Trent Reznor on social networking: I'm out

The Nine Inch Nails front man and Webby award winner says on his blog that he's tuning out of social networking because it does more harm than good.

For Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor, social networking is not working.

Which might seem strange to hear from a man who was presented this week with a special achievement award at the Webbys .

Still, in a blog post written Wednesday, Reznor seems to have come to an emotional fork in the road with Web 2.0. And he's decided to stick the fork in it.

"I will be tuning out of the social networking sites because at the end of the day it's now doing more harm than good in the bigger picture and the experiment seems to have yielded a result. Idiots rule," he said.

Reznor is very forthright about the kind of idiots he has in mind. For him, they have ruined the beauty of eschewing record companies in favor of direct contact with real people out there.

His first example of idiocracy are posts to the Nine Inch Nails site: "On nin.com, there's 3-4 different people that each send me between 50 - 100 message per day of delusional, often threatening nonsense. We can delete them, but they just sign back up and start again."

Trent's embrace of social networking is over. CC Edvill/Flickr

Reznor's experience on Twitter sounds, if anything, even more disturbing: "Looks like the Metal Sludge contingency has discover Twitter! Finally! For those of you that don't know what this is, please let me explain. Metal Sludge is the home of the absolutely worst people I've ever come across. It's populated mainly by unattractive plump females who publicly fantasize about having sex with guys in bands."

It transpires that many of these alleged "worst people" are folks that Reznor recognizes from his shows.

"I really don't understand what kind of 'fan' spends that kind of time and money to travel across the country seeing a band, to then dedicate an incredible amount of time and energy into non-stop hate diatribes online," he said.

Humanity is not a pretty thing, Trent. Some of your music paints that at a very high level of decibel and clarity. Still, Reznor considered starting up a public forum where everyone's identity could be verified.

However, in the end, he appears to have given up on the whole social-networking thing. And he blames the lunge for lucre: "We're in a world where the mainstream social networks want any and all people to boost user numbers for the big selloff and are not concerned with the quality of experience."

Some might feel that Reznor is merely a fine expert in attracting attention.

However, when someone who has embraced modern technology with both skill and openness (his fight against the Apple Apps store approval process, for example, was extremely well-argued) turns against one of its supposedly most vital pillars, it is worth listening.

Because he just might have a point. In fact, I can't help but look at Nine Inch Nails discography and see a vivid picture of what might be the life story of social networking: "Pretty Hate Machine." "Broken." "The Downward Spiral." "The Fragile." "With Teeth." "Year Zero," "Ghosts." And, yes, that's in chronological order.

 

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