titled “Tiktok’s enshittification“.

And there is it, that word. Enshittification. To cite Cory a bit more, just with his TL;DR “executive summary”, he explains it as follows:

Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die.

Cory Doctorov, on his own Pluralistic.Net website

Well it didn’t start with TikTok of course, and not with Twitter, nor will it end with Reddit. But what all these sites don’t seem to understand is that no one gave them the “right” to live and prosper by content which was created by others – namely, their users, moderators, and third-party programmers. And the fact that this is happening before Reddit even “went public” (meaning to the stock market with probably millions or billions of investment) shows what was also described quite nicely with the following analogy from EFF’s Rory Mir:

“You can’t inflate the balloon forever. It will pop at some point.”

Rory Mir of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

That describes capitalism as good as it gets imho. The EFF has btw a very nice tool to check which infos your browsers are leaking, see their “Cover Your Tracks” page and tool.

And to see Cory Doctorov’s famous article cited again and again reminds me to check out his books again on his Craphound page, some of which you can download and read for free, some even in German or other translations. In case you don’t know Cory and haven’t read any of his books yet, for starters I’d recommend his “Little Brother“. Then “Homeland“.

And like always, thanks for reading.