The system formerly known as the internet

“This is not the internet anymore”

– Teodor Mitew

This week, I have created 2 versions of a meme which represents the paradigmatic shift from the internet as a distributed network to an internet governed by a rise in social media due to Walled Gardens, resulting in a digital Feudal system. Here’s how the internet resembles a feudal system:

Feudalism and The Manor:

  • You cannot leave the land without permission
  • You cannot sell the land without permission
  • Your feudal lord decides how you use the land
  • You must pay rent to your feudal lord for using the land

iFuedalism and the iManor:

  • Content cannot leave the stack without permission
  • You cannot sell/copy content without permission
  • iFeudal decides how you use content
  • You must pay rent for using content

In an economy based on information, control over this information is where the true power resides. So, in the age of the internet, where the information flow is controlled by end nodes (users), we must consider who actually controls the information we use, copy, and distribute. And this is where the Walled Gardens come in…

A Walled Garden – a closed, hierarchical, centralised database – such as Facebook controls, surveilles, and censors the information in its ‘wall’. These ‘Gardens’ led to the existence of ‘The Stack’ which is essentially a vertically-operated system which controls all aspects of information use – even if the ‘Walls’ go down. So remember, the internet never forgets…


7 Replies to “The system formerly known as the internet”

  1. Nice use of my favourite meme of all time, the distracted boyfriend meme. It really does represent our shift from an ‘utopia’ of creativity and freedom, to oppression as a result of fear of the unknown. I think it would have been more engaging if you had gone further into why we have gone through this change as nodes.
    This is an article that goes further into why have chosen this shift into limitation, and whether there is any hope for us to break free of the tyranny of the stacks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! Sorry for the late reply… thanks for your feedback, I do struggle to condense the lecture information into a succinct but still engaging post – so I really appreciate tips for where I can improve. Awesome article it really helped me further understand the topic. Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice work Jasmyn. It’s an interesting paradigm to point out that while Facebook’s content and data never leave the ‘walled garden’ of Facebook, it’s also something that can never be wiped from the wider internet. Unlike other social media accounts, the average users Facebook account information will not appear in a Google search, and their photos won’t be retained on Google Images (Google Images does however do this with Twitter, another walled garden.) Is this because Facebook doesn’t want it’s users to leave their website? There was a revelation not too long ago that the website was conducting emotional experiments on the newsfeed of users – – like you pointed out earlier, iFeudal decides how you use content.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, thank you very much, its definitely interesting to consider how we are warded away from straying from Facebook. I had no idea about those experiments so thanks for sharing the article, scary to think about but very interesting…


  3. Hey, thank you so much! I do love dot points, thanks for sharing that site, I am still undecided in the feudalism debate – what do you think?


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