Is there really no “Usenet” these days? Why has everything died out? [closed]


I got onto the Internet after the Eternal September of 1993. I thus never got to experience a time when there was some kind of minimal quality/intelligence in everything posted. Usenet has since at least the year 2000 been a useless ghost town filled with spam, if even that, and no ISP that I know of has been providing even one lousy Usenet server for the last 20+ years now.

It’s not just dead, but has long since been fully turned into dirt and forgotten.

I find that maybe 1/10 questions I ask on Stack Exchange get a useful answer from somebody who knows something, is interested to help, is able to help and actually did read my question. The other 90%, I just sit and waste my time carefully writing a question and jumping through all kinds of annoying hoops to get to finally post it, only to have it closed, deleted or downvoted into oblivion two microseconds after it’s been published. This happens over and over and over, with zero intention by me to do anything but genuinely ask real questions.

Even if Usenet would still exist, it’s no longer possible to register an e-mail account anonymously (no, that which you’re thinking of doesn’t work anymore), and it’s not even possible to pay (with Bitcoin). They all demand to fully track you. But either way, it doesn’t matter since Usenet is dead and I’m not talking about using e-mail anyway.

I’m talking about the idea of a decentralized (not fake-decentralized) network where you can exchange messages and not have to rely on and be terrorized by a central authority with "user accounts" which inevitably can only be registered by "IP addresses that we like" and "verified with SMS/photo id/blood sample".

I want to be able to fire away a JSON with a "title", "body" and "category" strings to somewhere, and then later get to "reap" replies to this message by similar means. No accounts or hoops. Spam would be handled by each user or by connecting to "hubs" that do such processing, for those who can’t or won’t do it themselves.

This would be great, but I’ve not seen anything like it even proposed. I feel utterly crippled and muffled. The only thing which exists now seems to be centralized nonsense services which are impossible to register an account on for anyone who cares to even a minimal extent about their privacy.

Why has everything died out? What’s stopping all these people who have infinitely more resources than I from actually launching such a thing and really promoting it to people like us at first? To get some kind of decentralized message system which doesn’t require mysterious and incomprehensible software and only has two people using it?

For starters, they could simply have a .php script hosted on some https:// URLs and have them exchange incoming messages with each other, as well as let anyone download the (recent) messages sent to them. Wouldn’t that be a super-simple and very doable network?

Why is this not a thing? Why do I have to rely on (fully) centralized services run by extremely dubious people? Why is there not even a theoretical chance of getting a message out into "cyberspace" anymore, through a system identical or similar to what I’ve just described?