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Todays best deals: $1.99 Hulu subscriptions, $91 off AirPods Pro, and the first discount on the Roomba Combo J7+

2023-03-19 06:14:58

Todays best deals: $1.99 Hulu subscriptions, $91 off AirPods Pro, and the first discount on the Roomba Combo J7+

We've rounded up all the best deals for you to shop on Nov. 23 — here are our top picks:

Todays best deals: $1.99 Hulu subscriptions, $91 off AirPods Pro, and the first discount on the Roomba Combo J7+(图1)

  • BEST STREAMING DEAL: One year of Hulu (with ads)(Opens in a new tab)$1.99/month $7.99/month (save $72)

  • BEST TECH DEAL: Apple AirPods Pro (1st Generation)(Opens in a new tab)$159 $249.99 (save $90.99)

  • BEST HOME DEAL: iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum and Mop(Opens in a new tab)$899 $1,099.99 (save $200.99)

The annual Black Friday shopping extravaganza is in full swing with some of the best deals we've seen all year. Each day, retailers are dropping prices on top products — it's honestly hard to keep up.

Lucky for you, we've rounded up the top deals to shop today, Nov. 23, and sorted them all into categories for convenience. Whether you're looking for robot vacuums, Apple products, kitchen appliances, or a good streaming subscription discount, we've got you covered. Save time and money by shopping directly from our picks below.

Pro tip: Keep up with our ongoing Black Friday coverage and stay in the know about all the best deals this season, not just today, but every day.

Best streaming deal

(Opens in a new tab)
Credit: Hulu
One year of Hulu (with ads) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
$1.99.month (save $72)
(opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Why we like it

Our favorite streamer for more than just live TV, Hulu's library is brimming with hit movies, next-day TV episodes, and high-quality originals like The Handmaid's Tale and Only Murders in the Building. For Black Friday, new and returning subscribers can get an entire year of Hulu (with ads) for just $1.99 per month instead of the usual $7.99 per month. The deal is only live until 11:59 p.m. PT on Monday, Nov. 28, so hurry if you want to secure a year of streaming at an incredibly low rate.

More streaming device and subscription deals

Check out our full list of the best Black Friday streaming service and device deals.

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  • Four months of Amazon Music Unlimited(Opens in a new tab)free with select purchases at Best Buy (save $39.96)

  • Three months of Amazon Music Unlimited(Opens in a new tab)free $26.97 (save $26.97)

  • Three months of HBO Max (with ads)(Opens in a new tab)$1.99/month $9.99/month (save $29.97)

  • Four months of Audible Premium Plus(Opens in a new tab)$5.95/month $14.95/month (save $36)

  • Paramount+ Essential(Opens in a new tab)free with Walmart+ membership ($12.95/month or $98/year)

  • Chromecast with Google TV (HD) Streaming Device(Opens in a new tab)$18 $29.99 (save $11.99)

  • One year of Paramount+ Essential(Opens in a new tab) — $24.99 $49.99 (save $25)

  • Roku Streaming Stick 4K Streaming Device(Opens in a new tab)$24.98 $49 (save $24.02)

  • Roku Ultra LT Streaming Device 4K/HDR/Dolby Vision(Opens in a new tab)$30 $80 (save $50)

  • One year of Paramount+ Premium(Opens in a new tab) — $49.99 $99.99 (save $50)

  • Fire TV Cube(Opens in a new tab)$59.99 $119.99 (save $60)

Tech deals

Best tech deal

(Opens in a new tab)
Credit: Apple
Apple AirPods Pro (1st Generation) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
$159 at Walmart (save $90.99)
(opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Why we like it

There are lots of excellent Apple deals happening for Black Friday, but the $159 AirPods Pro deal is one of our favorites. As Apple's first earbuds with active noise cancellation, the first-generation AirPods Pro remain a classic. Even though there's a new gen on the block (which are also sitting at a record-low discount(Opens in a new tab) at $199.99), we still love the OGs. You can use them without ANC, in transparency mode for hearing your surroundings, or completely block out the world with the ANC on. They don't have the best battery life on the market, but the cool factor makes up for it. Plus, they're currently sitting at an all-time low price (which they reached last Black Friday as well).

More tech deals

See all of our top picks for Black Friday tech deals.

Apple deals

See more of our top picks for Black Friday Apple deals.

  • Apple AirPods (2nd Generation)(Opens in a new tab)$79 $159 (save $80)

  • 2021 Apple TV 4K with 32GB (2nd Generation)(Opens in a new tab)$79.99 $179 (save $99.01)

  • Apple AirTag 4 Pack(Opens in a new tab)$79.99 $99 (save $19.01)

  • Apple Watch SE (GPS, 40mm)(Opens in a new tab)$149 $279 (save $130)

  • Apple AirPods Pro (1st Generation)(Opens in a new tab)$159 $249.99 (save $90.99)

  • Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)(Opens in a new tab)$199.99 $249.99 (save $50)

  • 2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (WiFi, 64GB)(Opens in a new tab)$269.99 $329 (save $59.01)

  • 2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (WiFi, 256GB)(Opens in a new tab)$399 $479 (save $80)

  • 2022 Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro (WiFi, 128GB)(Opens in a new tab)$999 $1,099 (save $100)

  • 2020 Apple 27-inch iMac (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$1,199.99 $1,799 (save $599.01)

  • 2021 Apple 14-inch MacBook Pro (M1 Pro chip, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) (Opens in a new tab) — $1,599.99 $1,999.99 (save $400)

  • 2021 Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro (M1 Pro chip, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$1,999.00 $2,499 (save $500)

  • 2021 Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro (M1 Pro chip, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$2,199.00 $2,699 (save $500)

MacBook deals

  • Apple MacBook Pro M2 Chip 256GB SSD 13.3" Laptop (Opens in a new window)$1,099.00 (List Price $1,299)
  • Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro 512GB SSD 16" Laptop (Opens in a new window)$1,999.97 (List Price $2,499)
  • Apple MacBook Air M1 13” Laptop (Opens in a new window)$799.99 (List Price $999)

Smart TV and home theater deals

See our ongoing coverage of Black Friday TV deals for more.

  • Hisense 40-inch Class A4G Series LED Full HD Smart Vidaa TV(Opens in a new tab) — $99.99 $249.99 (save $150)

  • HP FHD Projector with Roku Express Streamer and 84-inch projection screen(Opens in a new tab)$137 $199 (save $62)

  • VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Sound Bar(Opens in a new tab)$148 $199.99 (save $51.99)

  • Westinghouse 50-inch 4K UHD Smart TV(Opens in a new tab)$149.99 $389.99 (save $240)

  • Insignia 42-inch Class F20 Series Smart Full HD 1080p Fire TV(Opens in a new tab)$169.99 $269.99 (save $100)

  • Amazon Fire TV 43-inch 4-Series 4K UHD Smart TV(Opens in a new tab)$229.99 $369.99 (save $140)

  • Amazon Fire TV 50-inch 4-Series 4K UHD Smart TV(Opens in a new tab)$249.99 $469.99 (save $220)

  • Amazon Fire TV 55-inch 4-Series 4K UHD Smart TV(Opens in a new tab) — $299.99 $519.99 (save $220)

  • Samsung 58-inch TU7000 4K TV(Opens in a new tab) — $377.99 $599.99 (save $222)

  • Samsung 85-inch Q60B QLED TV(Opens in a new tab)$1,597.99 $2,299.99 (save $702)

Computer, tablet, and monitor deals

Check out our top picks for Black Friday laptop and tablet deals.

  • Fire 7 Tablet(Opens in a new tab)$39.99 $59.99 (save $20)

  • Fire HD 8 Plus Tablet (Opens in a new tab)$64.99 $119.99 (save $55)

  • HP 11.6-inch Chromebook (AMD A4, 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC)(Opens in a new tab)$79 $98 (save $19)

  • Lenovo 11.6-inch Chromebook 3 (Intel Celeron N4020, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC)(Opens in a new tab)$79 $139 (save $60)

  • Fire HD 8 Kids Pro Tablet(Opens in a new tab)$79.99 $149.99 (save $70)

  • Lenovo 11.6-inch Flex 3 Chromebook (Mediatek MT8183, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC)(Opens in a new tab)$99 $179 (save $80)

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite 8.7-inch Tablet (WiFi, 32GB)(Opens in a new tab)$99.99 $159.99 (save $60)

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 10.5-inch Tablet (WiFi, 32GB)(Opens in a new tab) — $139 $199 (save $60)

  • HP 14-inch Touch Chromebook (Intel Celeron N4120, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC)(Opens in a new tab)$179 $299 (save $120)

  • Asus 2-in-1 14-inch Chromebook Flip C433(Opens in a new tab) — $179 $379 (save $200)

  • LG 32-inch UltraGear QHD (2560x1440)165Hz HDR 10 Monitor with FreeSync(Opens in a new tab)$200 $399 (save $199)

  • MSI PC Gaming Laptops(Opens in a new tab)starting at $699 (save up to 31%)

  • Samsung 49-Inch CHG90 144Hz Curved Gaming Monitor(Opens in a new tab)$699.99 $999.99 (save $300)

  • Samsung 13.3-inch Galaxy Book2 Pro Laptop (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$749.99 $1,099.99 (save $350)

  • Microsoft Surface Pro 8 2-in-1 (Intel Evo Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$899.99 $1,349.99 (save $450)

  • ASUS ROG Zephyrus 14-inch WQXGA 120Hz Gaming Laptop (AMD Ryzen 9, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD) (Opens in a new tab)$1,399 $1,899 (save $500)

Headphone and speaker deals

Check out our full list of the best Black Friday headphone and speaker deals.

  • JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker(Opens in a new tab)$59 $99 (save $40)

  • Google Pixel Buds A-Series(Opens in a new tab)$64 $99 (save $35)

  • Samsung Galaxy Buds Live(Opens in a new tab) $69 $169.99 (save $100.99)

  • Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones(Opens in a new tab) $79 $199.95 (save $120.95)

  • Samsung Galaxy Buds2(Opens in a new tab)$89.99 $149.99 (save $60)

  • Google Pixel Buds Pro(Opens in a new tab)$149.99 $199.99 (save $50)

Best home deal

(Opens in a new tab)
Credit: iRobot
iRobot Roomba Combo J7+ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum and Mop (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
$899 at Amazon (save $200.99)
(opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Why we like it

The basically brand new Roomba Combo J7+ is on sale for the first time since its release at the end of September — and it's not just chump change. With just over $200 off, you can snag the brand's first mopping robot vacuum for only $899 at Amazon. As the name suggests, it's basically a spinoff of iRobot's smartest robot vacuum, the J7+, with an added water tank. It's built to sense a shift from hardwood or tile to carpet or rugs and fully retract its arms to lift the mop on top of the robot and prevent soggy messes.

More home deals

Kitchen deals

Want more Black Friday kitchen deals? Check out our ongoing roundup.

  • Instant Pot Duo Plus (6-Quart)(Opens in a new tab)$79.95 $149.95 (save $70)

  • Chefman Barista Pro Espresso Machine(Opens in a new tab) $99 $139 (save $40)

  • Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven (6-Quart)(Opens in a new tab)$99.95 $169.99 (save $70.04)

  • Ninja OL501 Foodi XL 14-in-1 Pressure Cooker (6.5-Quart)(Opens in a new tab) — $109.99 $279.99 (save $170)

  • Instant Omni Air Fryer Toaster Oven Combo (19-Quart)(Opens in a new tab)$129.95 $199.99 (save $70.94)

  • Ooni Koda 12 Gas Pizza Oven(Opens in a new tab)$319.99 $399 (save $79.01)

  • Vitamix 6500 Blender(Opens in a new tab)$399 $599.99 (save $200.99)

  • Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven(Opens in a new tab)$399.99 $624.99 (save $225)

Floor care deals

Here's more of our top robot vacuum picks for Black Friday.

  • Shark Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$98 $199 (save $101)

  • eufy Clean by Anker RoboVac G32 Pro Robot Vacuum(Opens in a new tab) $119 $299 (save $180)

  • Shark Pet Cordless Stick Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$144 $259 (save $115)

  • iRobot Roomba 676 Robot Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$174 $269 (save $95)

  • Shark AI VACMOP(Opens in a new tab)$188 $479.99 (save $291.99)

  • Shark EZ Robot Vacuum with Self-Empty Base(Opens in a new tab)$258 $449 (save $191)

  • iRobot Roomba i1+ (1552) Wi-Fi Connected Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$288 $529.99 (save $241.99)

  • eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid Robot Vacuum and Mop(Opens in a new tab)$319.99 $649.99 (save $330)

  • Dyson V10 Absolute Cordless Vacuum(Opens in a new tab) $399.99 $599.99 (save $200)

  • Roborock Q7 Max+(Opens in a new tab)$599.99 $869.99 (save $270)

  • Dyson V15 Detect Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$645.99 $749.99 (save $104)

  • iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum and Mop(Opens in a new tab)$899 $1,099.99 (save $200.99)

Robot vacuum deals

  • iRobot Roomba i3 Evo Wi-Fi Robot Vacuum (Opens in a new window)$249.00 (List Price $349.99)
  • iRobot Roomba i3+ Evo With Self-Emptying Base (Opens in a new window)$391.50 (List Price $549.99)
  • iRobot Roomba j7 Wi-Fi Robot Vacuum Cleaner (Opens in a new window)$399.00 (List Price $599.99)
  • iRobot Roomba j7+ (7550) Pet Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum (Opens in a new window)$599.00 (List Price $799.99)
  • iRobot Roomba i1+ Wi-Fi Self-Empty Robot Vacuum (Opens in a new window)$279.90 (List Price $469)
  • iRobot Roomba 692 Robot Vacuum (Opens in a new window)$299.99
  • Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni Robot Vacuum and Mop (Opens in a new window)$999.99 (List Price $1,549.99)

Smart home deals

  • Google Nest Mini (2nd Generation)(Opens in a new tab)$18 $49 (save $31)

  • Echo Dot (5th Gen) + Free Philips Hue Smart Bulb(Opens in a new tab)$24.99 $49.99 (save $40.98)

  • Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen, 2021 release)(Opens in a new tab)$34.99 $84.99 (save $50)

  • Echo Show 5 Kids (2nd Gen)(Opens in a new tab)$39.99 $94.99 (save $55)

  • Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen, 2021 release) with Blink Mini(Opens in a new tab)$49.99 $119.98 (save $69.99)

  • Echo (4th Gen)(Opens in a new tab)$49.99 $99.99 (save $50)

  • Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) Kids with Echo Glow(Opens in a new tab)$50.99 $124.98 (save $73.99)

  • Ring Video Doorbell(Opens in a new tab)$59.99 $99.99 (save $40)

  • Blink Floodlight Camera(Opens in a new tab)$64.98 $129.98 (save $65)

  • Ring Video Doorbell with Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen)(Opens in a new tab)$69.99 $184.98 (save $114.99)

  • Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen, 2021 release) (Opens in a new tab)— $69.99 $129.99 (save $60)

  • Ring Spotlight Cam Plus(Opens in a new tab)$139.99 $199.99 (save $60)

  • Echo Show 15(Opens in a new tab) — $169.99 $249.99 (save $80)

Even more deals we're loving

  • Stasher Bags(Opens in a new tab)30% off select items and 25% off sitewide

  • Free $35 Dell gift card with purchase of Nintendo Switch Animal Crossing Bundle(Opens in a new tab)

  • Peloton Bike, Bike+, or Tread packages(Opens in a new tab)save up to $600

  • Ooni Pizza Ovens(Opens in a new tab)20% off sitewide

  • Original Peloton Bike(Opens in a new tab)$1,145 $1,445 (save $300)

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    In the meantime, you can sign a petition to catch Instagram's attention.

    It specifically calls on Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri (who remains quiet on the matter) to "give every user on Instagram an opportunity to amplify voices of the silenced by letting accounts of all follower numbers share swipe-up links to their Instagram stories."

    Maybe if enough people sign the petition and blow up Mosseri's mentions, he'll actually listen.

  • Calls to delete popular astrology app Co—Star after controversial protest meme

    Calls to delete popular astrology app Co—Star after controversial protest meme

    Co—Star, the astrology app known for its outlandish push notifications, has come under fire for a post related to the police brutality protests on their popular Instagram account:


    For those not in the Insta-astrology account "scene," many accounts follow this type of format: One scenario or prompt, with 12 different responses to correspond with the 12 different Zodiac signs. (Here's another example(Opens in a new tab) from Co—Star's account.)

    In the now-deleted post, Co—Star made the prompt "At the demo[nstration]," and assigned different roles to each sign. For example, Cancers would "Bring lots of water bottles (NOT milk) to rinse out people's eyes" while Libras are "demo buddies with five people they're 'talking to.'"

    The caption of the post read(Opens in a new tab), "Here are some demo tips. You can find more in story."

    This memeification of the protests which have swept across the U.S. in the wake of the killing of George Floyd — a black man who died after three police officers pinned him down and one kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes — didn't sit well with the app's followers. Screenshots went viral, as did calls to delete the app(Opens in a new tab).

    The post was deleted and replaced with an explanation by Co—Star:

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

    "We thought that putting these important tips in a meme format would be a palatable way to share the things we’ve learned about keeping each other safe in the street," the post reads. "The intent was not to minimize the protests, but to make them feel less scary; to encourage people to take action." They then shared other activists' posts on how to safely protest.

    While some commenters applauded the app, others criticized Co—Star for not actually apologizing. "Giving off a bit non-apology vibe," said one commenter.

    Hopefully if Co—Star learned anything from this, it's to not meme the fight to end inequality.

    Mashable has reached out to Co—Star for comment and will update if received.

  • Reddit CEO honors Alexis Ohanians request to fill his seat with a black board member

    Reddit CEO honors Alexis Ohanians request to fill his seat with a black board member

    Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian announced Friday that he would resign from his board seat and urged the company to replace him with a candidate who is black. Shortly thereafter, in a thread on the site(Opens in a new tab), Reddit CEO Steve Huffman confirmed that the company will move forward with Ohanian's request.


    "Alexis Ohanian (u/kn0thing(Opens in a new tab)), my Reddit cofounder, announced that he is resigning from our board and that he wishes for his seat to be filled with a black candidate, a request that the board and I will honor," Huffman, known on the site as spez(Opens in a new tab), wrote. "We thank Alexis for this meaningful gesture and all that he’s done for us over the years."

    While it's unclear how quickly the company plans to fill this seat, Huffman went on to note that, even beyond this initiative, Reddit has more work to do.

    "As Reddit has grown, alongside much good, it is facing its own challenges around hate and racism," Huffman wrote. "We have to acknowledge and accept responsibility for the role we have played."

    Huffman said the company will focus on the parts of Reddit that "reflect an unflattering but real resemblance to the world in the hate that black users and communities see daily." Huffman added that the company would provide more clarity to users and moderators on where its administrators stand when it comes to racism, offering moderators a seat at the table to help shape corporate policies.

    Huffman reflected on Reddit's history regarding its policies on racism, highlighting where the company has made progress and where it's fallen short. He specifically called out Reddit's failure to take action on The_Donald(Opens in a new tab), a pro-Trump subreddit that became a breeding ground for violent content.

    This comes only a few days after Ellen Pao, the interim CEO of Reddit in 2014, criticized Huffman's open letter to employees, in which he made it clear the company doesn't tolerate "hate, racism, and violence," noting that its "values are clear."

    "I am obligated to call you out: You should have shut down the_donald instead of amplifying it and its hate, racism, and violence," Pao said Monday on Twitter(Opens in a new tab), adding, "So much of what is happening now lies at your feet. You don't get to say BLM when reddit nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and hate all day long."

    In his posted response today, Huffman copped to Pao's criticism and admitted that The_Donald was "a community that relished in exploiting and detracting from the best of Reddit and that is now nearly disintegrated." He also said the company should've "quarantined(Opens in a new tab) it sooner."

    So, while it hasn't been banned or shutdown, the "quarantine" (Opens in a new tab)effectively prevents users from accidentally viewing its content. Users will only be able to enter the subreddit with a verified email address after opting-in.

    Regardless, Huffman made it clear that this is a turning point for Reddit:

    "We have a choice: return to the status quo or use this opportunity for change. We at Reddit are opting for the latter, and we will do our very best to be a part of the progress."

    Additionally, Huffman left the thread open for Reddit users to ask him any questions on the matter. At the time of writing, it's amassed over 20,000 comments.

    In the Q&A(Opens in a new tab), he maps out a few things Reddit's aiming to accomplish this year, including publicly sharing summaries of quarterly calls with moderators, expanding its number of councils, regularly cycling members so it can bring on more moderators, and creating a council on social justice issues (that will also host all-council calls on how the company's policies are evolving).

    So, if you're active on Reddit, feel free to keep the conversation going.

  • I May Destroy You is a defining moment for on-screen portrayals of consent and sexual violence

    I May Destroy You is a defining moment for on-screen portrayals of consent and sexual violence

    Content warning: This review contains discussion of rape and sexual violence.


    You won't be able to shake I May Destroy You from your thoughts. After watching, you'll close your laptop, or turn off your television, but I guarantee you this: it will stay with you. Created by Chewing Gum writer Michaela Coel, this new 12-part BBC One/HBO drama tackles the intersection of sexual assault, consent, and race in a radical way that is rarely, if ever, seen on screen.

    Episode 1 begins with Arabella (Coel), a young millennial writer living in London, pulling an all-nighter in a last minute attempt to finish the book she's been writing. When she takes a break to meet up with friends (setting a one-hour alarm for herself), the night changes course. The following day, she has no recollection of how she got back to her desk, or how her phone screen got smashed, or why there's blood pouring from a gash on her forehead. Arabella is disorientated, confused, and grappling with a disturbing flashback of someone being raped. That someone, she later realises, was her.

    These events unfold in a way that is infused with striking realism — and that is no accident. In Aug. 2018, while delivering the McTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival, Coel said she was raped when she was writing Season 2 of Chewing Gum. "I was working overnight in the [production] company's offices; I had an episode due at 7 a.m. I took a break and had a drink with a good friend who was nearby," said(Opens in a new tab) Coel. When she regained consciousness, she was typing Season 2. "I had a flashback. It turned out I’d been sexually assaulted by strangers. The first people I called after the police, before my own family, were the producers."

    In the press materials sent by the BBC, Coel makes reference to the real-life roots of the story. "All in all, the hardest thing was not getting distracted in wonderment at the confounding reality of having turned a rather bleak reality into a TV show that created real jobs for hundreds of people," she said.

    But, out of this bleak reality, Coel has created something that challenges on-screen depictions of sex, consent, and assault. Black women have been historically been erased from conversations about sexual violence. That omission is rooted in racism that can be traced back to the time of slavery, when rape was only considered something that happened to white women. As Vanessa Ntinu wrote(Opens in a new tab) in gal-dem, "Historically, black women are perceived as objects of sexual exploitation, dating back to days of slavery where the concept of rape was never applied to the black woman simply because she was assumed to have been a willing and promiscuous participant."

    In those first few episodes of I May Destroy You, Coel explores an aspect of sexual violence that gets little attention: unacknowledged rape(Opens in a new tab). Psychologists use this term to describe sexual violence that fits a legal description of rape or assault, but is not labelled as such by the survivor. For the first two episodes, Arabella doesn't realise she's been assaulted. Even when talking to a police officer about that night, she urges caution in the police officer's interpretation of her disturbing flashback, the images she couldn't shake from her mind. Coel brings to life an element of assault survivors' experience — the difficulty of realising that you've been raped because the reality of rape is so different to how it's portrayed on screens and in the media(Opens in a new tab).

    Later in the series, when Arabella's agents introduce her to another writer, Zain, to assist somehow in the writing of her book, the two end up having sex. What Arabella doesn't realise, though, is that Zain removes the condom midway through — a violation that is also known as "stealthing,"(Opens in a new tab) a form of sexual assault.

    Arabella's story isn't the only remarkable part of this show. Her best male friend Kwame (Paapa Essiedu) has a storyline that explores black masculinity, internalised homophobia, and male experiences of rape. Meanwhile, Arabella's other best friend Terry (Weruche Opia) endures a racist microaggression during an audition for a supposedly empowering advert when a white casting director asks her to take off her wig so she can see her natural hair.

    This show is coming to our screens at a pivotal moment in history — as protests continue across America and parts of the globe against racism and police brutality, following the police killing of George Floyd, who died after an officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

    The contents of I May Destroy You has the power to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about who rape happens to, and what sexual violence really looks like. That act of service could not be more necessary.

    I May Destroy You debuts on HBO on Sunday, June 7, and on BBC One on Monday, June 8. Both episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer from Monday.

  • Forrest Fenn claims someone found the treasure he hid in the Rocky Mountains 10 years ago

    Forrest Fenn claims someone found the treasure he hid in the Rocky Mountains 10 years ago

    A multimillion-dollar treasure intentionally tucked away in an undisclosed, incredibly remote part of the Rocky Mountains has reportedly(Opens in a new tab) been found — and the story behind the loot is perhaps wilder than you can imagine.


    Forrest Fenn, an eccentric 89-year-old author and artifacts dealer, claims he buried a treasure — estimated to be worth at least $1 million and up to $5 million — in a remote spot a decade ago. He said a cryptic 24-line poem in his memoir would lead searchers to the treasure.

    In the last decade, a huge online and IRL community built up around finding the treasure. Some 350,000 people have tried to find it. As Money(Opens in a new tab) covered in detail last year(Opens in a new tab), certain "searchers" have dedicated their lives to the treasure hunt. Some people quit their jobs. At least four people died trying to find it. Others think the whole thing was a hoax, as in, the treasure doesn't exist.

    Now, according to Fenn himself, the chase for the treasure is over. He confirmed to Money(Opens in a new tab) that it had been found in the past couple of days.

    "It was under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains and had not moved from the spot where I hid it more than 10 years ago," Fenn wrote on his website(Opens in a new tab). "I do not know the person who found it, but the poem in my book led him to the precise spot. I congratulate the thousands of people who participated in the search and hope they will continue to be drawn by the promise of other discoveries. So the search is over."

    But, and this is a pretty big but, we've still yet to see the treasure. And we don't know the identity of the person who apparently found it.

    “The guy who found it does not want his name mentioned. He’s from back East,” Fenn told the(Opens in a new tab) Santa Fe New Mexican(Opens in a new tab).

    Fenn told the paper the person sent him a picture of the treasure to confirm the find, but Fenn declined to send a copy of that photo to the paper. So... a lot of questions remain.

    And yet things are even more complicated. Barbara Andersen, a Chicago real estate attorney, told the New Mexican(Opens in a new tab) she is filing an injunction in federal District Court against the person who allegedly found the chest, saying they hacked her and stole her solution. She wants to stop the person from selling the loot and have the court hand the chest over to her.

    “He stole my solve,” she told the paper. “He followed and cheated me to get the chest.”

    So, again, a lot of questions remain.

  • During a pandemic, protest livestreams are more important than ever

    During a pandemic, protest livestreams are more important than ever

    Protests against police brutality continue around the country, but not everyone who wants can participate. Whether immunocompromised, living with someone in a high risk group for COVID-19, or simply too far away to attend a protest, people around the world have found their own way to engage: livestreams.


    Leigh Wallace, an 18-year-old in Mississippi, goes through chemotherapy every other week to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The treatment hasn’t affected her immune system as much as it has other patients, Wallace said, but her parents are wary of allowing her around other people, even friends. While treatable, Hodgkin’s lymphoma limits the body’s ability to fight infection. The number of new coronavirus cases(Opens in a new tab) is increasing in many states, and the world is bracing itself for a "second wave," expected(Opens in a new tab) to hit this autumn.

    But Wallace couldn’t just sit at home while her peers marched against police brutality. Her parents have a tight grip on her bank account, so she couldn’t donate to a bail fund or community organization. While she signed petitions pushing for prosecution for officers and advocating for defunding law enforcement, Wallace wanted to be more involved.

    “News stations and YouTubers can take the footage and later edit them to fit their personal agenda.”

    She began watching Instagram livestreams of the protests to stay informed. In a Twitter DM, she said that because she was viewing raw, unedited footage, she could get a clearer picture of what’s actually happening. Watching the protests live allows viewers to see police using disturbing force against peaceful protestors for themselves.

    “I think the news and even some YouTube creators are incredibly biased,” Wallace said. “News stations and YouTubers can take the footage and later edit them to fit their personal agenda.”

    Similarly, Celina Juarez, a 21-year-old restaurant employee in Los Angeles, felt that news outlets weren't focusing on what mattered. Juarez lives with her grandparents and didn't want to risk spreading the coronavirus to them, since the elderly are at high risk.

    "I feel that the news is showing more of the looting and less of the police brutality against peaceful protest when, based on every livestream I've tuned into, it's really the opposite," Juarez said in a Twitter DM.

    While the protests have been associated with looting and rioting, multiple videos(Opens in a new tab) show black protestors shutting down white agitators attempting to graffiti storefronts and steal merchandise. When the protests began in Minneapolis in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a white police officer, Juarez and Wallace felt that news coverage focused on the looting rather than law enforcement escalating violence against peaceful protestors.

    In addition to presenting a clearer picture of the the protests in support of Black Lives Matter, livestreams also provide crucial information for those who attend.

    Elijah Daniel, a YouTuber with 568,000 subscribers and 446,000 Instagram followers(Opens in a new tab), attended numerous protests in Los Angeles last week. He's also been broadcasting the protests on Instagram Live, where tens of thousands of viewers watched police tear gas gatherings, shoot rubber bullets into crowds, and arrest peaceful protestors who were out after Los Angeles' controversial curfews.

    I watched Daniel's protest livestream last week because I had several friends who were also marching in Hollywood. It seemed peaceful from wherever Daniel was marching, but the chants of "No justice, no peace" were broken up by panicked comments warning viewers that police were tear gassing protestors a few blocks ahead. Madison Beer, another influencer who's been actively attending protests and was marching ahead of Daniel, tweeted that cops were beginning to block in protestors well before curfew.

    As soon as I read the livestream comments, I called everyone I knew at the protests to warn them. One narrowly avoided the gas and rubber bullets, which law enforcement began deploying just minutes after he decided to take side streets out of Hollywood.

    This weekend, I attended the massive candlelight vigil for George Floyd and other black victims of police brutality, which took place only blocks from where police had arrested(Opens in a new tab) thousands of peaceful protestors the week before. During the drive over, I watched the livestream broadcasted by Black Lives Matter Los Angeles to keep tabs on police presence. Watching the protests live is a matter of safety.

    Watching protest livestreams is a matter of public safety. Credit: David McNew / Getty Images
    "I know it's easy to watch a video on the internet, but to watch it in real time is on a whole other level."

    Daniel's viewers are also using the livestream to open up conversations about police brutality and privilege with their families. Claire-Louise, a 21-year-old customer service agent in Belfast, Ireland, can't attend protests in Ireland because there aren't any close enough to be accessible. She's been showing Daniel's livestreams, as well as other screen recorded livestreams, to her family members who she claims are "a bit backwards in their mindset."

    "I know it's easy to watch a video on the internet, but to watch it in real time is on a whole other level," Claire-Louise said in a Twitter DM. "I get happy when I see the peacefulness but I get angry and anxious when I see the brutality and just blatant racism."

    Influencers and celebrities continue to fall out of public favor through this period of civil unrest. From posting well intentioned but ill informed black squares to their Instagram accounts to getting arrested for looting(Opens in a new tab), as Jake Paul did, celebrity culture is cracking. But those who use their platforms for activism, as Elijah Daniel and Halsey have, are inspiring a generation of viewers to join the Black Lives Matter movement.

    "Even though I can't actually be there, it at least makes me feel like I am," Wallace said. "Seeing how many people are at the protests, plus thinking about how many people are watching livestreams, makes me think that in time something may actually happen."

  • OKCupid adds Black Lives Matter badge and profile questions about racial inequality

    OKCupid adds Black Lives Matter badge and profile questions about racial inequality

    On Thursday, OKCupid announced that it's rolling out a #BlackLivesMatter(Opens in a new tab) badge in a dozen countries. Users can obtain the badge by answering yes to the question, "Do you want to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement by adding a badge to your profile?"


    Since badges won't actually do anything to solve racism, OKCupid has also donated $50,000 to the ACLU, Black Girls Code, Fair Fight Action and the NAACP. The app will also donate a million dollars in advertising space to black civil rights organizations.

    SEE ALSO: How single people have been dealing with the 'sex ban' in England

    In addition to the badge, OKCupid has added matching questions related to racial injustice and inequality. Users can answer whether they protest; whether it's okay to silently support racial equality; how they plan on addressing racial inequality (say by donating or protesting); and whether they find it important that their date supports racial equality.

    OKCupid racial inequality question Credit: okcupid
    OKCupid how will you address racial inequality question Credit: okcupid

    In the past week, over 100,000 users have responded to the new questions. The majority said it's not okay to silently support equality, according to OKCupid's blog post. Seventy percent are protesting for racial equality.

    This isn't the first time OKCupid has created badges and questions around social justice. They did so with supporting Planned Parenthood(Opens in a new tab) and marriage equality as well(Opens in a new tab). While the badge could be seen by some as virtual signaling, the questions do allow users to dig deeper into a potential match's commitment to racial equality — which is a step in the right direction.

    Related Video: Want to donate to help the Black Lives Matter movement? Here's how.

Random articles


  • Looking for your next great binge? Head to Cameo.

    Looking for your next great binge? Head to Cameo.

    In Binged, Mashable breaks down why we binge-watch, how we binge-watch, and what it does to us. Because binge-watching is the new normal.


    Actor Tom Felton wishes a woman a happy engagement anniversary while wearing a purple sweatshirt covered in Care Bears. Mean Girls star Lindsay Lohan stands in front of a bed while calling strangers "super fetch." Carole Baskin of Tiger King wears a flower crown and sings 50 Cent's "In Da Club." Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath and former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci dump a guy named Brayden on behalf of a girl named Cheyenne as the result of a prank(Opens in a new tab).

    This collection of beautifully random, awkward, yet highly entertaining content can only be found on Cameo(Opens in a new tab), a platform where people can pay for custom videos from celebrities.

    For those unfamiliar with Cameo(Opens in a new tab), the app was launched in 2017 to serve as a modern-day autograph from actors, musicians, comedians, athletes, politicians, and other noteworthy figures. The service, which was recently valued at more than $1 billion(Opens in a new tab), has been used for years, but it became especially popular during the pandemic(Opens in a new tab) when much of Hollywood shut down and people were in search of special gifts to send loved ones in quarantine.

    One might assume that Cameo(Opens in a new tab) videos are to solely be enjoyed by their intended recipients, but I'm here to shatter that misconception. At least once a week I head to Cameo and binge the hell out of videos that have been created for other people.

    If binge-watching Cameos sounds like an impossibly ridiculous leisure activity, that's because it is. But damn, it's entertaining. I'll head to Cameo to browse celeb videos if I finish a movie or series and can't decide what to watch next, if I'm struggling to fall asleep, or if I'm just plain looking to kill some time. Before you judge, let me explain.

    How I became a person who watches Cameos for fun

    Something you should know about Cameo is that in addition to its ever changing regular lineup of mostly C and D-list stars, the platform occasionally welcomes big names who record videos for charity(Opens in a new tab). That's how Cameo finally got my attention.

    To celebrate my first quarantine birthday in April 2020, my mom surprised me with a Cameo from *the* Connie Britton. Up until then I'd fully ignored the app, but once I saw the Friday Night Lights star (who was donating her Cameo proceeds to Feeding America(Opens in a new tab)) let out a cheerful "Happy Birthday Nicole" and deliver a much-needed pandemic pep talk I was hooked.

    That same birthday, my coworkers gifted me a joke Cameo from Barbara Weber, mom to former Bachelor lead Peter Weber. As I toggled between videos from the woman who played Tami Taylor and Pilot Pete's mom on my phone, I knew I had to investigate further. Connie taught me that Cameos could be wholesome, hopeful, and tear-jerking, but Barb reminded me they could make you do a spit take and double over in laughter. Curious about who else the app had to offer, I started browsing Cameo's catalogue of stars. And once you start, it's hard to stop.

    In the year since I became someone who watches Cameos for fun I've learned that there's a Cameo out there for everyone and every mood. If I'm feeling nostalgic I'll watch videos from stars like The Nanny's Fran Drescher, Fresh Prince's Alfonso Ribeiro, Bill Daniels (Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World), singer Jesse McCartney, or Simple Plan's Pierre Bouvier. If I want a mini concert I'll watch a musician like Rebecca Black and Imogen Heap sample requested songs or belt out beautiful renditions of "Happy Birthday to You." If I'm obsessing over a TV show I'll type it in the search bar to see who's featured and make my way through the results.

    Cameo has actors from current series like Better Call Saul, Grey's Anatomy, Ginny & Georgia, Bridgerton, and Virgin River, but it also features stars from older series, including The Sopranos, The OC, Gilmore Girls, The Office, and Smallville. It has Olympians, familiar Bachelor franchise faces, Scott Evans (brother to Chris), Disney Channel stars you've nearly forgotten about, voice actors, influencers, streamers, activists, and, yes, even animals.

    If you're a fan of reality TV or spend your evenings catching up on Deux Moi gossip(Opens in a new tab), try binging Cameos. Not only does the service reacquaint you with long-lost washed-up celebs you didn't even realize you were missing, but it also offers a peek into celebrities' real lives by showing them in more personal, vulnerable settings.

    The way Cameo celebrities approach the task at hand — whether it's wishing someone a happy birthday, happy graduation, or happy anniversary of some sort — also speaks volumes. Are the videos short, sweet, and to the point? Does the celeb appear disinterested, stiff, or like they're reading a script? Are they clearly going out of their way to make the stranger on the receiving end of the video special and give the gifter their money's worth? You can tell a lot about a celebrity by the quality of their Cameos.

    Harnessing Cameo as a source of free entertainment

    I can confirm that receiving a personalized celebrity video is fun, but it always comes at a price. Watching videos that celebrities make for others, however, is free and nearly as entertaining.

    Want to watch some Cameos for yourself? Just head to the platform and click on a celebrity's account(Opens in a new tab). There, you'll see their bio, average request response time, reviews, and pricing — along with the number of people they have in their Fan Club. Joining a celebrity's fan club is free, and it gives you access to additional content, and alerts you when there's a price drop. But if you're mass-browsing celebrities to watch videos for fun you probably don't want to join a bunch of fan clubs.

    Have no fear: In most cases, even without joining Fan Clubs, the account features five videos that the celebrity has recorded for others, along with their intro video to the platform, which is always a delight.

    Ethan Craft is on Cameo :') Credit: screengrab / cameo

    There's something supremely entertaining about watching a celebrity take a few random facts about a stranger and try to turn them into satisfying content. And if you're lucky, the celebrity will share facts about themselves in the process.

    Did you know Tom Felton's manager has a cat called Draco Meowlfoy or that Breaking Bad's Dean Norris has been with his accountant for at least 30 years? I did, because binge-watching Cameos has turned me into a fountain of highly specific celebrity facts.

    It's interesting to browse and compare Cameo's celebrity video prices, as well. See what kind of content Donald Trump Jr. is creating for $500, find out who's charging $1 or $2,500 and decide if you agree or not, and see if you think Leslie David Baker should be the most expensive Office star on the app.

    Cameo's trove of celebrity videos is vast and just waiting to be watched. So decide who you're in the mood to hear from, take advantage of the platform's category and search features, and start binge-watching, baby.

  • QAnon influencers are now reportedly defrauding their followers via cryptocurrency scams

    QAnon influencers are now reportedly defrauding their followers via cryptocurrency scams

    You may not have heard very much about QAnon in recent months, but believers in the right-wing conspiracy theory are very much still around.


    And those believers are proving to be easy-to-dupe marks for influential QAnon promoters looking to make money.

    Two QAnon influencers are using their cachet within their conspiratorial communities to prey on their followers and bilk them out of millions of dollars via cryptocurrency scams, according to a new report by the tech-based fact-checking firm Logically.

    Using their large followings on Telegram, QAnon influencers Whiplash347 and PatriotQakes have promoted numerous fraudulent tokens to their followers on the messaging platform. The two, along with other leaders in the chats, frequently weaponize QAnon conspiracy theories in order to sucker their fans into investing in their various cryptocurrency schemes. 

    According to Logically's research(Opens in a new tab), the two mainly use their Telegram channels to run their scams. Whiplash347, an anonymous QAnon influencer, has built a Telegram channel with 277,000 subscribers thanks to his promotion of QAnon conspiracy theories over the years. PatriotQakes — who, unlike Whiplash347, has also gone by her real name, Emily Tang — also runs the Quantum Stellar Initiative (QSI) Telegram channel, which has 30,000 subscribers.

    “I am without doubt that Whiplash347, Emily, and QSI are scam artists,” said a former admin of the QSI chats, Rocky Morningside, to Logically. “[They] were promoting pump and dumps, and this appeared to be a very large and well organized Ponzi Scheme.”

    Logically's detailed report follows just how these crypto scams played out on the Stellar blockchain. Stellar, a network like Bitcoin or Ethereum, allows anyone to create their own tokens in "5 easy steps(Opens in a new tab)." The QAnon influencers would create scam tokens and then transfer their holdings out for real money or more establish cryptocurrency after telling their followers to invest. This is commonly known as a "rug pull" in the crypto space. The tokens were created under the domain name "Indus.Gold," and the QAnon influencers would tell their followers that the crypto was backed by a real New York bank with a similar name. In fact, many of the scam cryptocurrencies followed a similar naming pattern in order to make them sound connected to an actual real company. Logically found that none of these tokens had any connections to the companies they were named after.

    For example, Sungold token, which was pitched to their followers as being "backed by a Kazakh gold mine," was supposedly "linked" to a Russian company of the same name. Logically could not find any information to back this claim up. This scam, however, netted the QAnon influencers approximately $2 million according to Logically.

    Followers of the vast right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon have a number of outrageous and obviously false beliefs. The movement itself was built upon the lie that former President Donald Trump was trying to takedown a global Satanic child sex trafficking ring run by baby-eating Hollywood elites and members of the Democratic Party. 

    The QAnon influencers appear to use these conspiracies in their money-making schemes. The channels release investment advice regarding which cryptocurrency assets to buy into. They would claim this investing knowledge came from "secret military intelligence" and that this meant they "knew which assets were going to succeed." According to the Logically report, the Telegram chat leaders would also reference supposed connections to "Donald Trump, Elon Musk, and JFK Jr," and claim that "aliens will facilitate a 'quantum' wealth transfer to the followers."

    QAnon followers have long-believed that JFK Jr., President John F. Kennedy's deceased son is still alive and a supporter of Trump. In fact, Whiplash347 was a major disseminator of conspiracy theories about the Kennedy's. The Telegram channel was a major influence on some of the more cult-like(Opens in a new tab) QAnon phenomena, including an assembly(Opens in a new tab) at Dealey Plaza in Texas last year, during which adherents believed that the assassinated former president was going to reveal that he was actually alive. 

    In YouTube videos discovered by Mashable, Tang would utilize other common QAnon beliefs about the "banking cabals" and news media to sell her followers on these scam crypto assets.

    According to Logically, their research led to a Telegram support group made-up of those who were scammed by the two QAnon influencers and were trying to warn others. A survey in that chat found that between 52 people who responded, a total of $223,494 was estimated to have been lost in these crypto scams. 

    In addition, Logically spoke to the family of one individual who lost more than 98 percent of his $100,000 investment into these QAnon influencers' crypto scams. The family says the man later took his own life over "losing his house and construction business due to unpaid debts."

    And there's one more wrinkle to the report: Logically believes that it is "likely" that the original Whiplash347 isn't the one running the Telegram channel of the same name anymore. 

    Logically determined in its report that currently "the group mostly contains forwarded messages from other crypto investing groups, and contains far fewer Q-related posts than it did at the account’s inception."

  • What is pelvic pain and what can you do to treat it?

    What is pelvic pain and what can you do to treat it?

    The information contained in this article is not a substitute for, or alternative to information from a healthcare practitioner. Please consult a healthcare professional before using any product and check your local laws before making any purchasing decisions.


    Sealed Lips is Mashable’s series on pelvic pain, an experience rarely discussed but shockingly common.

    If you've ever experienced pain during sex — or when inserting a tampon or just putting on pants — you're not alone. You may be experiencing pelvic pain.

    Pelvic pain is a broad term, almost obnoxiously so. By definition, it is pain below the navel without an identifiable cause for over six months, according to experts such as Dr. Sonia Bahlani(Opens in a new tab), pelvic pain specialist and OB/GYN. Bahlani said the time aspect of the diagnosis is debatable, however, because in her view a patient shouldn't have to suffer for months in order to receive treatment. (Full disclosure, Bahlani treated me for my own pelvic pain.)

    Experiencing pain in such a sensitive area can be deeply frustrating, but what can be even more vexing is getting appropriate care for it. In the United States, doctors can be especially dismissive of women's pain(Opens in a new tab), especially that of Black women and other women of color(Opens in a new tab). Having professionals shrug off suffering is hurtful no matter where it occurs; when it's the most intimate area of your body, it can be especially devastating.

    I know what pelvic pain and treatment are like firsthand — and I know how difficult it can be to find resources. While this is not medical advice, the below is expert insight into pelvic pain and the ways that you can get help:

    How do I know I have pelvic pain?

    While Bahlani isn't a huge fan of the term herself, some clinicians say that pelvic pain is a "diagnosis of exclusion." This means there's not another diagnosable problem from which the pain stems such as an STI, bacterial vaginosis, or another condition.

    If you're experiencing pelvic pain, the best place to start is to get cleared of any such issues by a gynecologist or a urogynecologist (a doctor that specializes in both gynecology and urology), said Dr. Amanda Olson(Opens in a new tab). Olson is also president and CCO of Intimate Rose(Opens in a new tab), which provides tools such as dilators designed to help relieve some types of pelvic pain.

    What if my doctor can't find anything wrong?

    If you receive a diagnosis, such as an STI, your focus will probably shift to treating that. But your tests could all come back normal and your doctor could say "everything looks fine" — even if you don't feel fine.

    First off: Know your pain is real. Studies show that up to 32 percent of women can experience chronic pelvic pain(Opens in a new tab), but both Bahlani and urogynecologist Dr. Betsy Greenleaf(Opens in a new tab) agree that the stats aren't giving the full picture because pelvic pain is underreported.

    "Most would argue that at least over 50 percent of the population have experienced some sort of pelvic pain at some point in their lives, whether that's resolved or not," said Bahlani.

    First off: Know your pain is real.

    What's more is that anyone, no matter their anatomy, can experience pelvic pain; it can be felt vaginally or rectally. Ten percent of men(Opens in a new tab) say they experience pelvic pain yet "these statistics are grossly underreported, especially in men," said Greenleaf.

    Underreporting happens for multiple reasons. One is that people don't seek care for pain like this, which has a myriad of causes, including financial concerns. Further, these studies of women and men only include cis patients, leaving out the non-binary and trans population.

    Pelvic pain, like other chronic pain, can also come and go, Bahlani pointed out. It can flare up and then settle down, so people may not seek care in the hopes that it'll disappear.

    To be clear, if your doctor cannot land on a definitive medical diagnosis, that does not mean your condition isn't real or that you shouldn't seek out ways to alleviate the pain.

    How do you know when to seek help for pelvic pain?

    One factor that can deter people from seeking care is the mistaken belief that pelvic pain is "normal," something to just get used to. That's the biggest misconception pelvic health physical therapist Sara Reardon sees. Reardon, owner of (Opens in a new tab)NOLA Pelvic Health(Opens in a new tab) and founder of (Opens in a new tab)The Vagina Whisperer(Opens in a new tab), an online resource for pelvic health education, says people think they're just supposed to "deal" with the pain.

    "My rule of thumb is if you feel like pain is interfering with some aspect of your life, whether it's your mental health or sexual health or your exercise or just wearing pants," said Reardon, "then that is a problem that needs attention."

    Reardon, however, knows the pitfalls of the healthcare system and how it impacts care. "You have to be an advocate for your own health," she said. That can mean more than just going to your primary care doctor or gynecologist — it can mean asking for a referral to a physical therapist and researching specialized providers who are educated in treating pelvic pain.

    There no one-stop shop for pelvic pain treatment

    Our current system isn't set up with clearcut protocols for seeking pelvic care — which can lead to going deep down Google rabbit holes. While it's less than ideal to try to self-diagnose online, social media and the internet are important sources of information, Bahlani said. She warns, however, that those researching should be aware of the sources. "Oftentimes, you can see well-meaning Reddit groups and blog groups and support groups that have people who are trying to put information out there, but it's not necessarily evidence-based," she said. "It's more patient stories of what worked for them and what didn't work."

    We're all individuals, and what relieved someone else's pelvic pain may not relieve yours. This is why seeking out quality care is essential, but even some doctors may not be well-versed in this subject or know to take it seriously even absent a diagnosis of a specific condition. It's just not taught in general residency, Bahlani said. She herself had to undergo a fellowship to be efficiently trained.

    "The most well-intentioned, well-meaning doctors without the background [of pelvic health] can often lead to misdiagnosis, underdiagnosis," said Bahlani, which can lead to "punting" the patient around from doctor to doctor.

    Mis- or under-diagnosis can lead to a cycle of pain: One may wonder if their pain is real and feel frustrated that medical professionals don't know what's up.

    "Once a patient has the courage to bring up a problem and then it feels dismissed — it shuts them down," said Reardon. "It's an unfortunate situation because then the problem's not resolved."

    how to treat pelvic pain Credit: vicky leta / mashable

    How to find a pelvic health specialist or pelvic floor physical therapist

    Pain can be a symptom of another condition, such as endometriosis, or it may have no obvious cause. After you've been cleared of other conditions by a (uro)gynecologist, the next step is to find or receive a referral a doctor who specializes in pelvic pain, or receive a referral to a physical therapist who treats pelvic floor issues. Sometimes, one leads to another.

    To use myself as an example, I met with Dr. Bahlani, who then prescribed physical therapy as part of my treatment. A physical therapist may also recommend a specialist physician to you, as well.

    Know what to look for when searching online for a doctor or physical therapist in your area. Check their bios for education and experience with treating pelvic pain. A specialist should've received additional pelvic floor training, like the fellowship that Bahlani completed. A pelvic floor physical therapist should've completed training on the pelvic floor, as well.

    Seeing a pelvic health specialist helps you "peel the onion," as Bahlani and Olson put it, to finding the cause — or causes — of your pain. This is critical in making a treatment plan. More often than not, in Bahlani's experience, pelvic pain is multifactorial. Patients often leave — as I did — with more than one diagnosis. There's a myriad of conditions that your PCP or OBGYN may not be versed in such as pelvic floor dysfunction or vestibulodynia, pain in the area around the vaginal opening.

    "We try to identify [the causes] because it alters the trajectory of our treatment strategies," Bahlani said. The treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction, for example, is different from the treatment for vestibulodynia.

    "We can absolutely elucidate the different factors that play a role in pelvic pain, and that's important to guide our therapy," said Bahlani. But should we focus on why it happened? "No," she said, "because the answer to that is often unknown."

    Correlation isn't causation. If you've had a history of, say, horseback riding and now you're going through pelvic pain — it's quite possible that the riding played a factor, but you'll never know for sure and it doesn't matter now. What matters is the pain you're experiencing currently and the treatment that can help.

    I had a C-section — why do I have pelvic pain?

    Pregnancy and childbirth, of course, can cause a variety of issues that lead to pelvic pain. One common misperception that Kim Vopni, a pelvic health coach known as the Vagina Coach(Opens in a new tab), sees in her work is that people believe that if they won't experience pelvic pain if they haven't given birth, or if they give birth via Cesarean section.

    Changes during pregnancy affect the pelvic floor, Vopni and Reardon explained. Any type of abdominal surgery, particularly Cesarean sections, can also affect the pelvic floor. So it's not at all uncommon for people to experience pelvic pain after a C-section(Opens in a new tab).

    It's important to remember, though, that anyone can experience pelvic pain at any stage of life — regardless of whether they've ever been pregnant or given birth.

    How do I treat pelvic pain?

    As with pain itself, the treatment is individualized for you; it's why you can't trust Reddit or other forums to have the solution. The good news is there's a variety of potential treatments, from physical therapy to tools like Intimate Rose to procedures done in a doctor's office.

    Bahlani's philosophy is to give patients the tools to treat themselves because pelvic pain can come and go. She said, "You want to be the master of your own body when it comes to this."

    A physical therapist or a specialist will help guide you through treatment. Thanks to the broken U.S. healthcare system(Opens in a new tab), however, many treatments — and often visits with specialists themselves — aren't covered by insurance.

    "You want to be the master of your own body."

    "Insurances don't acknowledge [pelvic pain] as a thing," Bahlani explained. "They say, 'It's just pain.'" This, she continued, leaves patients with unanswered questions and unmet needs from in-network providers.

    If in-network professionals aren't giving you the care you need or the cost is prohibitive, there are resources online to expand your knowledge of pelvic pain and treatment. While there is no substitute for qualified medical care, you can at least learn more about pelvic health and tactics that may help alleviate your pain.

    One good resource is Pelvic Gym, which provides educational and exercise tutorial programs made by professionals — including Olson of Intimate Rose. There are videos and collections of videos, called programs, that address pain as well as a range of topics like sexual wellbeing and pregnancy. The platform was created by the team at Ohnut(Opens in a new tab), a wearable to help with pain during deep penetration.

    The pelvic health experts interviewed here are all also on Instagram: Bahlani @pelvicpaindoc(Opens in a new tab); Olson @intimaterose(Opens in a new tab); Reardon @the.vagina.whisperer(Opens in a new tab); and Vopni @vaginacoach(Opens in a new tab).

    Again, these accounts and programs don't replace seeing a medical professional — even if they're run by professionals — but they can provide education and the reassurance that there is help out there.

    Pelvic pain can be agonizing, but dealing with it shouldn't be. Know that you don't need to go through it alone, and that you can have relief.

    Read more about pelvic pain:

    • How sextech is (and isn't) confronting pelvic pain taboos

    • 'GripTok' and the myth of the 'gorilla grip' coochie

    • How weed affects painful sex

  • July is here. Keep cool with these summery picks from Walmart

    July is here. Keep cool with these summery picks from Walmart

    You Got This is a series that spotlights the gear you need to improve one area of your life.


    The dog days of summer have officially arrived — a period running from July 3 to August 11 which technically gets its name from the aligning of Sirius (the Dog Star) with the sun, but for most of us, it just translates to blazing hot days when we just want to kick back in the shade and take a nap. (Another fun fact? Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky.)

    When just thinking of the weather outside makes you start sweating, reach for one of these easy solutions from Walmart to cool the heck down.

    Lounge in an inflatable pool

    Technically, this is a kiddie pool for tykes 2 years and older, which could serve as a ball pit in the off-season. But there’s no shame in turning it into a shallow lounge pool for you and your grown-up friends when it’s sweltering hot and you’re hanging in the yard with some cool drinks.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Play Day
    Play Day Round Inflatable 3-Ring Pool (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Whip up smoothies and frozen cocktails

    Summer is unofficial smoothie season. With serious horsepower, this versatile blender looks retro chic in your kitchen and gets the job done with seven functions to blend fresh or frozen fruit and veggies — and crush ice — in seconds. It has an easy-to-use touchscreen and removable, dishwasher-safe parts.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Beautiful High
    Beautiful High Performance Touchscreen Blender (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Turn your backyard into a playground for the kiddos

    Entertain the kiddos away from screens with this easy-to-assemble swing set. Along with swings, this mini playground has a high-rail wave slide, rock wall for climbing, spacious sandbox, and top-level clubhouse for kicking back and talking about kindergarten. There’s also a built-in chalkboard for when creativity strikes.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: KidKraft
    KidKraft Ainsley Wooden Outdoor Swing Set (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    $249, normally $399
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Set up a pet-friendly splash zone

    Keep your pup cool with this durable pet pool you can set up in the backyard or at the beach (no inflation required). It has a marked waterline for easy-filling and an antiskid bottom to prevent slips. On a hot day, we say go ahead and jump in with them.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: SmileMart
    SmileMart Foldable Pet Swimming Pool (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    $32.89, normally $51.29
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Cart your all your beach gear in a wagon

    Streamline your schlep with a smooth-rolling beach wagon. Pile in beach bags, sunscreen, towels, umbrellas, cooler bags, and all the other gear you’ve assembled for your beach day. For max durability, it has a steel tube frame with powder coating.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Ozark Trail
    Ozark Trail Sand Island Beach Wagon Cart (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Throw down a colorful towel

    Made from super-soft, 100% cotton, this easy-to-spot towel is perfect for claiming your space on a crowded beach or having a laidback picnic in a park. The oversize design is also just right for throwing over a lounge chair by the pool.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Packed Party
    Packed Party Beach Towel (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Take your party to go

    For ultra-portable refreshments, this roomy cooler tote bag accommodates up to 24 cans and ice. It has a front zipper pocket and side storage pockets for stashing other essentials like your wallet, keys, and phone, or a small portable speaker for really making your party mobile.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Packed Party
    Packed Party Waves of Fun Soft Cooler Tote Bag (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Keep iced drinks cool outside

    Designed by a woman-owned company based in Austin, Texas, this double-walled, vacuum-insulated stainless-steel tumbler exudes positives vibes with its cheerful smiley faces. Stay hydrated out there!

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Packed Party
    Packed Party Pink Smiles All Around Double-Wall Stainless Steel Tumbler (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

  • YouTube demonetized Onision

    YouTube demonetized Onision

    YouTube demonetized Onision for violating its Creator Responsibility policies off the platform, the company confirmed to Mashable.


    Onision, whose real name is Gregory James Jackson, is a controversial YouTuber who has been accused of abuse and grooming by at least six women(Opens in a new tab). In a video(Opens in a new tab) uploaded on Tuesday, he bid farewell to the YouTube community following his removal from the YouTube Partner Program. Onision has denied all the accusations made against him.

    In a tweet replying to Def Noodles, a commentary creator who covers drama unfolding on the platform, YouTube confirmed that Onision has been "suspended indefinitely" from receiving advertising revenue garnered on the platform.

    It's not the first time Onision claimed to leave YouTube. He pulled a similar stunt last year when he began posting monetized content on OnlyFans.

    A YouTube spokesperson further confirmed to Mashable that the removal from the YouTube Partner Program includes Onision's side channels, UhOhBro and Onision Speaks, as well as his main one. He has a combined 5.3 million subscribers across the three channels. The spokesperson added that if a creator's off-platform behavior harms YouTube users, the community, its employees, or ecosystem, YouTube "may take action" to protect its community. This specific ban, YouTube said, pertained to "off-platform behavior related to child safety," which violated the platform's Creator Responsibility Policy(Opens in a new tab).

    According to YouTube, these behaviors are "rare" but can still cause "widespread harm to the YouTube community, and potentially damage the trust among creators, users, and advertisers."

    YouTube didn't elaborate on a specific instance in which Onision endangered a child off-platform. A majority of the women who accused Onision of abuse were minors when he and his husband, Kai Avaroe, pursued relationships with them. Their then 2-year-old daughter fell out of a second-story window in September 2019, and a police report(Opens in a new tab) filed four days later detailed an anonymous email sent to the principal of the school attended by Onision's two children claiming they had been "in an abusive household for many years." The report, obtained via public record request, also noted that the local sheriff's department had received multiple calls from "around the country" about Onision.

    Onision is the subject of a recent (and similarly controversial) discovery+ documentary that outlines the allegations and his history of pursuing romantic relationships with his much younger fans, many of whom were teenagers when they met online. YouTube creators and their viewers have been calling on YouTube to deplatform Onision for years. When Chris Hansen began interviewing survivors who accused Onision of grooming and abuse, Onision began posting increasingly disturbing videos of his "breakdown" on his secondary channel OnisionSpeaks. Those videos were monetized, and racked up hundreds of thousands of views.

    He was banned from Patreon(Opens in a new tab) for alleged doxxing after he posted screenshots of texts between himself and a survivor who spoke out against him. The screenshots included the survivor's phone number. Twitch banned Onision in January 2020, but quietly unbanned him(Opens in a new tab) in October. His OnlyFans and Discord server, where he can directly interact with followers, are still running.

    Additional reporting by Amanda Yeo.

  • TikTok influencers wont stop sending me to their Amazon storefronts

    TikTok influencers wont stop sending me to their Amazon storefronts

    It's nearly impossible to scroll through my TikTok For You Page without being faced with an onslaught of influencers trying to get me to buy something from their Amazon storefronts.


    I understand why it might be so popular on my FYP. I love stuff. I love sweaters and books and gadgets and toys for my cat and tiny little guys I can put on my shelf(Opens in a new tab). But I also don't have an Amazon Prime membership, and I do my best not to shop through the site for a variety of reasons, including:

    • The company made billions of dollars after the Covid-19 pandemic first began to spread, but it still didn't give workers hazard pay. This led to at least seven deaths(Opens in a new tab).

    • Despite calls for the biggest companies in the world to decrease their emissions, Amazon's carbon footprint increased by 15 percent in 2019(Opens in a new tab).

    • Amazon workers are twice as likely to be injured than the industry average, according to the Strategic Organizing Center(Opens in a new tab).   

    • It is harmful to artists, writers, and publishers(Opens in a new tab).

    • Amazon sells its facial recognition technology(Opens in a new tab) to law enforcement agencies.

    • It consistently tries to stop its workers from unionizing for better treatment(Opens in a new tab).

    Despite it all, I'm still faced with videos of influencers whose style I like telling me they got something beautiful on Amazon — and to make sure I go to their Amazon storefront to order it. 

    SEE ALSO: #PeopleOverPrime: Gen-Z TikTokkers are organizing against Amazon

    The idea of storefronts isn't new for Amazon; it's just sort of an influencer-centric version of its Amazon Associates Program (AAP), in which anyone can choose products they want to promote, drive traffic from outside Amazon onto the shopping platform, and make a small commission from anyone who buys from that. 

    "Historically, that has really helped Amazon to build traffic," Yoni Mazor, the CGO of GETIDA(Opens in a new tab), a program that works to improve the operations of Amazon FBA [Fulfillment by Amazon] sellers, told Mashable. "But in the past few years, since at least in 2017, the Amazon Influencer Program [AIP] kicked in. Amazon started to reshuffle the cards."

    Amazon "identified the rise of social media and influencers," according to Mazor, and influencers started working with the AIP to set up storefronts and earn some extra cash. Influencers earn the same commission rates as associates.

    "The Amazon Influencer Program helps creators build their small businesses by recommending products they already love and use to their followers," Meredith Silver, Amazon's director of creative growth, told Mashable in an email. "Whether it’s a creator’s full-time job or part-time venture, we provide the tools and educational opportunities to help them grow their small business in an authentic way."

    Creators earn with the AIP by curating their storefront, linking to products, promoting Amazon services like Prime Video and Amazon Music, and livestreaming and recommending products through Amazon Live. Similar to the AAP, creators get a "commission halo effect," which allows them to continue to earn for 24 hours from the time a customer clicks through their associate link to Amazon and makes any those purchases. Creators make anywhere from a few dollars to $1,500 a month, according to Business Insider(Opens in a new tab), with commission rates ranging from one percent to 10 percent.

    And it seems to be pretty helpful for Amazon's business model.

    Nearly half of all Gen Z customers have bought a product based on a recommendation from an influencer when compared to the rest of the population, according to a 2020 study(Opens in a new tab). And Andrew Pearl, the vice president for marketing insights at e-commerce software provider Profitero, told Modern Retail(Opens in a new tab) that influencers involved in the AIP have been crucial in the success of Prime Day.

    "For Prime Day this time and in July, TikTok users watch these videos, and use a link directly from TikTok which sends them to the influencer’s Amazon Storefront directly on the Amazon app," Pearl told the outlet. "So you can go directly from TikTok to shopping on Prime Day. This seems to be ubiquitous across all influencers." 

    In order to get involved with the AIP, creators have to have apply(Opens in a new tab) with a qualifying YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook account. It's not entirely clear what "qualifying" really means here, but Amazon looks at "the number of followers" someone has in addition to "other engagement metrics." The platform doesn't say why a creator is accepted or rejected into the program, but once they are accepted, they're allowed to create a storefront and drive sales directly there. On TikTok, influencers show off their Amazon purchases in what are effectively commercials for the items, telling their followers, "Hey, if you want to buy this, check out my storefront at the link in my bio." There, they've collected all their favorite Amazon items — from mugs to vacuums to dresses — for their followers to access.

    This comes at a time in which approval of labor unions at the highest point since 1965, a 2021 Gallup poll showed(Opens in a new tab). Among those who support it, Gen Z is America's most pro-union generation, according to the Center for American Progress(Opens in a new tab). A Mashable report from August unpacks how 70 Gen-Z TikTok creators with a combined 51 million followers began fighting back against Amazon's unfair labor practices in solidarity with the Amazon Labor Union. They refused Amazon sponsorships and the monetization of their individual platforms for Amazon as part of a campaign called "People Over Prime,"(Opens in a new tab) which was coordinated by advocacy group Gen Z for Change(Opens in a new tab). The activists on this campaign know that big tech companies aren't going to stop users on their platforms from pushing for Amazon, but that's not what it's all about.

    "It wouldn't hurt if TikTok wanted to support unions and Amazon workers, but I'm more pragmatic in thinking that that's not gonna happen, and understanding that it's going to have to come from us, and there's something authentic with that," Elise Joshi, Gen Z for Change's deputy executive director and director of strategy, told Mashable. "We want other people in this country to have the right to have a safe working environment and just labor conditions and the right to bargain with your boss for better wages and benefits. There's something more meaningful to that than insisting that TikTok prevents Amazon from coming on their site. There's something more human-to-human about our strategy that I like a lot.

    Amazon is millennials' favorite way to shop(Opens in a new tab), but this isn't necessarily a generational issue. 

    "Amazon needs to keep their company chugging, and that comes with this culture of shopping and consumption. It's not a young person issue. It's a very intergenerational issue," Joshi said. "But in order to capitalize on the fact that young people are on TikTok more than older generations, [Amazon] knows that if they monetize hundreds of creators' platforms and drive young people onto their sites, that they can have a hold on our generation particularly."

    UPDATE: Nov. 4, 2022, 9:14 a.m. EDT A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that AAP commission rates are lower than that of the AIP. They earn the same commission rates. It was also incorrectly stated that only creators part of the AIP get the commission halo effect, when both influencers and associates receive the commission halo effect.

  • Here’s what you need to know about Clubhouse, the audio social app

    Here’s what you need to know about Clubhouse, the audio social app

    You might've heard of Clubhouse by now. It might still be unlikely that you've actually joined Clubhouse.


    That's because the new social media platform has built its reputation, in part, on exclusivity. Well, exclusivity and being the audio-only app where people spend countless hours mostly networking and plugging their own projects. It has also been been copied (or working on being copied(Opens in a new tab)) by other social media companies after its hyped success.

    However the exclusivity of Clubhouse may soon be a thing of the past. The app opened to everyone on Wednesday, July 21, meaning you no longer need an invite to join. Here's what you need know about Clubhouse in case you soon find yourself using it.

    What is Clubhouse?

    In short: Clubhouse is an audio-based social media app. The company describes itself(Opens in a new tab) as "a new type of social product based on voice [that] allows people everywhere to talk, tell stories, develop ideas, deepen friendships, and meet interesting new people around the world."

    Basically, you can jump in and out of different chats, on different subjects, in something akin to a live, free-flowing podcast. You can simply listen or choose to throw in your thoughts. In theory, it's supposed to be something like a cocktail party or...clubhouse. In practice, it's some mixture of LinkedIn, a panel discussion, or a professional conference.

    Vogue described the app(Opens in a new tab)'s experience as "a dizzying bringing together of live podcast-style conversations, panel discussions, networking opportunities (some savvy people are already swapping 'influencer' for 'moderator') and advantageous multiple-room use (locked and private options are available so you can talk to pals too), the social-media app mimics real-life interactions."

    The audio itself, however, doesn't leave the app. That's the main rule: There's no recording of conversations and they're not saved.

    Who uses Clubhouse?

    Clubhouse is big with celebrities. Float around the app and you might hear folks like Oprah, Kevin Hart, Drake, Chris Rock, or Ashton Kutcher. They might even host chats. In some ways, that's part of Clubhouse's appeal. You get the chance to hear, and even participate in, unvarnished conversations with famous and powerful people. Refinery29 described(Opens in a new tab) networking as the primary reason for Clubhouse's rising popularity. Indeed, spend enough time on the app and you're bound to hear folks not-so-casually slipping their accomplishments and goals into conversation.

    Other than celebrities, the app is seemingly focused on people it considers an elite clientele. It became a status symbol of sorts for Silicon Valley types after its launch last year. The whole invite-only thing was apparently taken pretty seriously. But it's now growing. Taylor Lorenz for the New York Times(Opens in a new tab) reported in December(Opens in a new tab) that it had 600,000 registered users and has been courting influencers.

    Its downloads have slowed recently(Opens in a new tab) but Clubhouse is attempting to roll out new features that'll keep folks interest. Most recently it announced that it would debut audio-only Ted Talks on the platform.

    Who made it?

    Paul Davison and Rohan Seth found the app last year. By May, it was valued at around $100 million despite have just 1,500 users at the time, according to CNBC(Opens in a new tab). Its most recent round of funding reportedly valued(Opens in a new tab) it at $4 billion.

    What's the controversy with Clubhouse?

    Clubhouse already has abuse and content moderation — or lack thereof — problems. As the Times(Opens in a new tab) noted(Opens in a new tab), there have been numerous complaints that Clubhouse hasn't done much to protect folks from abuse.

    The Verge wrote back(Opens in a new tab) in July that the app didn't seem to have a plan for moderating content. Things haven't seemed to get much better. Vanity Fair wrote a piece in December(Opens in a new tab) detailing out the ephemeral, audio-only nature of Clubhouse allowed the app to "become a haven for the powerful to flirt with misogyny and racism." The responded to Vanity Fair saying it "unequivocally condemns all forms of racism, hate speech, and abuse, as noted in our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, and has trust and safety procedures in place to investigate and address any violation of these rules."

    Do you still need an invite to join Clubhouse?

    Nope. It has opened to everyone.

    It was once available only for iPhone users(Opens in a new tab) but it is available on Android now(Opens in a new tab), too.

    How do you delete Clubhouse?

    So, what happens if find you nab an invite to Clubhouse but then want to get rid of it? After all, the app isn't everybody's cup of tea.

    Mashable's Jack Morse wrote a detailed piece on deleting Clubhouse — and the app's data policies — but it's safe to say getting rid of your account is not a simple process.

    There is no option or button to delete your Clubhouse account within the app. You have to contact Clubhouse directly and ask them to delete your data.

    "Please log in to your account or contact us (at [email protected]) if you need to change or correct your Personal Data, or if you wish to delete your account," the app's privacy policy reads(Opens in a new tab).

    From there, it's not clear how quickly Clubhouse will follow up on your request.

    So, yes, it may be hard to get into Clubhouse, but it might be just as hard to leave.

    This story was originally published in January 2021 and updated in July 2021.

  • There's never been a worse time to be a statue of an old racist dude.

    There's never been a worse time to be a statue of an old racist dude.


    The global protests against systemic racism and police brutality, in solidarity with the U.S. Black Lives Matter movement as well as individual nations' own institutional issues, have been spreading and strengthening since the death of George Floyd, who died after an officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes on May 25. The protests have already had a tangible effect on policy decisions(Opens in a new tab) and public opinion(Opens in a new tab), but one of the most visible achievements of the protests has been the toppling, defacing, and even removal by authorities, of racist monuments and statues.

    From former Confederate president Jefferson Davis to Christopher Columbus and Winston Churchill, statues of historical figures have been coming down or getting makeovers — primarily statues of European colonizers, slave traders or owners, and other Great Men whose racist opinions or policies have been airbrushed out of the version of history we learned in school. Some were removed by protesters, others by city authorities(Opens in a new tab). Many others have been splashed with blood-red paint, creatively annotated, or decorated in other ways to indicate that enormous likenesses of known racists towering over people in public spaces are not seen as a neutral invitation to reflect quietly upon the nuances of a violent, racist history, but an institutional refusal to reckon with it.

    The push to remove Confederate and other racist monuments from public spaces continues, with the potential for them to be rehoused in museums where they can be displayed alongside other historical artifacts in context. Meanwhile, a 55-year-old woman in Atlanta has been charged with a felony, namely interference with government property(Opens in a new tab) for writing "TEAR DOWN" on a Confederate statue plinth with chalk, and Australian authorities are making noise about "tougher anti-vandalism laws"(Opens in a new tab) after two statues of British colonizer Captain James Cook were spray-painted by activists.

    If you're interested in the process of bringing down statues, here is a purely hypothetical guide to how it can be done safely. The safest way to get these pompous eyesores out of public spaces, though, is to pressure your local city council or mayor's office to remove them, and vote for representatives who have no interest in preserving public monuments to oppressors. As Taylor Swift said, villains don't deserve statues(Opens in a new tab).

    In the meantime, please enjoy these striking images of shrines to violence and genocide being treated with the respect they deserve.

    A woman looks at a statue depicting Christopher Columbus, which had its head removed at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park on June 10, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. The statue's future is yet to be decided.Credit: Tim Bradbury / Getty Images
    A statue of Christopher Columbus lays next to a city owned flatbed truck after a crew removed the statue from its base at Farnham Park in Camden, New Jersey on June 13, 2020.Credit: Bastiaan Slabbers / NurPhoto via Getty Images
    The pedestal where a statue of Christopher Columbus stood is pictured on June 11, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia. Protesters also tore down a statue of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War.Credit: Zach Gibson / Getty Images
    A vandalized statue of Christopher Columbus is seen at Bayfront Park on June 11, 2020, after a protest the previous day against George Floyd's death, police brutality, and racial inequality in Miami, Florida.Credit: Eva Marie Uzcategui Trinkl / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    A Richmond police officer stands by the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis after it was pulled down from its pedestal on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia on June 10, 2020.Credit: John McDonnell / The Washington Post via Getty Images
    A vandalized Civil War statue looks over the fourth consecutive day of protests on May 31, 2020 in Denver, Colorado.Credit: Michael Ciaglo / Getty Images)
    Protesters gather around a vandalised statue of Former Governor of Puerto Rico, Juan Ponce de Leon in Downtown Miami on June 12, 2020.Credit: CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP via Getty Images
    A vandalized statue of Boer leader Paul Kruger on Church Square on June 10, 2020 in Pretoria, South Africa.Credit: Alet Pretorius / Gallo Images via Getty Images
    The statue of former British prime minister Winston Churchill is seen defaced in Parliament Square, London after a demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy, on June 7, 2020.Credit: ISABEL INFANTES / AFP via Getty Images
    Graffiti covers a statue of Robert Dundas, 2nd Viscount Melville, on Melville Street in Edinburgh on June 12, 2020.Credit: ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP via Getty Images
    A statue of journalist Indro Montanelli after it was vandalised with red paint and graffiti in the gardens dedicated to him on June 14, 2020 in Milan, Italy. Montanelli claimed he bought a 12-year-old Eritrean girl as his wife while serving in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War in 1936.Credit: Jacopo Raule / Getty Images
    The statue of slave trader Edward Colston is retrieved from Bristol Harbour by a salvage team on June 11, 2020 in Bristol, England. The statue was pulled from its plinth in the city centre and thrown in the water by anti-racism campaigners during a Black Lives Matter protest.Credit: Andrew Lloyd / Getty Images)
    A bust of former Belgian king Leopold II daubed with red paint is removed by a city worker in Auderghem, near Brussels on June 12, 2020. Several statues of the late monarch, a symbol of Belgium's bloody history as colonial power in central Africa, have been defaced as the U.S. campaign for racial justice re-energizes the struggle in Europe.Credit: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP via Getty Images
    The iconic statue of the Duke of Wellington sports a traffic cone with a Black Lives Matter logo in Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow, Scotland on June 12, 2020.Credit: ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP via Getty Images
    People visit the graffiti covered statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on June 13, 2020 at Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. Many have long called for taking down statues of Confederate Generals who fought a war to defend slavery, and later, were erected by southern states to help justify the disenfranchisement of Black citizens.Credit: Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

  • NFTs are bringing back contemporary art sales

    NFTs are bringing back contemporary art sales

    Art used to be confined to the hushed expanse of a museum, or the walls of an apartment. But it has found an expansive new home today: in the world of crypto.


    Contemporary art sales are apparently facing a significant revival(Opens in a new tab) with the help of non-fungible tokens — NFTs are a form of cryptocurrency, basically digital collectibles that live on the blockchain. According to Artprice(Opens in a new tab), a leader in art market information, contemporary art auctions hit a peak of $2.7 billion over the past fiscal year of 2020-2021. That's a boost of 117 percent(Opens in a new tab).

    This mammoth-like figure is largely due to the digitisation of art, the report says. With the pandemic moving everything online for galleries and art dealers amid tough financial times for the arts(Opens in a new tab), the world's soaring fascination for NFTs saw art sales making a comeback.

    Thierry Ehrmann, the CEO of Artprice, called NFTs a "sensational arrival" to the landscape of art.

    Just look at the artists who have joined the NFT game. There's the universally-known Banksy, who sold his work titled Morons. It features the words: "I can't believe you morons actually buy this shit" and sold for $380,000. Don't need to explain the irony here.

    SEE ALSO: Alexis Ohanian showed off the NFT he bought for Serena Williams at the Met Gala

    Then there was digital artist Mike Winkelmann, more commonly known as Beeple, who sold an NFT for a whopping $69.3 million. The online auction, held by Christie's, had 22 million people in attendance.

    The digital art phenomenon has catapulted artists like Beeple, while also drawing in a younger generation of art enthusiasts(Opens in a new tab). Christie's, for example, reported that the aforementioned auction mostly brought in buyers under the age of 40. A survey by UBS and Art Economic(Opens in a new tab) found that a new sector of millennial collectors(Opens in a new tab) are driving digital works, with 12 percent of art sales in the first half of 2021 being purely digital. These millennials are spending the most on art overall — an average of $378,000. This is three times the amount that Gen-X and Boomers do.

    So contemporary art sales are back, thanks to the love between young people and blockchain. But if buying these (wildly expensive) pieces aren't your thing, you can always try making an NFT of your own.

  • Dating apps have created a culture of entitlement

    Dating apps have created a culture of entitlement

    You swipe, you match, and suddenly...they're mad at you? In dating app culture there's currently a burgeoning set of communication habits often deployed by cis-het men which give off "you owe me" vibes, a sense of entitlement to continued contact and access to matches, even when interest is not reciprocated.


    A few months ago, I saw a Twitter thread(Opens in a new tab) from writer Beth McColl bemoaning the impatient and demanding behavioural patterns of men on dating apps who get stroppy with their matches if they don't reply within a few hours.

    Replies in the thread included someone sharing that a man had sent them a message, only to have written another reading "Yawn..." after not receiving a reply by the next day. Another shared that one time, when they hadn't responded to a message from a match, they received another message just an hour later asking why they hadn't replied and suggested that they were "messing with his head."

    Appalled by this kind of behaviour — which judging by the sheer volume of bad experiences that end up being posted online must be commonplace — I asked around to see what other kinds of risible conduct people are subject to on dating apps, and it goes beyond the timing of replies to whether one is interested at all.

    Some people I spoke to have unmatched guys on dating apps only for the person to DM them on Instagram, demanding to know why they’ve been unmatched. The tone of these messages can be unkind and aggressive.

    "There was a guy from Tinder who I never actually matched with, never spoke to or anything, and somehow he slid into my DMs on LinkedIn," sexuality blogger Madam Mayhem told me. She was concerned that he had managed to get that far and find her on another platform without knowing her occupation or surname. "I had explained to him that I had no interest in him and that it was completely inappropriate to approach me somewhere else other than the dating app, considering we’d not even matched." Next, the guy replied with, "I needed to shoot my shot." "It just felt like such a violation," Madam Mayhem says.

    Stéphanie, a Black woman based in Sheffield says that men send insults that often have a racist slant if she says she's not interested. "If I've not reciprocated the way that they would like, they come back with things like, 'Oh, I didn’t even like you anyway,' 'I don’t even date Black girls anyway,' or 'You're a bit too, like, dark' or something."

    Having an uncommon name can also bring about unwanted attention on other platforms than the one you're using. One dating app user living in London, who's from a minoritised ethnic group told me, "I once swiped left to a guy, only to be contacted by him later on Facebook, that's the issue with having a unique name sometimes."

    SEE ALSO: When an online match wants to meet up immediately, it’s OK to say no

    Author and journalist Shon Faye writes in her recently published book, The Transgender Issue, about the entitlement people on dating apps feel when their interest isn't reciprocated — and the tirade of transphobia that can follow. "I also realised as a trans woman who only dated men, that there were men out there who could simultaneously be attracted to me and also be abusive. This was particularly apparent on dating apps where I was always open about being trans. If men initiated messaging and I declined their advances, it was not uncommon to receive a torrent of misogynist and transphobic abuse."

    Kate, who runs the popular @thirtysomethingsingle Instagram account(Opens in a new tab), says she often receives angry appearance-based insults after matching. She posts some of these interactions on her page to raise awareness of the misogynistic and fatphobic harassment that she and many other dating app users experience on a regular basis.

    Some platforms are finally doing something about this. Dating app Bumble has recently implemented a ban on body shaming language, explicitly banning unsolicited and derogatory comments made about someone’s appearance, body shape, size or health. This includes language that can be deemed fatphobic, ableist, racist, colourist, homophobic, or transphobic. Tinder has launched a number of safety features(Opens in a new tab), including the AI-fuelled "Are You Sure?" feature that puts the onus back on the individual about to send an abusive message (machine learning uses reports from past members to detect harmful language).

    Shani Silver, author of A Single Revolution, tells me that she thinks we have enough anecdotal evidence to say that this is what women are experiencing on these platforms, but that it's not being adequately addressed by the apps themselves — for a reason. "This is what can make dating a very difficult, exhausting — if not punishing — space," Silver says. "We don't discuss often enough the fact that dating apps are one of the only businesses in the world that is incentivised to not work; because the longer you're single, the more of your money it makes. So why would it ever want to help you stop being single?"

    Silver advises making space for yourself outside your chosen app if you're being targeted by harmful messages. "Find different places to put your energy that make you feel good as opposed to feeling like you have to combat the behaviour on encounter," she says. "But block and move on and really evaluate for yourself how much of this activity you want to participate in at all. You don’t deserve any of it and you're allowed to leave a dating space if it's difficult for you. And that does not preclude you from having future relationships."

    In researching this piece, it became apparent that women are more open to sharing their dating app experiences with journalists. No men came forward with their experiences.

    People have every right to set boundaries in their dating lives, online or off. Justine Ang Fonte, M.Ed, MPH is a sex educator based in New York City, also known as Your Friendly Ghostwriter (@good.byes) on Instagram(Opens in a new tab), started the account to help people compose messages you avoid sending to potential dates, but has expanded it to other areas of life where it's helpful to set boundaries. Boundaries are basic guidelines that people create to establish how others are able to behave and communicate around them, and setting them can ensure that relationships can be mutually respectful, appropriate, and caring from the start.

    "I started the account for dating, because it was something very real for me and I saw a lot of very defensive responses to any types of boundaries that I was trying to set," Fonte tells me. "I've expanded it to many other categories and aspects of life where people need support and setting boundaries. And that is because we never raise our boys to accept people's boundaries. We raise them to be entitled, as opposed to caregiving and empathetic in the way that we raise most girls."

    SEE ALSO: How to set boundaries in the early stages of dating

    Fonte offers some advice on how you can let prospective matches be aware of some of your boundaries (only if you feel this is necessary). "When you're still communicating through the app you can let the other person know if there’s going to be a change to the response times of messages." So, if you're about to head into a meeting you could message something like: "I'm about to hop into a meeting and probably won't be able to reply again for another four hours." Fonte says, "That way, the delay in messaging shows the other person that it has nothing to do with your interest in them but that you have a whole life separate from messaging people on dating apps."

    A more boundaried approach to dating means having a sense of what you are looking for and a sense of yourself, being OK with rejection, and sending out positive feelings that you hope will be reciprocated. But demanding an instant reply or an explanation from someone on a dating app of why you're not immediately interested? No one, ever, has the right to that.