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This is like a mental tarpit, where you waste time reading trying to understand what the person is saying only to realize they were a bot and all your effort was for nothing, that is time you will never get back now.

This is a terrifying way to destroy an online community if a person floods it with nonsense content like this.

Terrifying -> inevitable. Imagine a botnet full of fake AI users trained with a corpus of legit HN posts. Let them loose commenting on random articles, beginning slowly but ramping up until they’re 99% of all comments.

In a few years, the standard Silicon Valley “Growth Hacking” job description will include using AI to deploy fake content to your competitors’ sites, destroying their user community.

Two potential solutions: Reputation and a new account fee.

Nonsense flooding will make it more difficult for people to establish their identities on a network, but once it's established, they'll be in the clear. If someone has to pay to have their first thread or two reviewed, it will take serious money to flood a site to death.

(A similar solution to email spam has been waiting to happen for decades -- charge a fraction of a penny per email, and nobody is harmed but spammers. Maybe allow exceptions for officially recognized organizations that have to send a lot of messages, like political campaigns.)

I was with you until you said you wanted to exempt the politicians. I would charge them double.

I share your concern.

This would be even better: Email recipients grant free access to whoever they want. A tiny price would be charged only when sending to someone who has not granted such access.

I like the idea.

Unfortunately, even though snail mail has associated costs I still get a ton of junk.

Is this a future? How much content on twitter/fb is autogenerated, auto-liked and auto-shared?

Some is deliberately auto-generated, like https://twitter.com/choochoobot ; but yes, there is definitely an awful lot of auto-liked auto-shared fake engagement out there.

If the answer is not "zero" then the answer is "too much."

I'm positively sure these tactics are already being deployed as a weapon in order to shut down debate of certain inconvenient topics and disrupt problematic communities.

Ugh. Like SV hasn't yet made the internet suck enough...

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