The ISA has come up in recent thought, and I reference to the idea a fair bit, so I thought that I’d cover it.
On the by, the name is a bastardized version of this trope. So, yeah.
The internet works in a peculiar way when it comes to products. In the “real world” an inferior product can be destroyed by negative reviews, as people won’t spend money on something that has bad press. Take a game, for example: if everyone says that it’s crap then you won’t pay for it, denying the creators the profit.
However, websites and their content can be viewed for free, which generates profit for the owners through ad revenue. Thus, any viewing of the page will pay the creator off, regardless of the opinion of the reader.
There’s an old saying that “There’s no such thing as bad press”, and that applies to the internet doubly so. If CNN were to find the deepest, darkest pit of the internet and write a five page thesis on how terrible it is, that site’s pageviews will skyrockets from people just wanting to know what all the fuss is about.
Thus, the only way to get rid of something bad on the internet is to ignore it into oblivion. People won’t keep sites going if no one is visiting, why do you think so many first-time bloggers fail? Especially if they are paying to have them hosted somewhere.
That’s how we tend to treat truly bad things, we just don’t talk about them. We ignore them, and they fade from the consciousness of the Hive Mind that is the Net in a process that I’ve lovingly stolen titled the Internet Sorting Algorithm.
The ISA is why I always say that I only review topics with some measure of worth. Okay, I made an exception for one comic, but only because the creator advertises like he dumped Scrooge McDuck’s bank account into Project Wonderful. As a rule, however, I don’t write on utter shit because there’s no point to it, and I really don’t want to give them justifying pageviews. I just let them sit on their own little corner until they get better and people start noticing or the domain 404’s for good.
You might be wondering why this is a pressing concern all of the sudden; it’s because of the 4chan-tumblr fiasco that occurred a few days ago. And before you channers start calling me out for blogging about it, you idiots made “4CHAN” trend on fucking Twitter. I don’t want to hear about it. Learn to keep your mouths shut.
If you hadn’t heard about it, Tumblr has been stealing content, 4chan got sick of it, and decided to DoS attack Tumblr. However, the entire thing backfired to the point where both sites are full of members of the other, and (/cringe) “Chumblr” content has been posting everywhere. Plus, various news sites and the aforementioned Twitter nonsense added to the press.
So, basically, in their attempt to attack Tumblr the Channers gave it a thousand points of free publicity.
Here’s the kicker: many people had no idea what Tumblr was before the attacks started, myself included. Thus, why would you bother with it at all? Why not let the ISA take care of them, pushing the crazy hipsters into the peripheral until they were so sequestered that they didn’t bother anyone, or they disappeared forever?
In short, the internet has its own way of purging the crap from itself. There’s no need to attack the obscure crap, because that only validates their existence. This was intended as something of an informative piece, but take away something from it: the next time that you’re going to click through “just for kicks”, think twice. Do you really want to give away that pageview? You’re just feeding the creator, who will take your traffic and push on to make worse and worse material.