Travels through the Internet

William H. Dutton (USC) and Laleah Fernandez (Michigan State): How Susceptible Are Internet Users? How the algorithm rewards extremism: Clive Thompson on Big Tech, the Internet, and the mess we’re in. Carl Miller reviews We Are the Nerds: The Birth and Tumultuous Life of Reddit, the Internet’s Culture Laboratory by Christine Lagorio-Chafkin. The rise and demise of RSS: Before the internet was consolidated into centralized information silos, RSS imagined a better way to let users control their online personas. How a Vermont social network became a model for online communities. Chloe Bryan on the curse of the Twitter reply guy.

When kids realize their whole life is already online: Googling yourself has become a rite of passage. How much of the Internet is fake? Turns out, a lot of it, actually. Robert Peck on the punishing ecstasy of being a Reddit moderator. Real black activists worry fake ones will drown them out on Twitter. Why so many men online love to use “logic” to win an argument, and then disappear before they can find out they’re wrong. The communal mind: Patricia Lockwood travels through the Internet. The histories of today’s wars are being written on Facebook and YouTube — but what happens when they get taken down?

The Internet is a monoculture built on ads and Drake. The comment moderator is the most important job in the world right now. Social platforms want to run the world — but look how they treat your email. Meet the man behind a third of what’s on Wikipedia. How the “Mandela Effect” theory of false memories took over the Internet. With social media disinformation, what — and who — should we be afraid of? RSS is better than Twitter. “The Linux of social media”: How LiveJournal pioneered (then lost) blogging.

The World Wide Web turns 30: Our favorite memories from A to Z. The World Wide Web — not the internet — turns 30 years old. The online icons that didn’t survive the web’s first 30 years. Old, online, and fed on lies: How an aging population will reshape the Internet.