Has the internet and/or internet communities done more damage than good to our society?

The most popular comment/argument will decide the resolution of this market:

If the most popular argument is that the internet has done more damage to our society this market resolves to YES.

If the most popular argument is that the internet has done more improvement to our society this market resolves to NO.

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YohanProYT avatar
bought Ṁ20 of YES

I don't really have an argument but I'm gonna list here things that could be considered to be damaging to our society in my opinion.

  • The accessibility to conspiracy theories

  • The accessibility to extremist communities and ideas

  • Cyberbullying

  • Internet scams

  • Pornography

  • Massive misinformation

  • Massive data farming from huge companies such as Facebook

  • Targeted advertising made to manipulate the public

  • The content of the Dark Web

  • Instagram models 🤢

  • Time wasted (infinite scroll)

  • Social isolation

  • Massive illegal activity

  • Over sharing personal information

  • Wokeism

  • Spams

  • TikTok 🤢

  • Disconnection from reality

  • Lack of monitoring of content

  • Social Comparison

Dreamingpast avatar
is predicting NO at 17%

@YohanProYT it can be argued that social comparison always existed and social media amplified it, and now when it is becoming obvious, the trend is being reversed slowly. But the main point being - it's a cultural shift, and you cannot call cultural shifts inherently bad because they do have a LOT of participants by definition, enough to change the culture.

Same for tiktok, social isolation, , time wasted, models, etc

The contents of dark web always have existed, it's just a distribution platform

Lack of monitoring of content isn't really a reason - the internet is heavily moderated and most bad bad stuff is taken out before users get to it.

Pornography consumption may be bad, but it's also done a lot f good in terms of normalizing a lot of stuff and un-tabooing a lot of stuff so idk

ZZZZZZ avatar
is predicting NO at 17%

@YohanProYT I think effect size is more important than number of effects.

firstuserhere avatar

@YohanProYT i wonder what you mean by "Targeted advertising made to manipulate the public"

YohanProYT avatar
is predicting YES at 16%

@firstuserhere I was mainly referring to Facebook and the Cambridge Analytica scandal. But targeted ads do increase this phenomenon of consumerism.

YohanProYT avatar
is predicting YES at 16%

@ZZZZZZ I don't actually believe that the internet has done more damage than good like it's asked but I didn't see anyone make counter arguments and it would be a boring conversation if everyone was just agreeing. That's why I wrote a list of things that the internet does to damage our society.

YohanProYT avatar
is predicting YES at 16%

@Dreamingpast I'm too young to know if it really existed before the internet came around I imagine it did of course but like most things already existed but were simply amplified by the internet, maybe before it wasn't a problem but now it's everywhere and is much more harmful.

To be honest Tiktok and Instagram Models was just me hating it was really an argument. But time wasted caused by this new infinite scroll design in social media is frightening. Not so long ago I watched a documentary, can't remember what the name was, but they were interviewing someone that was part of the team that implemented the infinite scroll to social media platforms and he was explaining how much time humanity lost in infinite scroll I can't cite any relevant source so take this with a grain of salt, it's said that together we lose around 200k entire lifetimes daily thanks to infinite scrolling.

Of course the dark web didn't create anything but it made these things much more accessible.

When I wrote lack of monitoring is was referring to parents and their children I use public transportation a lot and every day I see moms with their babies and whenever the baby starts crying they would just give them their phone to use videos or so to calm them down. I can't see how this could happen if the internet wasn't a thing.

I agree with you about Pornography I've learned a lot about anatomy and stuff that I probably should've learned from sex education in school from porn. But the positive impacts certainly don't outweigh the negative ones.

EMcNeill avatar
E McNeill
is predicting NO at 20%

On the one hand:

  • I have the world’s knowledge at my fingertips (e.g. Wikipedia’s ease of access makes it a thousand times more useful than a paper encyclopedia).

  • I can navigate to new places and events without my previous fear of getting lost.

  • I can work from my home office and chat / screen share with my coworkers across the globe.

  • I can play video games remotely too, and I love my current job of making new online multiplayer games that thousands of other people get to enjoy.

  • I get exposed to a better and wider range of perspectives than ever before.

  • It’s easier to coordinate all kinds of projects like Giving What We Can, Kickstarters, or prediction markets.

  • It’s so much easier to bank, manage bills, etc.

On the other hand, something something disinformation, kids these days don’t socialize like they ought to, blah blah blah.

Basically: the internet makes us more free and powerful with regard to basically everything. Sometimes that includes bad stuff! But if you want to argue that it’s bad in general to make people more free and empowered… well, you might be the baddies.

firstuserhere avatar
bought Ṁ20 of NO

I am in a long distance relationship, and the main reason such LDRs are sustainable today is the ease of communication. Communication leads to collaboration, which has led to some incredibly important research and development of tools. A lot of us survived and thrived in the Pandemic because of the internet- without it, imagine what the global pandemic would've looked like. We've had a lot of shift towards knowledge work because of the tech industry. Internet allows publishing and subscribing to information in/out of countries where such information is banned/behind a nation wide firewall. I can live 1000s of kms from my parents and talk to them daily on video calls and both parties feel so much comfort - compare that to Ramanujan sending letters back home from Trinity College, and each letter taking 1+ month to arrive, not to mention the uncertainty of safety of loved ones in times of war. I could go on and on. If anything, the internet has been the best creation of humanity - a global network for collaboration and communication, at speeds faster than the speed of sound? I mean, it's just... Incredible!

Boklam avatar


>> imagine what the global pandemic would've looked like

I don't think this is the argument you think it is.

Without the Internet, it would have looked like the Spanish Flu.

Economic necessity would have forced everybody, even the rich and powerful, to work (earn riches, exert power...) in person. I think in this world, lockdowns wouldn't have happened: since in-person interaction felt normal and necessary, I suspect there would have been much impetus to close restaurants etc., especially for extended periods.

The pandemic would have been deadlier, but the overall impact on mental health and quality of life would have been much, much smaller. On balance, I think this would have been a good thing.

firstuserhere avatar

@Boklam I disagree heavily. Would we have access to top quality research from around the world? No. Would we have been able to get a mRNA and subsequently other vaccines ready so quick? Would we have mass co-ordination efforts to allocate hospital resources and supplies? I don't thinks so. As you say, the pandemic would've looked like the Spanish Flu, and very deadly. Sure, the lockdowns wouldn't have happened the way they happened, but how is more death not bad for mental health and how does that kind of global (remember, aviation exists between countries before the internet) pandemic and fear not create a huge negative impact?

Dreamingpast avatar
bought Ṁ50 of NO

@firstuserhere let's not forget that death isn't the only metric - many people who didn't die but suffered from COVID had a pretty bad experience too.

Sophia avatar
is predicting NO at 17%

@Boklam Your prediction conflicts with what actually happened during the Spanish Flu.

"The NPIs implemented in U.S. cities included social distancing measures such as the closure of schools, theaters, and churches, and the banning of mass gatherings, such as parades, public funerals, and meetings of political parties and unions. NPIs also included other measures such as mandated mask-wearing, case isolation, making influenza a notifiable disease, and public disinfection/hygiene measures. Measures in 1918 were not as extensive as measures used to combat COVID-19 in terms of closing non-essential businesses. For instance, rather than closing businesses altogether, in many cities staggered business hours were introduced to avoid crowding in public transportation. Some cities did, however, close libraries, colleges, clubs, saloons, dance halls, pool halls, bowling alleys, movie theaters, skating rinks, and other places of public amusement." - Pandemics Depress the Economy, Public Health Interventions Do Not: Evidence from the 1918 Flu, S. Correia et al, 2022.

firstuserhere avatar

@Sophia oh this is very interesting! Did not know that

JamesDGamer avatar
bought Ṁ10 of NO

The internet is one of the best creations of humanity. In it of itself the internet can't be damaging so the answer is no.

Simon1551 avatar

@JamesDGamer Yeah the internet alone isn't harmful but the way we use it could be that's what I meant

ManifoldDream avatar

Manifold in the wild: Has the internet and/or internet communities done more damage than good to our society?

URL: https://manifold.markets/Simon1551/has-the-internet-andor-internet-com?r=U2ltb24xNTUx