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posted by janrinok on Wednesday January 25 2023, @03:02PM   Printer-friendly
from the circle-of-life dept.

https://pluralistic.net/2023/01/21/potemkin-ai/#hey-guys

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.

I call this enshittification, and it is a seemingly inevitable consequence arising from the combination of the ease of changing how a platform allocates value, combined with the nature of a "two sided market," where a platform sits between buyers and sellers, hold each hostage to the other, raking off an ever-larger share of the value that passes between them.

[...] Search Amazon for "cat beds" and the entire first screen is ads, including ads for products Amazon cloned from its own sellers, putting them out of business (third parties have to pay 45% in junk fees to Amazon, but Amazon doesn't charge itself these fees). All told, the first five screens of results for "cat bed" are 50% ads.

This is enshittification: surpluses are first directed to users; then, once they're locked in, surpluses go to suppliers; then once they're locked in, the surplus is handed to shareholders and the platform becomes a useless pile of shit. From mobile app stores to Steam, from Facebook to Twitter, this is the enshittification lifecycle.


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by driverless on Thursday January 26 2023, @12:38AM

    by driverless (4770) on Thursday January 26 2023, @12:38AM (#1288620)

    That's actually what makes MAGA so potent, everyone who's used it since Reagan (he was just the first of many) has recognised that it's effective because everyone decides for themselves when America was "great". Whether it was pre-Civil War with the darkies singin' in the fields and pickin' cotton or the late 1800s when a select few were getting rich off the suffering of others or the 1940s when we had the bomb and no-one else did or the 1950s when uppity women knew their place, everyone gets to chose the time they want to dream about.

    And, presumably, the demographic they at that time they want to be part of, because you certainly didn't want to be anything but a higher-level boss or owner during the Gilded Age.

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