A link symbolmanifesto (noun): a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer

In a previous article on this website, I stated that, while I had perused the manifestos of other webmasters before, I wasn't "going to delude myself into thinking that what I (was) to be sharing (there was) anything worth being called a 'manifesto'".

However, many months later since that article, and precisely one year since the inception of this website altogether, I think I've begun to understand what this website is supposed to be. So, I'd like to lay out my personal manifesto for my site.

I am not old enough to remember web 1.0. I'm barely old enough to remember the remnants of it sticking around soon after it had passed. I am unable to wax poems about nostalgia and the Internet of yesterday, or, at least, not honestly. But I am precisely old enough to have watched the internet devolve into a capitalistic cesspool in real time. And even if I wasn't, I would still be able to see all that is wrong with it now. Internet privacy is on its deathbed, clout zombies stumble and shamble across every corner of the 'net, predatory algorithms are being designed to addict you, data is being stolen and sold, our right to information is being paywalled, site rules are so often unclear and hypocritical in enforcement, customization is being stripped away, and, most of all, the corporation reigns supreme. The soulless, immoral corporation, to whom the common netizen is not a person, but a number; a piece of data who they want to squeeze as much money from as possible before tossing to the side, and moving on to the next data point. Corporate social media encourages us to fix our whole selves into neat, easily-digestible 'brands'; forcibly ironing out anything 'weird' about us for the sake of a neat package pitch to the next exec.

Social media is where the people are. It's where connections are made. It's how people keep in touch with their families. As much as I despise the corporate internet with my whole heart, I recognize, at the same time, that getting rid of it overnight will do altogether more harm than good. So much modern history is documented on social media, and whether that's for better or for worse, it's just our modern reality. So, what is there to do?

I don't think that netizens have to roll over and accept their fate at the hand of our corporate overlord. I think, perhaps, the key is to do what you can to stay safe, and spread out your online presence.

If your favorite social media of choice becomes unprofitable, it can and will be deleted overnight. People can't keep holding all of their eggs in three or four very unstable, but popular baskets. Nothing on the internet lasts forever, and if you want it to, you'd damn well better archive it for yourself, because the site hosting it will go down. Do you remember when Skype was "too big to fail"? This is partially where the personal website comes in. The art of the personal website is that it relies on YOU, the webmaster, to keep it afloat, and nothing else. Have a backup of your site's code, and, if your host goes down, just move that same code onto another platform. You're right back to where you were, without a hitch.

Run adblockers, junk data generators, crypto-miner blockers, use a VPN, and browse with Firefox. Don't share anything you don't want to, and don't let yourself be pressured into anything more. Speak up against surveillance capitalism by advising anyone who will listen to do the same, and be WEIRD! The demand for internet privacy and a less corporate internet is only ever going to increase with time. Refuse to let your online presence rest in the hands of companies and billionaires. Because they don't care about you beyond what money you can earn them, and they never will.