The Death of the Internet

A theory that refuses to die...

Dead Internet Theory


The internet has become an integral part of our daily lives, connecting people across the globe and providing instant access to information, entertainment, and social networking. However, there is a theory called the "Dead Internet Theory", which suggests that this interconnected web of networks could eventually end up centralized, automated with bots and filled up with corporate junk, instead of content created by real people. In this short text, we will briefly delve into the origins of the Dead Internet Theory, its proponents, arguments, and potential implications if it were to become a reality.


The Dead Internet Theory first gained traction in the late 2000s and has been attributed to media artists, hackers, and Internet activists. It posits that the infrastructure supporting the internet is inherently vulnerable and could eventually collapse under its own weight. Supporters of this theory argue that the increasing centralization of platforms, surveillance mechanisms, and the concentration of power in the hands of a few corporations (FAGMAN) could lead to an eventual breakdown of the internet. As we see now, it all went exactly that way.

Basic arguments

One of the primary arguments put forth by supporters of the Dead Internet Theory is the convergence of power among tech giants who control the majority of internet traffic. The concentration of technical power leads to concentraion of cultural power, and we should care for that. There is no soft power without hard power, as political scientist Joseph Nye would say. This concentration of power is believed to stifle competition, limit user privacy, and hinder innovation. Critics argue that such centralization increases the risk of system failure and potential cyberattacks, leaving the internet exposed to vulnerabilities. Of course, companies like Google are tough to break into, but the targets for cyber attacks can now be counted with just one hand.

There is also an argument of bot driven internet. There are many cases where one can easily spot a bot post on a website, but there are also cases when one can't do it. Some news headlines and even whole articles were writen by bots for years, and vast majority of users can't spod any differences. For journalism, this is a turning point, since it changed and gained new forms with every technological innovation. And when the media changes, our perception changes, our lives change. Here, we get political - this report from imperva shows that 51.8% of internet traffic of 2016 is bot traffic. Almost 1/3 of whole internet traffic is labeled as bad bots, meaning that they are spamers, impersonators, hacking tools and such. In 2022, imperva reported that 47% of traffic is from bots. With this in mind, remember that there are forms of democracies and voting processes that count 50%+1 as a valid majority for elections or decisions...

Additionally, concerns are raised over increasing censorship and government surveillance, further undermining the free exchange of information and ideas that the internet was originally designed to facilitate. The manipulation of information, the spread of disinformation, and the erosion of trust are seen as factors that could contribute to the internet's demise. With this in mind, the whole idea of "free media as a pillar of democracy" goes down. Take a brief look at the Skinner box experiment

Proponents of the theory also highlight the potential environmental impact of data centers and the unsustainable energy consumption required to maintain the internet's infrastructure. As global energy demands increase, the strain on power grids has the potential to destabilize the internet.

Potential implications of theory

If the Dead Internet Theory were to materialize, its implications on various aspects of society would be profound. The interconnectedness that has revolutionized industries, transformed economies, and facilitated global connections would be severely disrupted.

E-commerce and online banking would take a massive blow, as the ability to securely transfer funds and safely purchase goods and services would be compromised. Education systems heavily reliant on web-based learning platforms would face significant setbacks, potentially leaving millions without access to formal education. Also, main education platforms come from few corporations (guess which ones), so that can easily be classified as censorship and monopoly on ideas.

Social platforms that have become essential modes of communication and information dissemination would crumble, leading to a fragmentation of communities and society. The ability to access critical information, such as health resources, emergency services, and government support, would be significantly impeded.

Furthermore, the loss of the internet would have a significant economic impact. Entire industries, from tech startups to digital marketing, would suffer, leading to widespread job losses and economic recession.


While the Dead Internet Theory presents, at least for now, a dystopian viewpoint, it serves as a reminder of the vulnerabilities inherent in the systems we rely upon so heavily. Addressing concerns surrounding the centralization of power, data privacy, and energy consumption becomes crucial in securing the long-term survival and sustainability of the internet as we know it today.

So, decentralize services, be your own service provider, use FOSS and archive data :)

Here are some guidelines where and how to start:

Also, take a look at the Project Agora page