Activity tagged "enshittification"

There’s people who are really angry about a lot of tech stuff who disagree with each other about everything, including whether or not they really even have a problem. But all of their problems start with the fact that there’s a lot of commercial surveillance. So these people might disagree about everything else, but they will agree that their problem could be solved if we could do something about commercial surveillance.
So if you think Mark Zuckerberg made grampy into a QAnon, or if you think Insta made your teenager anorexic, or if you think that TikTok is convincing millennials to quote Osama bin Laden, right? Or if you think that it’s ugly that red state attorneys general are following teenagers into out-of-state abortion clinics, or that Google reverse warrants reveal the identity of everyone in a black lives matter demonstration or for that matter, the January 6th riots, or if you are worried about deep fake porn, or if you’re worried that people of color are having the surveillance data captured about them mobilized to discriminate against them in employment and financial products, right? All of these different things all start with cutting off the supply of surveillance data.
– Cory Doctorow
You want to order from a local restaurant, but you need to download a third-party delivery app, even though you plan to pick it up yourself. The prices and menu on the app are different to what you saw in the window. When you download a second app the prices are different again. You ring the restaurant directly and it says the number is no longer in service.

This post about Substack's possibly precarious financial position was a good read, but one thing really stuck out to me:

To fix that and get their financials on a steadier path, Substack needs to make it harder for you to leave. They need to lock you in.

I hate how this has become the dominant perception of how tech platforms should do business. Rather than making a product people love to use, adjusting their pricing to something more sustainable, or knocking off the bullshit that makes people want to leave or hesitant to join, Substack should... force people to stay?

In all fairness to Powell here, I think he's describing what Substack thinks they need to do (rather than what he thinks Substack should do), but it's frustrating that this is the default remedy.

Substack is in trouble, and their recent feature releases are evidence of that.
The anti-enshittification movement rightly criticizes the old, good internet because it wasn't inclusive enough. It was a system almost exclusively hospitable to affluent, privileged people – the people who least needed the liberatory power of technology. Likewise pro-enshittification monopolists – billionaires and their useful idiots – deplore the old, good internet because it gave its users too much power. For them, ad-blocking, alternative clients, mods, reverse-engineering and so on were all bugs, not features. For them, the enshitternet is great because businesses can literally criminalize taking action to protect yourself from their predatory impulses. Superficially, it seems like the pro- and anti-enshittification forces agree – they both agree that the old, good internet was a mistake. But the difference that matters here is that the pro-enshittification side wants everyone mired in the enshitternet forever, living with what Jay Freeman calls "Felony contempt of business-model." By contrast, the disenshittification side wants a new, good internet that gives every user – not just a handful of techies – the power to decide how the digital systems they work use, and to be able to alter or reconfigure them to suit their own needs.