Enshitification and TikTok
February 27, 2023
What is enshitification?
an outcome that seems inevitable due to the combination of the ease of changing the way the platform distributes value, as well as the nature of the “two-way market” where the platform sits between buyers and sellers and treats each of them as captives of each other. otherwise, it takes an ever-increasing share of the value transferred between them.
The stages of enshitification
- Social networks are useful and helpful to your users by connecting them to the platform.
- Social networking sites are starting to harass their users to improve relationships with their business customers. The idea is to attract business customers because their platform is where the community is.
- Finally, when users and business customers are addicted, the platform tries to monetize it.
TikTok is not in the business of giving away giant teddy bears. TikTok, despite its origins in China’s quasi-capitalist economy, is just another creation promoting colonialism that treats people like unsustainable gut flora. TikTok offers free care to people who want to get up to speed, then change that mindset and start making money at it.
“Making money” is a scary word that tacitly admits that there is no such thing as an “economic approach.” You can’t use the mind as a medium of exchange. You can’t use it as a valuable store. You can’t use it as part of an account. It looks like a cryptocurrency: a worthless token is valuable enough to trick or force someone to part with fiat money in exchange for it. You have to “monetize” it, which means you have to exchange fake money for real money.
In the case of cryptocurrencies, the main method of making money was based on fraud. Bags and “projects” gave a bunch of big teddy bears, creating a Judas fight of true believers who encouraged their peers to put their money in the car and try to throw a few balls in the basket of the peach itself. But fraud only generates a “cash margin.” You end up with a bum. To attract large numbers of people, you need pressure, not influence. Consider how corporate America took away the defined benefit pensions that guaranteed you a comfortable retirement, replacing them with 401(k) pensions that forced you to gamble your savings in a fraudulent casino. The fact that he was a “stupid man,” makes him look stupid at the table. He was ripe for the picking.
The initial liquidity of cryptocurrencies came from ransomware. The existence of a group of desperate and panicked companies and individuals whose data had been stolen by criminals created a base of crypto liquidity, as they could only get their data back by exchanging real money for fake cryptocurrencies.
The next phase of cryptocurrency was the Web
Turning the web into a series of tolls that could only be passed through by exchanging real money for fake cryptocurrency. The Internet is a must-have, not a nice-to-have, a prerequisite for full participation in employment, education, family life, health, politics, civics, and even romance. By holding all those things ransom behind cryptocurrency tolls, holders hoped to convert their tokens into real money.
For TikTok, handing out free teddy bears by “warming up” videos posted by skeptical artists and media companies is a way to convert them into true believers, getting them to put all their chips on the center of the table, abandoning their efforts to build audiences on other platforms (it helps that TikTok’s format is distinctive, making it difficult to reuse videos for TikTok to circulate on rival platforms).
Once those artists and media companies are hooked, the next phase will begin: TikTok will remove the “heat” that puts their videos in front of people who have never heard of them and haven’t asked to see their videos. TikTok is performing a delicate dance: There’s a limit to how much enshittification they can visit in their users’ feeds, and TikTok has plenty of other artists it wants to give giant teddy bears to.