Your messages are assigned point values based on the characters they contain. Common characters, as judged against the database of existing messages, are worth less point, uncommon ones more. Your message will only be published if it contains exclusively valid dictionary words. Of course, there is an arbitrary but just-big-enough character limit.
You can’t just see whatever content you desire. The average point score of your last x messages is taken, and only content with similar scores is displayed to you. Do you try your best to get in with the thesauruses, or will you be content shitposting with the scorelets?
A global digital space for people is fine and all, but it puts pressure on the participants to uniquely identify themselves. This isn’t much of an issue when the network is small. For a network of seven billion people though, collisions become more likely. Your minority status doesn’t mean anything, for you a million others. Many share your tragic past, your hobbies, your quirks. You’re not so special, and yet you need to be unique. An arms race for freaks, forcing people to change things about themselves to stay ahead of the curve. If someone assumes your identity, they might as well be you.
“structurally maximizing individuality”
Connecting the world led to gradually increasing monoculture. Subtle at first, and Great Firewalls definitely slowed the process down. But it was inevitable. Technology spread, network effects in overdrive, if you weren’t wired in you were cut out. And if you were wired in then, well, that was your culture.
A lot of value was lost.
Ideologies fell left and right, until only the one remained. A single worldview worldwide. This converging of reward functions boosted progress to unforeseen heights. When everyone agrees on what’s best, there’s nothing left but to do it.
“structurally subsuming individuality”
It started out noxious enough. The most on-the-nose offensive content shooting to the top day in day out. Most people got tired of it at that point, but a small few continued disliking content as it dripped in. They weren’t even enthusiasts, rather a fairly average group of users, and the diverse set of tastes that comes with that.
It took some time, but the lowest-rated content changed from raw gore to dissenting opinions to people trying to out-do each other in a game of hate-me-too. They would write about the things they did today, or were planning to do tomorrow. Outsider content was no longer detestable enough, you had to generate something yourself.
The platform got in the news, police got involved, admins took it down. But if a site ever allows you to sort by most disliked, give it a go, who knows what you may find.
“non-positive ‘like’ mechanisms”
Disallowing replying to people who replied to you.