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13 best websites to analyze your Spotify data

2023-03-19 06:13:28

13 best websites to analyze your Spotify data

Mining your own Spotify data is like accessing a musical window into your own soul. What genre do you listen to the most? How obscure are your favorite artists? And, wait, you listened to "Alone" by Heart how many times!?

13 best websites to analyze your Spotify data(图1)

We've scoured the corners of the internet and collected our 12 favorite websites that analyze your Spotify data. So if you're the type of person who spends your days counting down to Spotify Wrapped or who regularly analyzes your listening habits to understand yourself better, you'll love these clever tools.

A heads up that each of these websites requires you to log in to your Spotify and grant the website access to your Spotify data, and we've included directions at the bottom for how to remove each site's access once you've tried them out.

1. Stats for Spotify

Stats for Spotify(Opens in a new tab) is a classic Spotify data analyzer. It shows you your top tracks, artists, and genres organized by the previous four weeks, last six months, and all time. It also shows how your top tracks, artists, and genres have changed since the last time you used Stats for Spotify.

2. How Bad is Your Spotify

How Bad is Your Spotify(Opens in a new tab) is an AI that judges your music taste. It gained popularity in December 2020 for its snarky roasts of users' listening habits.

Don't judge me. Credit: screenshot: how bad is your spotify

3. Instafest

Instafest(Opens in a new tab) generates a personalized music festival lineup of your most-listened to artists on Spotify. The more you listen to an artist the larger their name will appear on your lineup. It was created by USC student Anshay Saboo(Opens in a new tab). You can choose a festival based on your top artists from the past month, the past six months, or of all time. You can also switch up the aesthetics of the graphic. So, who are your headlining acts?

Who wouldn't buy a ticket. Credit: Screenshot: Instafest

4. Icebergify (aka the Spotify Iceberg)

Icebergify(Opens in a new tab) grabs the top 50 artists of your short-term, medium-term, and long-term listening trends and organizes them by their popularity or obscurity. If the artist is super popular (think Beyonce), they'll be at the tippy-top. But if you listen to a lot of Antichrist Siege Machine, they'll be closer to the bottom. The tool may also pull in musicians you haven't listened to in a few months, and if you don't listen to any artists in a certain level of popularity, the level will show up blank.

Three very brave staffers at Mashable (Christianna Silva, Crystal Bell, Tim Marcin) share their iceberg results. Credit: Credit: Screenshot / Icebergify / Christianna Silva, Crystal Bell, Tim Marcin

5. Obscurify

Like Icebergify, Obscurify(Opens in a new tab) tells you how obscure the music you listen to is compared to other Obscurify users. It'll also show you your top five obscure artists and will rate your music's happiness, danceability, and energy compared to other users.

6. Spotify Pie

"Bake your monthly genre pie" with this website created by UCLA student Darren Huang. Spotify Pie(Opens in a new tab) analyzes your Spotify listening and organizes it into a highly sharable pie chart of all the genres you've listened to in the last month. Below the chart, the website reveals your most-listened-to genres and your top artists of the month, too.

Credit: Spotify Pie
Credit: Spotify Pie

7. Zodiac Affinity

If you're an astrology lover, you'll appreciate Zodiac Affinity(Opens in a new tab). It chooses five of your liked songs that align with different star signs and we honestly have no idea what the criteria is here.

8. Discover Quickly

Discover Quickly(Opens in a new tab) sorts your playlists, top songs, and top artists by different criteria, like popularity and danceability. It also lists all of Spotify's crazy specific genres like "deep metalcore," "acid house," and "charred death." The tool will make you a playlist of that genre or can generate a playlist of songs of a random genre.

9. MusicScape

MusicScape(Opens in a new tab) generates a landscape based on the tracks you've recently listened to, taking their mood, mode, energy, and key into consideration to create something unique to your sonic palette.

What does your musicScape look like? Credit: Screenshot: musicscape

10. MusicTaste.Space

MusicTaste.Space(Opens in a new tab) is fun because it allows you to compare your listening with another Spotify user. Just send a friend the link on the homepage and it will show you all the overlap between your top songs and top artists.

11. Receiptify

Receiptify(Opens in a new tab) transforms your favorite songs into a cute little receipt of your musical taste. Choose your top tracks of the last month, last six months, or of all time.

Receiptify gives you an Insta Story ready list of your top songs. Credit: screenshot: Receiptify

12. How NPRcore are you

How NPRcore are you(Opens in a new tab) analyzes how closely your music taste aligns with NPR music. Pick a period of time and this tool will tell you what percent NPRcore you are or which of your top tracks and artists are most NPRcore/

13. Moodify

Moodify makes AI-generated playlists(Opens in a new tab) based on the mood of the song you're currently listening to.

How to unlink your Spotify

After you've had your fun poking around your data, you can easily unlink your account from each site by going to Spotify app settings(Opens in a new tab) and selecting "Remove Access."

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    5. The Gayly Prophet(Opens in a new tab)

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    6. Sorted(Opens in a new tab)

    Credit: simon & schuster

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    7. Man Up Apparel(Opens in a new tab)

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

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    8. Mark Reads Harry Potter(Opens in a new tab)

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    Credit: St. Martin's Griffin

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    11. Vegard(Opens in a new tab)

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    12. Wizard rock

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    @thewizardtailor(Opens in a new tab)

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    "Hi, remember me???" a friend replied to my Instagram story one Saturday. She had texted me the day before, and I hadn't forgotten to respond. I'd had a truly horrible week and wanted to take the weekend to recover. I had every intention of replying to her non-urgent text on Monday, but because she saw me using Instagram, she felt I should have texted her back already.

    Unless the person you message has read receipts turned on, you likely won't be able to tell when, or if, they've had a chance to read your texts. If you picture someone being too busy to stop and look at their phones — as I'm sure my friend was doing with me — it's easy to rationalize delayed responses. But if a person you've messaged posts to social media before replying to you, their silence in DMs is often taken as a slap in the face.

    The common thought process here is that if someone has the time to casually be online, then they must have time to reply to your text. If they're on social media, they're clearly using technology, so why can't they take a few extra minutes to answer you?

    On the surface, this logic makes sense. But it's not always as simple as someone failing to carve out time. People might be posting to social media during a quick break from work, they could be using social media to distract themselves from daily dread, or they might quickly post something in the presence of other people and not have the time to devote to texting. There's also the chance that they just might have forgotten to reply.

    When my friend called me out for not answering her, I replied honestly. I explained that for me, posting on social media requires much less effort than engaging in a personal conversation. I told her I was taking the weekend to recharge my social batteries, and she was super understanding. We ended up having a really productive conversation about how texting isn't always as easy as it sounds.

    Sometimes self-care means not texting back right away

    Depending on the conversation topic and where you're at in life mentally/emotionally, chatting with people can be challenging.

    Reminding myself that texts like, "How are you?" can demand significantly more detailed responses than than texts like, "Have you watched Better Call Saul yet?" helps me understand and justify delayed responses. And acknowledging that mindlessly scrolling through Twitter or posting photos of food can be easier than talking about your life helped me accept that it's perfectly fine to use social media in between receiving and answering texts.

    How have I been? What a stacked question. Credit: screenshot / nicole gallucci

    Sometimes self-care means not texting back right away, and that became extraordinarily clear to me this year amid the coronavirus pandemic and George Floyd protests.

    When my mind was racing to grapple with all the new coronavirus social distancing guidelines, medical research, and death tolls, I had trouble replying to texts in a timely manner. I did, however, find some semblance of calm on Instagram, and I continued sharing informative updates on Twitter.

    And after George Floyd died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes, I barely texted anyone for days. I took time to watch protests spread around the world; to read books and articles, and to watch films to further educate myself on the history of racism and police brutality. I made an effort to donate to organizations, sign petitions, and support black-owned businesses.

    Though I didn't feel ready to reply to non-urgent texts for a full week, I felt it was imperative that I continue to use my social media platforms to help raise awareness on the issues at hand and share invaluable resources.

    Exceptions to the rule

    If you're not in the right mindset to reply to text messages immediately, you shouldn't. Prioritizing your mental health is important. But you should also choose which texts to leave hanging on a case-by-case basis.

    Always keep a message's content and urgency in mind. If someone's asking a question that requires an immediate response, do your best to respond in a timely fashion. And if someone needs help, you obviously shouldn't ignore them.

    Wait a bit, but don't ghost people forever. Credit: vicky leta / mashable

    If you wait to text back, be sure to acknowledge and apologize for the delay when you do get around to it. You can even be upfront with people and let them know upon receiving their message that you need a day or two to get back to them — that way you can relax without the unanswered text lingering in the back of your mind. Be honest with people if you're too overwhelmed to chat, but please avoid using that viral text reply template.

    And remember, there's definitely a difference between waiting until you feel emotionally ready to text someone back and straight-up ghosting them. Don't ghost people, that's rude as hell.

    Be kind to yourself and others

    Ultimately, it's crucial to keep in mind that you never know exactly what someone is going through when they receive your text messages.

    Cut yourself, and others, some slack, and try not to read too much into text delays — even if you see people posting on social media before they've replied. (If the wait really bothers you, you can always confront them about it. And you might end up having an eye-opening talk like I did with my friend.)

    As someone who's avoided replying to family members and friends I absolutely adore because of sheer emotional exhaustion, I can tell you that delays aren't always ill-intentioned. Sometimes people are just overwhelmed.

  • Now you can identify plants and pooches right in Snapchat

    Now you can identify plants and pooches right in Snapchat

    Have you ever seen a dog so adorable or a plant so lush out in the wild that you had to know what it was right then and there?


    Snap announced new partnerships on Thursday with the apps Dog Scanner(Opens in a new tab) and PlantSnap(Opens in a new tab) that will allow Snapchat users to do just that. Snapchatters can identify dogs or plants they encounter in the real world by scanning them right in Snapchat.

    When you press and hold on the camera screen in Snapchat, lenses that are relevant to what the camera is pointing at are unlocked. For example, if I point and hold the camera on my dog right now, lenses that put sunglasses or heart eyes specifically formatted for the shape face of a dog appear.

    Now, if you point the camera at a particularly Good Boy you see, you can access a lens that tells you what breed the dog is, using the data and A.I. of Dog Scanner, which recognizes nearly 400 dog breeds (my dog would get 100 percent purebred mutt). And if you focus your lens on a tree, bush or bud that catches your eye, you'll be able to identify 90 percent of known plants and trees with the PlantSnap integration.

    Gotta snap that plant!!! Credit: snap

    Snap announced the new features at the Snap Partner Summit, which it held virtually Thursday.

    The ability to identify two of earth's best things — dogs and plants — through your smartphone, of course already exists; Dog Scanner and PlantSnap are standalone apps. But it's helpful that the capability comes within Snapchat itself if you're either someone who uses the app frequently already, or doesn't want to have to download a new app for each object you want your smartphone to help identify.

    Plus, more categories are coming soon. An upcoming integration with the food and cosmetics scanning app Yuka(Opens in a new tab) will let Snapchatters unlock nutrition facts when they point and hold the camera at a food item. Snap already lets you point and hold to identify a song through Shazam, solve math problems with Photomath, and identify (and shop for) products sold on Amazon.

    The dog and plant integrations are the sort of typically playful and fun feature that Snapchat is known for. However, the lens product also holds opportunity for further monetization for the company, as Snap CEO Evan Spiegel pointed out during a Q&A with reporters. For example, Snap unveiled a partnership with Louis Vuitton that allows users to point and hold on the monogram logo, which then takes users to content about their new collection. It's easy to see how — similar to the Amazon integration — this could lead to not just brand content and awareness, but shopping.

    Snap made some other announcements around lenses for both developers and users Thursday. It's making more lens development templates available, such as ways to interact with — wait for it — feet (this could enable experiences like virtually trying on shoes).

    On the user side, pointing and holding in a neighborhood will now unlock "local lenses," which lets users actually decorate buildings and other landmarks in AR. It's kind of like a shared street art experience, in which users build on each other's creations, that anyone in the physical space can access.

    Snapchat's innovation in AR has helped the company keep its creative edge, even as companies like Facebook continually try to copy it. The biggest trouble with Snapchat's AR products is keeping track of all the things the app can do in a sometimes difficult to navigate lens ecosystem. But with a new voice search feature and a souped up Activity Bar, also announced Thursday, Snap's working on that, too.

  • Fox News used doctored images to, uh, report on Seattle protests

    Fox News used doctored images to, uh, report on Seattle protests

    A protest against the police killing of George Floyd and police brutality in Seattle has been mostly characterized by drum circles, speakers(Opens in a new tab) and movie screenings. But if you only tuned into Fox News for coverage of these demonstrations, you might think it was full of burning buildings and armed guards.


    On Friday, Fox News published several digitally altered images of the demonstrations on its website, which the Seattle Times caught(Opens in a new tab). It's not clear who is responsible for tweaking the images.

    One photo, shown on Fox's homepage on Friday, placed a man with a rifle standing in front of a sign that reads "You are now entering Free Cap Hill." The street scene and the man who appears in it come from two different photos, taken more than a week apart.

    The sign in that photo refers to the newly-dubbed Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, a stretch of six blocks set up by protesters in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood to create "a police-free" independent zone, The Guardian reported(Opens in a new tab). It was established after the Seattle police abandoned a precinct in the neighborhood(Opens in a new tab) and converted the area into a festival-like space.

    The conservative outlet also published a photo of a person running past a fiery building and car to accompany stories on the Seattle protest. The headline read "CRAZY TOWN." The photo is actually from St. Paul, Minn. and was taken on May 30, according to the Seattle Times.

    After the Times reached out to Fox News about the photos, they were removed. But a Fox News spokeswoman also said the following, "We have replaced our photo illustration with the clearly delineated images of a gunman and a shattered storefront, both of which were taken this week in Seattle’s autonomous zone.”

    The Times pushed back on this statement writing in its article that "the gunman photo was taken June 10, while storefront images it was melded with were datelined May 30 by Getty Images."

    Though, as the Times reports, the demonstration has seen armed protesters it is nothing like the scene Fox attempted to purport with its misleading use of images.

    As a photojournalism ethics educator told the Times, "I think it’s disgraceful propaganda and terribly misrepresentative of documentary journalism in times like this, when truth-telling and accountability is so important,” said Kenny Irby. “There is no attribution. There is no acknowledgment of the montage, and it’s terribly misleading.”

    On Saturday, Fox News appended an editor's note to the stories featuring altered images expressing regret for "these errors."

    A home page photo collage which originally accompanied this story included multiple scenes from Seattle’s “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” and of wreckage following recent riots. The collage did not clearly delineate between these images, and has since been replaced. In addition, a recent slideshow depicting scenes from Seattle mistakenly included a picture from St. Paul, Minnesota. Fox News regrets these errors.

    UPDATE: June 13, 2020, 4:06 p.m. EDT Added the editor's note that's been appended to stories on the Fox News website featuring the misleading images.

  • In honor of Trumps birthday, people tweet praise for Obama

    In honor of Trumps birthday, people tweet praise for Obama

    Donald Trump turned 74 on Sunday. So, naturally, people celebrated the occasion by tweeting about the person who perhaps gets under his skin the most: Barack Obama. (Sunday was also Flag Day, but we feel like that wasn't the impetus here.)


    The former president trended on the platform(Opens in a new tab) for much of the day, frequently under hashtags like #BarackObamaDay, #ObamaDayUSA, and #ObamaDayJune14th. Users tweeted corny praise for the former president alongside statements about Trump's incompetence. Some were oblique: "Smart intelligence leadership. I miss that every day," one person wrote. Others were more pointed: "Best president in my lifetime. Right @realdonaldtrump? You're the worst," wrote another(Opens in a new tab).

    Still others made references to Saturday's ramp fiasco, when Trump stepped gingerly down a ramp after his West Point graduation speech, got made fun of, then lied about it being slippery in a later tweet. One user, for example, tweeted a photo(Opens in a new tab) of Obama walking down a "slippery wet sidewalk."

    SEE ALSO: Michelle Obama to 2020 graduates: 'Finish the work the generations before you have started'

    While not explicitly related to Obama, #AllBirthdaysMatter — a troll-y reference to the dismissive slogan "All lives matter,"(Opens in a new tab) which is often employed in attempts to discredit the Black Lives Matter movement — also trended briefly above Trump's birthday. Of course, the K-pop fans participated.

    Like most Resistance Twitter(Opens in a new tab) trends, the tweets skewed largely corny, were very reductive, and suffered from an overuse of hashtags. But Trump also takes the bait on this kind of thing all the time, so perhaps it genuinely bothered him. In any event, we're sure the Krassenstein brothers(Opens in a new tab) would be proud.

Random articles


  • Content moderation is changing how we speak — and dictating who gets heard

    Content moderation is changing how we speak — and dictating who gets heard

    Content moderation is changing the way we speak to each other, for better or worse. On TikTok, we say "le dollar bean" instead of "lesbian" because of a perceived ban on the word; we refer to suicide as "unaliving" and sex as "seggs." But what works on one platform doesn't always work on another, and this lexicon can sound clunky and bloated when used across social media sites — and even more inchoate when it graduates to offline conversations. 


    "People are more aware of how algorithms work," Amanda Brennan, a meme librarian and senior director of trends at the digital marketing agency XX Artists, explained to Mashable. "So people will modify their language to subvert being shadowbanned or hidden from other users because they're under the impression that using whatever words or whatever language will get them hidden. And then as more people watch content like that, they will start adapting these words into their own language."

    It's not surprising that language changes with the influence of online content. New forms of communication have that effect. But content moderation, with all its fluidity and platform-specific nuances, has the potential to force our language to evolve at an accelerated rate, often silencing marginalized communities.

    SEE ALSO: Meta Oversight Board finds plenty of flaws with Facebook's content moderation

    How the internet changed language

    "We're seeing it happening very rapidly and very visibly right now, but it's not a new phenomenon even in the space of the internet," Kendra Calhoun, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of anthropology at UCLA, told Mashable. Think about how, more than a decade ago, we started talking about dogs. This shift had nothing to do with content moderation but everything to do with meme speak. People started posting about Doge, a photo of a shiba inu with words like "wow" and "so scare" in colorful comic sans printed on it. In 2012, there was a Tumblr post with a picture of a dog that gave users three options: pet doge, snuggle doge, feed doge. This kind of language mirrored that of its predecessor, the I Can Has Cheezburger cat(Opens in a new tab), in what we know as lolspeak (a form of internet speak that rearranges syntax and often replaces an s with a z). 

    And that evolved into what we now know as dog speak(Opens in a new tab), making its debut in a 2017 NPR article that detailed the new lexicon: calling dogs doggos and puppers; saying their feet tippy tap when they are excited; spotting a canine's tongue and exclaiming "mlem." It became such a significant part of our everyday vernacular that Merriam Webster considered adding "doggo" to the dictionary(Opens in a new tab)

    The phenomenon is called linguistic accommodation, in which someone changes how they speak by copying the people they're interacting with in order to fit in. It's not specific to the internet, and it isn't new. Wayne Pearson first used the acronym LOL in the 1980s in Calgary, and in 1990, someone first typed LMAO(Opens in a new tab) during an online game of Dungeons & Dragons. OMG first popped up in 1994 on an online forum about TV soap operas, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. In more decades, we started writing in all lower-case, using emoji, and shortening the way we speak to fit character limitations on social media platforms.

    When we speak to people face to face, we pick up non-verbal cues that we can't always track online — the internet created its own means of communication, substituting body language for in-text cues like emojis and ellipses.

    David Crystal, linguist and author of the book Internet Linguistics: A Student Guide, said this is as a "natural reaction to communicating online, instead of verbally." When we speak to people face to face, we pick up non-verbal cues that we can't always track online — the internet created its own means of communication, substituting body language for in-text cues like emojis and ellipses.

    Gretchen McCulloch, the author of Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language, told The Atlantic(Opens in a new tab) that the changes to our communication is partially due to the fact that we "no longer accept that writing must be lifeless, that it can only convey our tone of voice roughly and imprecisely, or that nuanced writing is the exclusive domain of professionals."

    "We’re creating new rules for typographical tone of voice," McCulloch told The Atlantic. "Not the kind of rules that are imposed from on high, but the kind of rules that emerge from the collective practice of a couple billion social monkeys — rules that enliven our social interactions."

    As McCulloch explains in her book, writers like James Joyce or E. E. Cummings had already broken the rules of grammar, eschewing capitalization and punctuation, with similar goals in mind. Yet, the internet made it mainstream.

    The content moderation shift

    Now, 10 years after the boom of doggo-speak, we all think dog speak is pretty cringe. That's how language tends to evolve online: what’s mainstream for one generation gets modified by another. However, content moderation adds another key element to this shift, in which we aren't actually in charge of how our language changes.

    "Content moderation has this very specific top down control of what people can produce," Calhoun said. "It's created these new restrictions and barriers and forced people to find new ways to express things without saying certain words or saying words in particular ways or writing them down instead of saying them out loud. It introduced a new very intentional linguistic creativity and language change."

    It's led people to start using substitutes for words that are controlled under content moderation guidelines, or that they suspect are. In truth, the perceived moderation of a word is just as powerful as the actual moderation of a word. And it changes language fast.

    Each time a new platform emerges, a fresh set of words and topics are moderated, new audiences and creators come into popularity, and language evolves. It was a force we saw sweep over the internet for decades, but nothing has had an impact on it quite like TikTok. This is likely because the platform is so unique — the algorithmic For You Page, or FYP, ensures that you're seeing videos from creators you didn't purposefully seek out, and the language is a mix of both oral and text, unlike Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other platform.

    On TikTok, people say "SA" instead of "sexual assault" and "spicy eggplant" instead of "vibrator"; sex workers became "accountants"; and they use words like "panini" and "panda express" to talk about the pandemic, as the platform down-ranked videos mentioning the pandemic by name in an effort to combat misinformation. Unlike other mainstream social platforms, the primary way content is distributed on TikTok is through an algorithmically curated For You Page, meaning your number of followers doesn't directly correlate with number of eyes on your video. As Taylor Lorenz points out in The Washington Post, that shift has "led average users to tailor their videos primarily toward the algorithm, rather than a following, which means abiding by content moderation rules is more crucial than ever." She adds that early internet users similarly used "leetspeak" to bypass word filters in chat rooms, image boards, online games and forums. This language gets integrated into other platforms and our offline lives, too. Nowadays, it isn't rare to hear someone say "unalive" on Twitter or on a subway platform. 

    The language is often short lived

    Despite its ubiquity, this kind of content moderation jargon is ephemeral because it’s not making something clearer to understand. For instance, activist movements change language all the time with the specific intent of making it more clear, like saying "people who can become pregnant" instead of "women" when speaking about abortion rights. 

    The real difference between these content moderation-fueled changes and other linguistic changes is that they're made to avoid scrutiny, not driven by a need for community or to make language more inclusive or clearer.

    But algorithmic content moderation systems are more pervasive on the modern internet, and often end up silencing marginalized communities and important discussions.

    Content moderators, typically regulated by the platform itself, tell us what we can and cannot say in online spaces. Theoretically, that's meant to ensure the safety of content on each platform by prohibiting words that could lead to damage, like proliferating words associated with anorexia or white supremacy. But algorithmic content moderation systems are more pervasive on the modern internet, and often end up silencing marginalized communities and important discussions. It can demonize any conversations about those topics, including those that intend to help people out of difficult situations. 

    Often, it can feel like the theft of our language — a theft that leaves marginalized communities struggling to find the words that tether them to safety. Moreover, it's impossible to talk about internet language without considering the role race plays in how we speak online. So much modern slang is actually Ebonics, or AAVE (African American Vernacular), and online language conforms to the same problem that IRL language so often does. As Sydnee Thompson pointed out in BuzzFeed News(Opens in a new tab), "AAVE is a living language that has evolved over centuries, but the ubiquity of the internet has made many aspects of the dialect more accessible and encouraged others to adopt it for their own use. And it has proven to be extremely popular."

    Who is affected most?

    Tailoring language to avoid scrutiny predates the internet, from religions refusing to say the devil's name to activists using code words to discuss taboo topics, like how people in China use code words to speak about their government(Opens in a new tab). But the internet brings up something new: You can't control the audience.

    "These digital spaces are very important for especially minority communities and the reality of them having to find new ways to express these ideas is important to talk about," Calhoun said. Studies show(Opens in a new tab) that minority groups are the most affected by content moderation because "these guidelines try to make a one size fits all set of rules but don't take into account the different starting points and the different realities for different communities."

    Euphemisms are especially common in radicalized or harmful communities. Pro-anorexia eating disorder communities have long adopted variations on moderated words to evade restrictions. One paper from the School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology found that the complexity of such variants even increased over time. Last year, anti-vaccine groups on Facebook began changing their names to "dance party" or "dinner party," and anti-vaccine influencers on Instagram used similar code words, referring to vaccinated people as "swimmers."

    "If you want to just talk about your day-to-day, but your day-to-day includes experiences with anti-Black racism, then you have to think, 'how can I say this while avoiding this word and not getting flagged or shadowbanned or reported,' whereas other people can just talk and talk about their day and not have to worry about any of those things," Calhoun said. "That's where linguistic practices intersect with issues of power and ideology."

    And that can lead to an increase of activism burnout(Opens in a new tab). People have to explain why their videos are being taken down, brainstorming different ways to approach conversations. But this isn't a cycle that has to continue to repeat itself. platforms will put out rules and guidelines but those rules don't typically apply to everyone equally.

    Ángel Díaz, a visiting professor at USC, co-authored the Brennan Center study "Double Standards in Social Media Content Moderation(Opens in a new tab)," which unpacks why we might want to challenge the way our system works with regard to content moderation.

    "These are [social media] companies that very often are driven more than anything by desires to align themselves with power and to develop a more favorable regulatory environment," Díaz told Mashable. "Regardless of what a law does or doesn't require, they are going to listen when the government asks them to do certain things and when particular political parties pressure them in a given way."

    Díaz's report points out that tech platforms will put out rules and guidelines but those rules don't typically apply to everyone equally. Think about how often former President Donald Trump broke the rules on Twitter but wasn't deplatformed until he left office. Díaz argues that this is where we should guide our thinking going forward.

    "Companies have made choices to moderate the content of people from marginalized communities in a much more haphazard way," Díaz said. "There is one set of rules for people that are more marginalized and then there's a more measured approach that is reserved for more powerful institutions and actors. And we wanted to focus the next steps on challenging that relationship between tech companies and power."

    When people's communication is intrinsically connected to the whim of a social media platform's moderation tactics, language suffers — and communities can suffer along with it.

  • New York is offering free abortion pills at 4 sexual health clinics

    New York is offering free abortion pills at 4 sexual health clinics

    New York City is planning to offer free abortion pills at four sexual health clinics through a city-funded initiative announced by Mayor Eric Adams earlier this week.

    "New York City has always been a beacon of leadership in this nation, and we're going to continue to lead," Adams said in a speech about women's health(Opens in a new tab) at City Hall on Tuesday.

    According to Gothamist(Opens in a new tab), city health officials have said these four clinics have the potential to deliver up to 10,000 abortion pills (mifepristone and misoprostol)(Opens in a new tab) annually. The first rollout will take place Wednesday at a sexual health clinic in the Bronx. Patients seeking a medication abortion can make an appointment or enter the clinic unscheduled to receive care, beginning with an evaluation by a physician.

    The other three clinics, located in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens, will aim to offer the medication by the end of the year. Dr. Ashwin Vasan, New York's health commissioner, said(Opens in a new tab) that the timeline can take up to a year because healthcare workers who distribute abortion pills will first receive federally mandated training.

    The initiative aims to break barriers and limit disparities across healthcare, particularly for low-income communities.

    "Rivers of racism, social and economic inequality, lack of research in innovation are all feeding into the sea of the gender health gap," said Adams(Opens in a new tab). "The system needs to change. We must do better, and we will do better. Women’s health needs some intensive care."


    Added Vasan, "We see that there are social, cultural, and non-economic, if not economic, barriers to care, which is the crucial role that our city Health Department public clinics play in filling those gaps for the most marginalized."

    The city does offer abortion pills at 11 public hospitals, but unlike city-run clinics, they seek information on insurance status to bill insurance providers or Medicaid.

    The announcement is an additional move to the opening of the Abortion Access Hub(Opens in a new tab), announced last November(Opens in a new tab) by Adams and the New York City Department of Health. The hub allows people seeking an abortion to be connected to licensed providers throughout the city, ensuring that abortion is accessible and protected. People from across the country can call(Opens in a new tab) and receive support securing resources, including help with travel or lodging costs.

    Reproductive rights have been in peril in the United States since the Supreme Court overturned landmark ruling Roe v. Wade in June 2022. In at least 13 states(Opens in a new tab), most abortions have been banned. Other states have restricted access in place(Opens in a new tab), making the right to have an abortion an outright battle. Supporting reproductive justice is needed now more than ever, making the move from New York City a vital one.

  • How to have sex using a strap-on

    How to have sex using a strap-on

    The first time 28-year-old Tammy — who is going by her first name only — used a strap-on five years ago, she "felt a bit silly." As she set it on the floor, popped her feet into the holes and slipped the straps around her crotch to fix the strap-on in place, she wondered if she was doing everything right. "There weren’t a lot of resources around at the time and gay sex came with a lot of guesswork," she tells Mashable. "I was fumbling around with the thing while my girlfriend just sat awkwardly on the bed, waiting for me to be done," she laughs.


    SEE ALSO: How to perform cunnilingus like a pro

    "But now, strap-ons are a big part of our sex life and its hard to imagine having difficulty with one," she adds. "Strap-ons themselves have got so much better — the designs, the availability, the choices — and they're so much easier to use. It also seems to be a lot easier to find information about strap-on sex online that isn’t porn, these days."

    With the help of some strap-on aficionados, we’re getting into the nitty gritty of how to choose them, use them, and look after them. 

    What is a strap-on?

    A strap-on, put simply, is a dildo which attaches to straps or a pair of knickers and is then used for sexual stimulation — normally in partnered sex. 

    Strap-ons and dildos are defined as phallic-like instruments for sexual stimulation and are often viewed as replacements for a penis when the real thing isn’t around. But while that’s the reason dildos gained popularity in the 1930s(Opens in a new tab) (during a time when strict religious guidelines in Europe prevented unmarried women from shagging, resulting in the creation of penetrative instruments, used for masturbation), since then, we’ve come a long way. 

    Why use a strap-on for sex? 

    Dildos and strap-ons alike are used by, well, anyone and everyone who fancies it. 

    They’re mostly associated with lesbians, and that’s probably thanks to good old porn. But while people with vaginas may well use them to have sex with other people with vaginas, they can be used in hetero relationships for pegging, by men who struggle with erectile dysfunction, and in many other contexts. 

    Annabelle Knight(Opens in a new tab), sex educator from sex toy shop Lovehoney(Opens in a new tab) tells Mashable that strap-ons are most commonly used for penetrative sex by people who otherwise wouldn't be able to (i.e. people without a penis). "This allows people to experience penetrative sex, and explore new ways to give pleasure to a sexual partner," she explains. 

    SEE ALSO: How to finger your partner

    "They are also commonly used by straight couples so that the women can have penetrative anal sex with a male partner; this can be satisfying for the woman as they get to ‘dominate’ their partner, while the penetration can stimulate the male prostate."

    25-year-old Zoe, who is just going by her first name, uses them to feel powerful and to help with their gender dysphoria. "I’m non-binary and I do get a bit of penis envy sometimes. Wearing a strap-on helps me to feel more confident in those moments. Sometimes I just wear it when I’m alone so I can feel good, it’s not even always for sex."

    "My girlfriend enjoys the feeling of penetration and I love the feeling of stroking and the power I get from having the strap-on."

    But when Zoe does have sex, the strap-on comes in handy. "My girlfriend enjoys the feeling of penetration and I love the feeling of stroking and the power I get from having the strap-on, so we use it in our sex a lot. Some couples switch with strap-ons but I’m always the giver and her the receiver. That’s the way we love it though," they tell Mashable.

    Finding (and getting to know) your strap-on 

    First things first, you want to make sure you have the right equipment. "Which strap-on you use can make or break your experience," Knight warns. "Both from a comfort standpoint and from how easy it is to use."

    Glenise Kinard-Moore, founder and creator of a new dildo that goes from flaccid to erect with the click of a button The V Dom(Opens in a new tab), tells Mashable, "You need to pay attention to what your strap-on is made of. You want to choose products that are aligned with your body, in terms of knowing what types of materials you may have a sensitivity or irritation to," says Kinard-Moore. Not everything will work for everyone.

    She adds that strap-on searchers should ensure they find a strap-on that works for them, "not just one that has been suggested by someone else or the first one you see on the shelf."

    "It sounds odd, but I recommend just sitting around wearing your strap on by yourself."

    "Take your time to make sure the type of harness offered works for your body type and the material used doesn’t cause an irritation for you or your partner."

    If you’ve been irritated by certain materials when using other sex toys in the past, steer clear of strap-ons made of the same stuff. If you’re totally in doubt and this is your first toy, silicone is your safest bet as it’s a body-safe material. Just pay attention to any issues and if it’s uncomfortable or irritable, don’t ignore it. Stop using it.

    Keeping your dildo squeaky-clean

    And speaking of materials… if your dildo is dirty, it’s not going to do you any good. It might not sound so sexy, but your toys should be kept clean before and after both solo and partnered sex so both you and your partner (or partners) are safe. Sex with dirty sex toys can result in thrush, UTI, and other issues.

    SEE ALSO: How to keep your sex toys clean

    Like Tammy, many wearers find strap-ons a little odd or intimidating at first, but there are a few simple ways to get comfortable with your strap-on so it can soon feel like an extension of yourself, and bring some extra fun into your sex. 

    "It sounds odd, but I recommend just sitting around wearing your strap on by yourself," says Tammy. "This helped me go from feeling ridiculous to feeling really powerful. I got to know my strap-on so well in privacy — just hanging around the house wearing it and even practicing positions in my room with it - that I felt much more confident the first time I brought it to my girlfriend’s house for sex," she tells Mashable. 

    The need-to-knows of strap-on sex 

    No matter how you plan to use your strap-on, lube is always a good idea. In general, lube should always be part of your sex life. It’s great stuff. "Just make sure your lube is compatible with your dildo of choice — silicone lube degrades silicone toys, and oil-based lube can damage latex condoms, so water-based lube is likely a safe bet," Knight advises. 

    Kinard-Moore notes that if you’re the person wearing the strap-on, you have a responsibility to ensure your partner is comfortable and happy. "Make sure you take your time and confirm that your partner is comfortable with the positioning at the time of penetration." With strap-ons, the wearer can't feel what the receiver is feeling, so it’s important to communicate, not assume things are feeling good for them, to check in with them so you can adjust, change positions or take a break if needed.

    Communication, as always, is integral. Talk to your partner prior to using the strap-on about what you both want to get out of the experience, what you’re hoping for, and discuss your boundaries. What do you really not want to happen? What are you up for trying but you’re not quite sure? All of this needs to be discussed beforehand, so you can keep each other safe while you’re having sex.

    "Make sure you take your time and confirm that your partner is comfortable with the positioning at the time of penetration."

    Knight adds that you should be keeping the communication going during and after sex too. After all, that’s what consent is all about. "Ask your partner how what you’re doing feels, as it’s way more difficult to tell what’s going on down there than if you’re using a mouth or a hand. Don’t just rely on body language to tell you if you’re making a mistake," she says.

    "The first time me and my girlfriend used a strap-on, we didn’t just jump in at the deep end," Zoe says. "We made a really big deal of it and while that can seem scary to some, I think it was important. We almost made it like a date night. After floating the idea of using them, we got some pizza and drinks and had a night in just chatting about what we wanted to do, and then we bought our first one together on that same night. Consent can be really romantic, and it was good to know what she was looking for, how I could provide that, and understand more about my own desires too."

    After sex, try having a debrief too. This is simply a way of extending consent and communication, reflecting on the sex you just had together and talking about what worked, what didn’t, and what you’d like to do differently next time. Debriefs are especially welcome when you’ve tried something completely new. 

    Turning things up a notch 

    Once you’ve got into the groove with strap-on sex and that you feel like a master of the dildo, you might fancy upping the ante. Thanks to the abundance of dildos, sex positions, other sex toys, and lubes out there in the world, there are plenty of ways to explore. 

    "Explore the different types of uses of your strap-on. Try different positions, incorporate other toys when using your strap-on, or try different lubes, such as heat sensitive or flavoured," says Glenise. 

    If and when you feel ready, you can buy strap-ons that vibrate and pulsate that come equipped with a remote control (so the receiver could control it if they like), there's longer, thicker dildos for a different sensation, or you can bring another sex toy into the mix too. Who doesn’t like a little bullet vibrator against the clitoris during penetrative sex, for instance?

    Remember that there is no right or ‘best’ way to use a strap-on. The best way to use one is your way. Focus on which products excite you, what movements and techniques work for you and your partner, and try new things organically in the bedroom, responding to what you and your partner like best just as you would with non-strap-on sex. Take things slow, find what works well for you, and take good care of your new schlong.

  • I tried MrBeasts new chocolate bars. Theyre pretty good!

    I tried MrBeasts new chocolate bars. Theyre pretty good!

    I'm not really a huge chocolate person, but even I can admit it's difficult for chocolate to be bad. To that end, MrBeast — the incredibly popular YouTuber — is channeling his inner Willy Wonka to launch a line of tasty, if not world-changing, treats: chocolate bars.


    Real name Jimmy Donaldson, MrBeast has 89 million subscribers(Opens in a new tab) on YouTube, where he often launches stunts and massive giveaways. He's the guy who created a real-life Squid Game.

    SEE ALSO: IRL 'Squid Game' gets 100 million YouTube views in 4 days

    Anyway, Donaldson's latest venture is a food company called Feastables, touted in a press release as "a better-for-you snacking brand rooted in gamified experiences." Basically, the company plans to hold sweepstakes for $1 million in giveaways, from Teslas to Beats headphones to electric bikes. But that's not all: A few winners will get to experience a very surreal trip to MrBeast's chocolate factory.

    "Ten lucky Grand Prize winners will travel to compete in a MrBeast YouTube video for the chance to win MrBeast’s Chocolate Factory," the press release reads. "Yes, this really exists."

    OK, so all the spectacle aside, how's the actual product? Pretty good! The chocolate bars are marketed as a simpler alternative to the mass-produced stuff. They have just four ingredients, are gluten free, and come in three flavors: original chocolate, almond chocolate, and quinoa crunch chocolate. Donaldson has Crohn's Disease, and the idea was to create a fun treat with a limited number of ingredients.

    The packaging is bright and loud, which is kind of to be expected. Credit: Mashable

    I was sent a whole mess of chocolate bars, more than I'll ever eat. But I gave each flavor a few bites out of dedication to my job.

    Again, I'm not a huge chocolate person, but of the three flavors, I think the quinoa crunch was by far the best. It had great texture and tasted something like a thinner, snappier, darker Crunch Bar. My wife, a bigger chocolate fan than me, agreed the quinoa was best, but she also enjoyed all three flavors.

    While the bars are marketed as better for you, from a purely caloric standpoint there's not much difference between a MrBeast bar and a Hersey bar. The Feastables bars are definitely darker, richer, and snappier — it tastes fancier, more luxurious — but doesn't have that whole melt-in-you-mouth addictiveness of its Hershey competitor.

    I now have more MrBeast candy bars than I will ever need. Credit: Mashable

    The MrBeast bars are also clearly made to look more, well, appealing to kids who watch countless hours of YouTube. They're brightly packaged and have zigzag patterns on the bar itself. They have a crease to break off a piece that reads "share," while the unperforated end reads "devour."

    Chocolate? Pretty good Credit: Mashable

    So would I buy the chocolate bars from MrBeast? I mean, probably not, but that's just because chocolate isn't one of my vices. If chocolate is your vice, then I don't see you being disappointed with the product.

    The chocolate is now available for purchase through Feastables(Opens in a new tab), Walmart, and GoPuff. A single bar will cost anywhere from $3 to $3.50, with options to buy packs of 10 or variety packs at around the same price per bar.

  • Donald Trump tweets that he and Melania have tested positive for COVID-19

    Donald Trump tweets that he and Melania have tested positive for COVID-19

    Hours after senior White House adviser Hope Hicks was confirmed to have tested positive for coronavirus(Opens in a new tab), President Trump confirmed via Twitter that he and First Lady Melania Trump are also now among the 7.31 million Americans who have tested positive.


    Hicks travelled on Air Force One with the president and other senior staff on Wednesday. After news of her positive test broke, Trump suggested without evidence that the virus had been transmitted to Hicks during hugs from law enforcement or military personnel(Opens in a new tab).

    Trump is not the first world leader to test positive for the virus — fellow authoritarian Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Monaco's Prince Alfred II have all been confirmed to have been infected with the illness. Johnson spent time in intensive care and his team prepared contingency plans in the case the PM did not survive.

    But, along with Bolsonaro(Opens in a new tab), Trump is one of the leaders who has publicly expressed skepticism about the virus' severity(Opens in a new tab). He has also repeatedly resisted taking precautions such as wearing a face mask, and as recently as this week mocked his Democratic opponent in the presidential race, Joe Biden,(Opens in a new tab) for wearing a mask.

    In March, tapes of interviews with famed journalist Bob Woodward revealed that Trump knew that COVID-19 was more serious than his public statements suggested, and that by his own admission he was "play[ing] it down" to avoid "panic." In late September, he told a crowded campaign rally the virus "affects virtually nobody(Opens in a new tab)."

    Trump says he and the First Lady are in quarantine, beginning "immediately."

    UPDATE: Oct. 2, 2020, 3:49 p.m. AEST Melania Trump has tweeted that she and the president are "feeling good."

    UPDATE: Oct. 2, 2020, 10:39 a.m. BST UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson wished the Trumps a "speedy recovery" via tweet on Friday morning.

    This story is developing....

    Related Video: Why is the U.S. failing at coronavirus testing?

  • Heres how to get free COVID tests delivered to your door right now

    Heres how to get free COVID tests delivered to your door right now

    Can't find a COVID test anywhere in stores? Don't want to wait outside in an hours-long line just to take a test and possibly even get COVID while you're there in the process?


    Well, now you can get free COVID tests delivered right to your door (if you're in the U.S.)!

    Here's how.

    The United States Postal Service has just launched a website(Opens in a new tab) where you can sign up for four free individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests.

    Simply go to in a new tab) or in a new tab).

    Fill out your name, address (for delivery), and email (for delivery updates), and click the green "Check Out Now" button.

    The USPS form for free COVID tests is super quick and easy to fill out. Credit: Mashable Screenshot

    And that's it! You'll be sent to a page with your confirmation order, and the USPS will send you an order of four COVID tests for absolutely free by late January. The order will shipped within seven to 12 days. You can signup for one order of four tests per household.

    And if you order now, you'll likely get your order in ahead of most people, too. The U.S. government's official website for this program,, originally slated signups to begin on Wednesday, January 19. But, the USPS site went up early, and you can sign up now.

    Do note that there have been a few scattered complaints on social media regarding issues signing up for a test if you're in an apartment building. It appears the USPS' system is not recognizing each apartment as a separate unit. If you run into a problem though, try again as other apartment building tenants have said they have had no issues ordering a test for their apartment number.

    Another issue has been reported from those who live in apartments connected to commercial buildings. According to the USPS, program is only for residential addresses.

    Mashable will update this piece if and when the issue is fixed for those affected. We have reached out to the USPS for comment.

    The Biden administration finalized(Opens in a new tab) the program earlier this month with the USPS to deliver 500 million free at-home COVID tests as part of the government's response to the spreading omicron variant of the virus.

    The program appears to be a welcomed change in the White House's original position. 

    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki went viral(Opens in a new tab) and was roundly criticized on social media last month when she sarcastically brought up the idea of sending every American a free COVID test when answering a question from a reporter. (Perhaps this is proof that pressuring politicians on social media sometimes does work!)

    Hopefully, the free tests help curb the raging Omicron variant as the U.S. prepares to enter its third year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • YouTuber, author, and cook Nats What I Reckon threw jar sauce in the bin to empower people

    YouTuber, author, and cook Nats What I Reckon threw jar sauce in the bin to empower people

    Welcome to Small Talk, a series where we catch up with the internet's favorite Extremely Online individuals offline.


    If you're about to cook dinner, opening up your cupboard, taking a cheeky jar of Chicken Tonight from the shelf, you might take a second to check the dodgy amount of additives in that bad boy and swiftly chuck it in the bin. Then, Nat's What I Reckon can help you cook the real deal.

    The Australian comedian, author, musician, mental health advocate, and anti-jar sauce campaigner launched his YouTube channel in 2006, and since then he's clocked up almost 23 million views over the years. Nat gained a huge amount of followers in 2020 when he used his skills during the pandemic to help people cook from scratch at home during lockdown, creating recipes(Opens in a new tab) like "Quarantine Sauce" when he noticed people were panic-buying(Opens in a new tab) not only toilet paper but pre-made jar sauce.

    Now specialising in empowering viewers champions to cook their own homemade meals with actual ingredients instead of instant packet stuff, Nat has long been making videos (with his partner in crime, Jules, a fan favourite) that especially do not encourage using '80s style methods relying on the "electrical sin bin" that is the microwave(Opens in a new tab) — his is lovingly named the "tucka fucka." He's had special guests like rapper Briggs(Opens in a new tab) and drag queen Courtney Act(Opens in a new tab) drop by, the editing is extremely swift, as are the mad bants — and the show's new animated opening titles are straight-up fire(Opens in a new tab).

    Staunchly opposed to dodgy ingredients (mainly additives, powders, and flavourings with random factory numbers) and using actual, y'know, food, Nat creates recipes that are easily to follow, demonstrating them with his particularly Aussie brand of humour that'll tell you it doesn't bloody Parramatta if your dish or cooking setup isn't 100 percent perfect.

    SEE ALSO: YouTuber Nat's What I Reckon tests the cylindrical horror that is the Egg Master

    In his first recipe book, Death to Jar Sauce(Opens in a new tab), released in November, you'll find Get F*cked Roast Potatoes, Honey Bastard Chicken (honey mustard chicken), Ceviche on the Beach, eh? (kingfish ceviche), Incidentally Vegan Street Coleslaw, and Wake and Don’t Bake Orange and Lemon Cheesecake.

    One hell of a cover. Credit: Penguin Random House

    But there's more to Nat's channel than simply getting people to up their cooking game. A longtime mental health advocate, Nat's shared his own experiences with anxiety and depression through standup(Opens in a new tab), even reviewing them(Opens in a new tab) on his channel in a genuinely meaningful way. Nat examines and takes the piss out of outdated social norms and versions of success(Opens in a new tab), and urges viewers not to be a dickhead to others or to themselves, instead promoting self-care, kindness, and celebrating "the little wins between the hard bits."(Opens in a new tab) In 2020, Nat released his first book, Un-cook Yourself(Opens in a new tab), a self-help guide to life filled with personal stories, with proceeds going to Australian mental health and wellbeing charity Beyond Blue.

    We chatted to Nat about Death to Jar Sauce and why he does what he does — he even let us have a cheeky recipe from the book, for Honey Bastard Chicken, which you'll find below.

    Mashable: How different was it writing the cookbook (and your first book) to how you present your YouTube videos?

    Nat: Both of them are a bit fucken off their head, my constant swearing and speaking in metaphor has made for some pretty hilarious illustrations in the book. I wanted to make sure, much like the channel, that people are having a solid laugh while reading the book and also hopefully getting a little inspired to cook some awesome shit.

    How did you pick the recipes that went into the book?

    I went for sure fire classic hits shit and of course a few of my all time fav "escape the packet" recipes. I have a lot of people message and comment their favourite stuff they wanna see me make on the channel, I’ve held out on making a few episodes so we can drop some heavily requested big bangers into the book


    Why does empowering people to cook stuff at home themselves mean so much to you?

    You can’t argue with a simple bit of joy in your day, and that’s what cooking does for me. I wanna share a bit of that with other people while not taking the shit too seriously. Life can get really heavy at times and garbage jar sauce doesn’t contribute to any of that joy in my opinion.

    What was the biggest thing you learned during the pandemic while making your lockdown cooking videos?

    As my best friend says "Party on John"…I think the thing I learnt is to have a little faith in myself and to keep partying on John with being creative. It takes fucken ages to find your audience sometimes, and it’s worth all the work. I am so desperate to make people laugh and cook them food all the time, I’m just so stoked I’ve managed to get the two together and kick a few between the posts.

    Finally, what can hardcore fans of your YouTube channel expect to find in the book, any Easter eggs for them?

    Me drawn as the Terminator making lasagne for a start, and a shitload of swearing and opinionated carry on. There’s also a few cameos from other channel characters that have muscled their way in. Thanks to my amazing artist mates we have created the most fucken out of control party time cookbook in town…well I hope so anyway.

    Nat's What I Reckon's Honey Bastard Chicken

    Nat's Honey Bastard Chicken (a version of honey mustard chicken) from "Death to Jar Sauce." Credit: Penguin Random House

    Honey mustard chicken is the most fucken relentlessly requested recipe on the channel and probably one of the most Defqon.1-level jar sauce abominations to ever hit the shelves. It's such rotten garbage that I went totally off that bastard of a sickly-sweet dish for years, but I'M BACK CHAMPIONS AND WE'VE FIXED IT!

    The idea is to help you escape any chance of having to eat that trash again. I've loved a bit of sweet and savoury action all the way back to an unhealthy obsession with Lemon Crisp biscuits as a kid. I actually did an advert for Pizza Shapes when I was eleven years old and I got paid in Lemon Crisp biscuits . . . Dad ate half of them, I think. Anyway, I'm getting a little off track here – this isn't a freaken recipe for biscuits, but it is one for sweet and savoury chicken radness.

    SERVES: 4–6

    COOKING TIME: under an hour

    HECTOMETER: 5/10


    8 medium or 6 large skin-on boneless chicken thighs


    1 tablespoon vegetable oil

    25 g unsalted butter

    1 onion, peeled and sliced

    1 small bunch parsley, stalks and leaves chopped, but kept separate

    6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

    1 tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped

    2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

    2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard

    1½ tablespoons honey

    ½ cup white wine

    1 cup chicken stock or water

    3 teaspoons plain flour

    125 g crème fraîche or sour cream (full-fat stuff works best)


    Now you can of course do this with chicken breast but since making the shift to chicken thigh, life in general has become way better. Chicken breast is fine and all, but takes some work to stop it from tasting dry as a mouthful of fucken chalk. So let's crack on with the skin-on thighs. Season them with salt and place skin-side down into a . . . wait for it . . . cold pan! Soz wot? Yeah that's right champion, a cold pan with a tablespoon of oil in it. Turn on the stove to a medium heat but DON'T TOUCH the thighs. We want them to stay put face down rendering in the oil so they get super crispy pants. Keep the heat at medium until you hear it starting to sizzle me timbers, and from that point it’s 8 minutes until flip time. Once the skin side is golden brown town, use tongs to flip them over and give it a hard 5 on the other side (at the same heat).

    Press the chicken thigh eject button and remove from the pan and rest on a plate while you crack on with the sauce. Into the recently vacated pan, add ya butter on medium heat again. Once that shit has melted fucken bang in ya onion and chopped-up parsley stalks sans leaves for 3-4 minutes until nice and soft. Then in we go with the garlic and thyme leaves and cook for another 2 minutes.

    Mustard be about time to put ya bloody mustardzzz in the pan along with the honey, wine and stock as you bring it ever so awesomely to a simmer, champion.

    In a bowl bung in your flour and spoon in a little of the pan juice then whisk together into a paste-like consistency. Now back into the pan with your magical chicken flour paste along with the crème fraîche or sour and cook for a few minutes.

    OMG what the fuck is this chicken still doing on a fucken plate right now?’ All good, let’s fix that wagon and bung it back into the mustardy creamy non jar-ey goodness with the chicken skin facing up so the sauce doesn’t kill all that crispy hard work. Give it around 5 minutes in the sauce there boss; we wanna heat it up good. Undercooked chicken is a not-so-fun ride on a slippery slide to bad news, so make sure it’s heated through.

    Now taste that and tell me you’d rather eat that fucking chat jar of yellow slime they call "honey mustard sauce". Reckon ya won’t.

    Scatter with parsley leaves if you like, they make it look super rad.

    Serve with a scoop of ice cream...just kidding, maybe some veg, mash or rice… whatever you like, legend face.

    Death to Jar Sauce(Opens in a new tab) by Nat's What I Reckon is out now through Penguin Random House(Opens in a new tab).(Opens in a new tab)

  • Heres why Redditors are flooding the YouTube video for Gangnam Style with meme stock comments

    Heres why Redditors are flooding the YouTube video for Gangnam Style with meme stock comments

    If all of your favorite websites went down, where would you meetup with all of your online friends?


    If you're a Redditor who frequents r/WallStreetBets and owns some meme stocks — like GameStop or AMC — the answer is simple.

    You meet in the comments section for the YouTube video of the 2012 viral pop-sensation "Gangnam Style(Opens in a new tab)" by South Korean singer Psy.


    In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, some of the internet's biggest websites went down. Sites like Amazon, CNN, Twitch, Spotify, The New York Times, Twitter, and Reddit were all knocked offline due to an issue with CDN provider, Fastly(Opens in a new tab).

    CDNs, or content delivery networks, help speed up and improve the performance of your favorite websites. All of your favorite high-traffic places online likely use a CDN, so when an issue arises it's very noticeable, as it takes down a large portion of the internet.

    While the Fastly outage only lasted about an hour, it was long enough for some people to start assuming the worst. It didn't take long for Reddit users who own GameStop and AMC stock to begin speculating: The hedge funds were trying to stop their short squeeze goal.

    So, with Reddit down, the apes (that's what the meme stock-holding Redditors call themselves) set in motion their backup plan — to congregate in the comments section of "Gangnam Style" on YouTube.

    The thinking behind this(Opens in a new tab) is that YouTube would never take down its second most popular video of all-time. The plan(Opens in a new tab) was allegedly set up back in March on the subreddit, and it appears today was the first time the plan was enacted(Opens in a new tab). It also seems like the majority of Redditors just became aware of this plan today, after the site went down.

    If you go to the YouTube page for the Psy song now, you'll find dozens of r/WallStreetBets users in the comments section, chatting about meme stocks as if it was a Reddit thread or a Discord channel.

    You might be saying to yourself..."Huh?" OK, it is bizarre, but here's a little bit of a quick primer on what's going on.

    Remember at the beginning of this year when Gamestop, AMC, and other low-priced stocks spiked? It was all due to retail investors buying up shares and squeezing short sellers. Then remember when Robinhood, the popular stock trading app, halted trading of GameStop causing the stock to drop? Many Redditors believe that Citadel(Opens in a new tab), the hedge fund and financial services company that executes the trades for Robinhood, played a role in that. Hedge funds, like Citadel, were losing so much money(Opens in a new tab) betting against the meme stocks, so many Reddit users have come to believe this was all done on purpose.

    Fast forward to this month. The meme stocks are spiking again, and the situation is very similar to what happened in January. Many Redditors feel a short squeeze is imminent, as hedge funds rush to close their positions, which would cause the meme stocks to jump even higher.

    With hedge funds, who are still shorting these stocks, standing to lose a significant amount of money, meme stock holders believe Citadel has once again stepped in to stop it from happening. The theory is this: If they took Reddit down, Citadel would create fear and uncertainty in the community, as they wouldn't have each other to rely on for encouragement. Meme stockholders with "paper hands(Opens in a new tab)" – those who sell stocks too quickly before they reach maximum profit – will then sell, lowering the price of the stock and saving the hedge funds from a squeeze.

    And why does anyone think that Citadel has the power to take down Reddit? Well, the hedge fund is a part-owner(Opens in a new tab) of the CDN service, Fastly. (For the record, they own just 0.2 percent of it.)

    It's all very much a conspiracy theory at this point, and there is no evidence that Citadel was involved in Tuesday's outage. But that hasn't stopped the comments section of a 2012 YouTube video from becoming the hottest place to discuss the stock market.

    Oppa Gangnam Style.

    UPDATE: June 22, 2021, 2:12 p.m. CDT We updated this post to clarify Citadel's relationship to Fastly.

  • Instagram will let you filter abusive messages so you never have to see them

    Instagram will let you filter abusive messages so you never have to see them

    Instagram will now let you filter out abusive messages that contain offensive words, phrases, or emoji so you don't have to deal with them at all.


    The new update focuses on the abuse people face in their Direct Message request inbox from people they don't follow.

    In a blog post announcing(Opens in a new tab) the change, Instagram noted that because DMs are private conversations, identifying hate speech and bullying in these messages involves a different process to weeding it out in public comments and captions on the app.

    Instagram noted that DM requests are where people are more likely to receive online abuse, away from the public eye. "This tool focuses on DM requests, because this is where people usually receive abusive messages — unlike your regular DM inbox, where you receive messages from friends," the post explains.

    "We understand the impact that abusive content — whether it's racist, sexist, homophobic, or any other kind of abuse — can have on people," it adds. "Nobody should have to experience that on Instagram."

    SEE ALSO: TikTok announces new features to tackle harassment and bullying

    The feature will work in a similar way to the comment filters already offered by Instagram, which let you hide abusive comments as well as phrases and words you don't want people to use in comments on your posts.

    To turn on the DM request filters, you can go to a new section of your privacy settings called Hidden Words.

    Add anything you don't want to see to your Hidden Words section. Credit: instagram

    The feature can be personalised — you can create a custom list of words, phrases, or emoji that you want to filter out of DM requests. Those DM requests will then be filtered into a separate hidden requests folder. If you choose to access that folder, the abusive text will be covered so you don't have to see it, but you can tap to uncover it, should you wish to. You can then choose to accept the message request, delete it, or report it.

    There's also another feature that could prove useful in tackling abuse. Instagram says it will be making it more difficult for someone you've blocked to contact you again through a new account. You'll now have the option when you block someone to both block their account and block any new accounts they might make.

    Instagram says it will begin rolling out these features in "several countries in the coming weeks" and will look to expand globally in the next few months.

  • NBA partners with Clear to screen fans for COVID-19

    NBA partners with Clear to screen fans for COVID-19

    Want to watch your favorite team play hoops? Well, it might be a little like going to the airport.


    The NBA announced on Wednesday it had paired with Clear — the biometric company you likely know for expedited airport security lines — to make the company's Health Pass available to franchises to screen fans. Clear said the product would securely store things like test results and vaccination records, which would help the league keep the viewing experience safe.

    "Clear's Health Pass is an innovative technology that can further enhance the league’s health and safety protocols at arenas and the wellbeing of those who attend NBA games," said Dan Rossomondo, NBA senior vice president of media and business development, in a statement(Opens in a new tab).  "We are grateful to Clear for their partnership and commitment to creating safe environments and experiences for our fans."

    With vaccinations ramping up in the U.S. and things hopefully trending more toward normalcy, new safety measures like Health Pass are likely to crop up all over the country for large-capacity events like NBA games.

    However, products like Health Pass and vaccination passports have left some folks wary. Mashable's Jack Morse wrote that while some more conspiratorial thinkers have garnered a lot of attention, real experts have actual concerns over privacy and equity when it comes to vaccine passports.

    The NBA said in a statement that a third of its 30 teams were already using Health Pass tech to, in some form, screen either arena employees or fans. ESPN reported(Opens in a new tab), however, that teams will not be required to use the service.

    At arenas where the pass is in use, fans would load a selfie and identifying document to the Clear App. They could then link health records through the app, answer health survey questions, and receive a red or green notification for the game you wish to attend. The arena only receives an approval or rejection, not any health records, according to Clear.

    "Trust and transparency are Clear number one priority, and with Health Pass, our goal is to get people back to what they love while ensuring they are always in control of their health information," Clear CEO Caryn Seidman-Becker said in a statement(Opens in a new tab).  "As states reopen sports venues to fans in the U.S., we are thrilled to team up with the NBA to help create safer fan experiences and reimagine the future of sports."

    More than two-thirds of the NBA is already allowing some fans back in arenas. ESPN reported(Opens in a new tab) that the league hopes to be back to full attendance by next season.

    Related Video: How to use your COVID vaccine guilt to fight for health equity