The Internet "Nothing" is Coming


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In the 80s fantasy movie The Never Ending Story, a young warrior battles "The Nothing," an all-consuming void. Today, we see The Internet Nothing obliterating online journalistic content in a very real way and threatening our chances of maintaining a factual online historical record. But where does it come from and how can we stop it?
  • Arikia Millikan

After 10 years of working in the corporate media industry in NYC, I have seen the destruction of the Internet Nothing. I've battled it and mostly I've lost. I've seen thousands of pages of journalistic content taken down, sometimes because of blatant censorship; other times for no better reason than a corporate whim or a site redesign. In this talk, I will discuss how history is being erased every day, often without a second thought.

As journalists, we often pour the stories we have fought for the right to tell onto unstable platforms and centralized social networks, assuming those networks will be there forever. But do you really know who owns your content once you hit publish? Is it really yours anymore, or does it become the property of the publication—or the tech platform? How can you be sure it will be there in the future?

This is a wake-up call about online content ownership and what can happen when we place unwarranted trust in organizations that have the ability to alter, sell, or delete our content. But there are ways to stop The Internet Nothing! I will conclude by discussing some of the theoretical requirements that would enable online content to withstand destructive forces and pass the test of time.

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