small internet communities never went away

People are slowly realizing that Facebook/Instagram/Twitter aren't particularly "cool" and mostly push advertising. Stories are popping up asking what "we" are going to do about this predicament now that "we" are all addicts. Here are a couple that adopt this frame: The Rise and Fall of Internet Art Communities and The Slow Web.

A couple of voices from the UNAC sphere (aka unanthologized net art communities) dissented from the idea that anything had "fallen."

Rene Abythe wrote:

Because most of my creative online time is spent on obscure areas of the Internet, my reflex argument is to deny that online communities engaging in collaborative and creative culture ever went away, they just quietly co-existed alongside social media -- there's nothing to revive. But that would be missing the spirit of the message, I think. What my internet experience is isn't that of the author's [Kelsey Ables, author of the "Rise and Fall" article]. If I wasn't actively participating in collaborative communities online, I too would think the net needs a good creative culture revival. I would crave the Internet experience of yesterday, before corporate social media took over. I would be wanting to be a part of something fun and engaging, not something described as "posting bite-sized content as frequently as possible [...] in order to game the algorithms that choose what followers see and reward frequency with more visibility."

Joel Cook wrote:

Human connection happens in spite of today's large social platforms, not in debt to them. For now, some interaction there makes sense, but it can't be the center of life online. Small custom communities are not as uncommon or difficult as it may seem. Maybe I'm biased because being involved in a few and building some of my own has kept me from scouring the net for others; maybe there's fewer than I think.

Just because staffers spend all their time on Instagram and think the internet is dead, man, doesn't mean there aren't thriving activities outside their bubble.
Blogs, bulletin boards, and personal pages didn't go away, they just got buzz-eclipsed by more lucrative and sinister operations. Here's a fine rant by one of those eclipsees, Berlin DJ Lord Litter:

Social Media 2019

After recent events ... Social Media became the driving force on planet earth for Death, Destruction, Hate, Lies, Racism, Fascism, Homophobia* and many more society corroding effects.

All this is based on a system that works with addiction of the individual partaker. Addiction caused by structures, that use the longing of the human psyche. For example, "Likes" in Facebook use the longing of the humans for appreciation. After a while the call of the "Likes" becomes your heroin.

The only argument pro Social Media I often hear is "I can keep in touch with my loved ones". There are so many ways on the modern internet to keep in touch, without feeding a system that a pro life** person simply can't like to support.

Every move within the Social Media structure, every message, every smiley, every click supports a system that became the driving force on planet earth for Death, Destruction, Hate, Lies, Racism, Fascism, Homophobia* and many more society corroding effects...makes it stronger, tighter.

I imagine a world where all these people would work on small personal networks, where [all] these people keep in touch with their loved ones. Systems where you really only are in touch with the selected loved ones you choose.

I really wonder how much all the already obvious disastrous effects of Social Media have to increase before people will even start to learn.

I'm not spreading Social Media links via my network.

*and let's add Shaming, Political Correctness, Censorship and Crypto-Stalinist Identity Policing
**as in life-affirming, I think he means