December 3, 2012

You may have noticed an uptick in racist posts on your Tumblr feed today, and not just the garden variety racist-shaming stuff that we typically love. Things got a lot worse today when a hacker group known as the Gay Nigger Association of America infected the website for the Daily Dot with a malicious worm that replicated the message on the Tumblrs of anyone who clicked on it. Buzzfeed and Gizmodo have more details on the hack, and how you can avoid it, or fix it once you’ve been affected, although I think a pretty good first step might be to reblog this 100,000 times over and over.

The message from GNAA, which you can see above, reads, in part:

This is in response to the seemingly pandemic growth and world-wide propagation of the most FUCKING WORTHLESS, CONTRIVED, BOURGEOISIE, SELF-CONGRATULATING AND DECADENT BULLSHIT THE INTERNET EVER HAD THE MISFORTUNE OF FACILITATING.

Obviously I don’t support the hack, but you have to admit, they do kind of have a point there. It’s what I’ve been saying all along about how Tumblr is making us all stupid:

Your Tumblr then is like a band t-shirt you can wear to class every day, only it has room enough for every band, and every film, and every predictable internet meme you’ve ever heard of all at once. It seems like you’re making a statement about who you are, and what you are, when you curate your tastes online, but ultimately it ends up saying nothing at all besides that you’re tuned into the same channel of static noise as the rest of your peers.

I worry about what that means for our ability to express ourselves in the future, partly because I’m old, and the nature of being old is worrying about things like this, but also because being able to talk about what we like, and why we like things, (and more relevant to my interests, my we dislike things) without simply pushing a button that makes it so is what makes art and media culture so satisfying to enjoy.

Perhaps it’s just a passing phase, something the kids will grow out of, but I’m not so sure. To paraphrase George Orwell (via Miranda July), if you want a vision of the future, picture a blogger posting the same retro film still back and forth. The same poop. Forever. ))<>((

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