current location: Home > glv5

BeReal is testing teachers with its daily notification

2023-03-19 06:18:06

BeReal is testing teachers with its daily notification

When the BeReal bell rings during class, what happens?

BeReal is testing teachers with its daily notification(图1)

If you swipe to the "Discover" tab of BeReal — the photo-sharing app that prompts users to share unfiltered pictures once a day — you can see strangers' public posts. Chances are, if you look, you'll find teenager after teenager at school or in class. According to the consumer data platform in a new tab), over 40% of BeReal's 12-and-up iPhone user base in the United States is between 16 and 24 years old. 

BeReal first started getting attention on college campuses in early 2022 and has since exploded in popularity. According to in a new tab), the photo-sharing app surpassed 10 million downloads in May 2022. By the time class was back in session for the 2022-2023 school year, BeReal had solidified itself in the social media ecosystem, becoming so mainstream that Saturday Night Live did a sketch about it. 

SEE ALSO: BeReal is what 'casual Instagram' wants to be

But the app wasn't immediately on most high school teachers' radars. "We have teacher meetings at the beginning of the year, but they weren't like 'here's the cell phone policy, make sure you look out for BeReal because kids are going to be really distracted by this notification,'" shared 30-year-old Andrew Koons, a science teacher at a high school in Vienna, Virginia. "Most of my colleagues are older than me, and that's not something they're thinking about."

BeReal is designed to be more authentic than traditional social media, though whether it actually is is up for debate. It sends out a push notification once a day and gives users a two-minute window to post one photo of themselves and what they're doing, using their phone's front and back cameras. While you can post after the two-minute window, you can't view other people's posts until you post, and the app advertises how late you took your BeReal.

The pressure to post your BeReal on time poses a unique challenge to teachers whose students want to use the app as intended. Because the notification goes off at a different time every day, it's also a game of chance. Natasha Lelchuk, a 29-year-old who teaches ninth and tenth grade English in South El Monte, California, has been lucky so far. "[BeReal] hasn't been particularly disruptive. I have BeReal on my phone too, and I haven't seen the notification go off during the school day very often," Lelchuk tells Mashable. "I don't see kids constantly pulling out their phones to take a BeReal." Lelchuk's school has a no-phones-in-class policy, but it varies teacher to teacher. Lelchuk enforces a no-phone policy with her freshmen, but is more lenient with her sophomore honors English students.

As the app has become more popular, its purpose has evolved. Now some people ignore the time constraints and post only when they're doing something cool, and then re-post their favorite BeReals on other social media platforms, like TikTok and Instagram. A culture of getting unwitting people(Opens in a new tab) to take your BeReal has also developed. Users ask strangers to take their photo without the stranger knowing that they too will be photographed. 

SEE ALSO: BeReal promised authenticity online. That doesn't exist.

The combination of the app's popularity among teenagers, its immediacy, and the desire to get clueless older people involved would seem to indicate that the app would be disruptive in the classroom. However, many schools haven't run into problems thanks to their strict phone policies, which include phones being kept out of sight on campus or in the classroom, or collected before each class. Mariam Omar is an on-site substitute teacher at one such high school in Los Angeles, California. "My school has a strict no-phone policy, so BeReal hasn't been an issue," Omar told Mashable.

Even then, BeReal notifications can disrupt class. "Our school has a policy that phones are collected at the beginning of class, but students will get the notification on their Apple Watches sometimes and panic about missing it," Marina Francis, a 22-year-old high school teacher in Los Angeles, California, told Mashable. But compared with other apps that bombard users with notifications all day, BeReal isn't as distracting. And sometimes, if the notification goes off on Friday, Francis will indulge her students and let them take their BeReal during class.

Virginia teacher Koons made the game-time decision to allow his AP Environmental Science students to take their BeReals during class. "During maybe the second week of school, the BeReal notification went off, and I decided that it's not something that I'm going to get really stressed about," Koons told Mashable. His school's policy is that phones should be out of sight unless they are being used for class. "I made an exception for BeReal, because in my mind, it's two minutes of distracted time. It's not like someone is going to take their BeReal, and then 45 minutes later, another student is going to make a big deal about BeReal again."

BeReal hadn't been discussed in an official capacity at the schools of any of the teachers Mashable spoke to. "There has been some chatter among other teachers, but I'm the youngest teacher on campus, so I might be the only one who actually uses it," explained Francis. "Some are confused about what it is. It hasn't really been all that much of an issue on campus, though, because of the collecting phones policy." Lelchuk similarly bets that 85 percent of her colleagues don't know what BeReal is. 

By and large, BeReal gets an A in the books of the teachers Mashable spoke to. Koons sees in-class BeReals as a way for his students to connect what they're learning in the classroom with something that's important to them: social media. "If they share a discussion or lab that we're doing in AP Environmental Science or biology, I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing," said Koons. The culture of having an outsider take your BeReal has also brought students and teachers together. Koons, Francis, and Lelchuk had all been asked by their students to be in their BeReals and obliged. "One of my students told me that she felt like she bonded with me through it because I let her take a BeReal with me," shared Lelchuk.

Website of this article:

Go to Baidu to see more

Comments from netizens


contact us



Popular articles


  • K-pop fans spam Dallas police snitch app with videos and memes to support protesters

    K-pop fans spam Dallas police snitch app with videos and memes to support protesters

    On Saturday, the Dallas Police Department posted a tweet telling people to send them videos from ongoing protests against police brutality via the iWatch Dallas app.


    "If you have a video of illegal activity from the protests and are trying to share it with @DallasPD(Opens in a new tab), you can download it to our iWatch Dallas app," they wrote.(Opens in a new tab) "You can remain anonymous."

    Instead, Twitter users are flooding the official snitching app with unrelated videos, memes, K-pop fancams, and even footage of the police themselves.

    The U.S. is currently embroiled in widespread protests against police brutality and racism, sparked by the recent death of 46-year-old George Floyd. Floyd died on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota after police handcuffed him and knelt on his neck for several minutes. Video footage of the incident shows police officer Derek Chauvin continued to pin Floyd to the ground despite his repeated cries that he couldn't breathe, and refused to relent even after Floyd became unresponsive.

    Floyd was just the latest of countless black people who have been needlessly victimised or died at the hands of police, prompting thousands to take to the streets in protest. However, rather than deescalating the situation, law enforcement have largely responded with increasing violence.

    Numerous viral videos have captured police officers assaulting visibly peaceful civilians(Opens in a new tab) at these protests, as well as indiscriminately targeting journalists and bystanders without provocation. Not even people standing quietly on their own front porch(Opens in a new tab) are safe.

    SEE ALSO: How to demand justice for George Floyd and support Minneapolis protesters

    Twitter users have therefore responded to Dallas PD's request for information by spamming the iWatch Dallas app with unrelated videos and encouraging others to do the same. The intent is that any information which could identify protesters will be buried by the flood.

    Some people have been submitting media such as SpongeBob SquarePants memes and the Bee Movie script to the Dallas police's app. Others have sent footage of police violence. However, by far the largest, most coordinated effort appears to have come from K-pop fans, who have no shortage of videos to spam the police with.

    K-pop fans regularly post clips of their favorite artists on Twitter, even in response to completely unrelated tweets. However, many fans have recently stopped tweeting so zealously about their favorite groups, hoping to keep #BlackLivesMatter(Opens in a new tab) and related phrases trending instead. Now they're using their collections of fancams to try to protect protesters and further help the cause.

    SEE ALSO: K-pop fans are supporting #BlackLivesMatter by refusing to promote their faves on Twitter

    It appears to be working, too. Dallas PD announced iWatch Dallas was temporarily down just one day after directing people to use the app, citing "technical difficulties."(Opens in a new tab) Exactly what said difficulties were remains unclear, though many Twitter users have attributed it to thousands of K-pop fans' coordinated spamming efforts. The Dallas Police Department's website(Opens in a new tab) was also down at time of writing due to an overwhelmed server.

    Mashable has contacted the Dallas Police Department for comment.

    If the police honestly expected this would end any other way then they're even more out of touch than we thought.

    UPDATE: June 2, 2020, 10:45 a.m. AEST It seems Kirkland police have learnt nothing from Dallas. On Monday afternoon, Kirkland PD requested people use the #calminkirkland(Opens in a new tab) hashtag on Twitter to give them information about the protests. The hashtag was already flooded with K-pop fancams mere hours later.

  • Brand tweets about being an anti-racist ally are not enough

    Brand tweets about being an anti-racist ally are not enough

    America is in chaos, but don't worry the brands are on it.


    The murder by police of George Floyd, a handcuffed, unarmed black man, has sparked nationwide protests and, at times, riots and looting. Police have frequently responded to demonstrations with shocking violence: running them down with SUVs(Opens in a new tab), teargassing them(Opens in a new tab), beating them with batons, shooting them with rubber bullets(Opens in a new tab). President Donald Trump has called for further violence and, just quoting the man in charge of America here(Opens in a new tab), told governors on Monday that they "have to dominate" protesters.

    All of this during a global pandemic.

    There is no quick fix here. (Though for starters there are ways to support the protesters and white people can educate themselves about how to be a good ally to people of color.) But I do know what we absolutely don't need in this moment: Tepid, boilerplate statements from brands.

    We really, really do not need them, but, holy hell, we're getting them nonetheless. They're everywhere. Just log on to the internet and, yep, there they are.

    A few big brands started doing it — a crossover post from Nike and Adidas(Opens in a new tab) got a lot of traction early on — and then every company felt the need to jump on the bandwagon.

    Twitter user @campster(Opens in a new tab) captured their near-universal style perfectly with this meme.

    As the protests grew over the weekend, major corporations, sports teams, and pretty much any brand you've ever heard of decided they needed to speak out. Some brands have commented on big social issues like race before, but rarely have they done so with this much vigor.

    On the surface, it seems like the right thing to do. But the problem is that it almost never involves anything like, I don't know... putting actual money or action toward the cause.

    These statements on race are especially empty when they come from companies that have been criticized for mistreating people of color in the past. Hell, even Nextdoor, the neighbor app infamous as a platform for racial profiling(Opens in a new tab), released a statement. Amazon, a company known for mistreating its warehouse workers(Opens in a new tab), felt the need to jump into the fray.

    In short, what brands are doing with these statements feels a lot like performative allyship(Opens in a new tab), doing something very public (and often very easy) to appear like an ally without, you know, doing the real work to actually be one. In the case of brands, their statements would mean more if they were paired with donations or commitments to take specific, meaningful steps to dismantle racism.

    The path forward from here will be difficult. It's going to take more than a blithe Instagram post gesturing at unity and all sides being in this together or whatever the hell.

    Please brands, just stop with the statements that say absolutely nothing. And think about showing up when it can help, not just when it makes you look good.

  • Justin Trudeau takes uncomfortably long pause before answering question about Trump and protests

    Justin Trudeau takes uncomfortably long pause before answering question about Trump and protests

    Canadian Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau took his sweet time — about 20 seconds — to find the right words to answer a question about President Donald Trump and his call for military force to be used against the widespread anti-racism protests in the United States.


    Eventually, Trudeau did muster an answer.

    "We all watch in horror and consternation what's going on in the United States," he said on Tuesday. "It is a time to pull people together but it is a time to listen, to learn what injustices continue despite progress over years and decades."

    Here's the video of the 20-second pause, which is probably even longer than you imagine. Seriously, at times it seems like maybe the video feed froze.

    As the questioner mentioned in the video, Trudeau has been hesitant to comment on Trump. When asked for further comment, he added(Opens in a new tab): "My job as a Canadian Prime Minister is to stand up for Canadians."

    Trudeau might also be hesitant to talk about the protests for reasons beyond his fraught relationship with the Trump administration.

    Trudeau was the center of a massive racism scandal — and, of course, the U.S. protests are centered on police brutality and the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody after one officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. Back in September 2019, a racist photo of Trudeau in brownface surfaced from his time as a student at West Point Grey Academy. 

    If you'd like to help support protesters fighting for justice for George Floyd, here is a helpful resource. 

  • How tech leaders can do more for racial justice than just tweet

    How tech leaders can do more for racial justice than just tweet

    Solidarity is nice, but jobs and investment in black workers and businesses is better.


    Many tech leaders and companies have tweeted out support(Opens in a new tab) for the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of George Floyd's death and police brutality protests sweeping the nation. Acknowledging tragedy and injustice at all, and not actively enabling racism — we're looking at you, Mark Zuckerberg — is a positive for the often whitewashed tech industry. Floyd died after a police officer, who has since been charged with 3rd-degree murder, kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

    However, people of color in the tech diversity space say the tweets don't go far enough. There's a better way tech executives in particular can promote racial equality, that would have more impact than a tweet: hiring black employees, fostering equitable workplaces, creating anti-racist products, and investing in black startups and other businesses.

    "We’ve seen a number of leaders and companies speak out, but Black and brown people in tech are still waiting to see if this will lead to transformational change," Aniyia Williams and Syreeta Martin, of Black & Brown Founders(Opens in a new tab), an organization that supports entrepreneurs of color, wrote over email. "Use your privilege, platform, resources and influence to help bring about a change. A change that is measurable, sustainable, shaped and led by Black and Latinx people."

    Diversity among tech employees has remained dismally low(Opens in a new tab), despite many commitments by companies to improve. At major organizations like Google(Opens in a new tab), black employees comprise around 4 percent to 5 percent of the workforce. Diversity hiring programs over the past five years have only yielded a single percent or two of improvement. What's more, Karla Monterroso, the CEO of Code2040(Opens in a new tab), an organization that works to empower people of color in tech jobs, said since the election of President Trump progress has stalled in both attitudes towards diverse hiring, and actual hires made.

    "Going into 2017, it was really clear that companies had at that point in time started to disinvest from diversity programs," Monterroso said. "It really did hit its apex this year of that slowdown."

    The connection between police brutality perpetrated against black people, and a fair and diverse tech world, might not seem obvious. However, they are connected. The lack of diversity in tech workplaces is a result of all the ways our institutions keep people of color from economic opportunity. If tech leaders can truly examine, and hopefully seek to improve, why their companies most likely don't employ many people of color, they can begin to repair their own biases, enable economic empowerment, and be conscientious members of local communities their companies too often disrupt.

    Some tech leaders such as Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg(Opens in a new tab) and Uber's Dara Khosrowshahi(Opens in a new tab) have pledged money to Black Lives Matter and other criminal justice causes in social media posts (Facebook pledged $10 million; Uber promised $1 million). However, some leaders say that creating systemic change within the tech world would be much more powerful than a tweet, and even a donation.

    "While I think it’s great that they are giving money in this moment, there are things in your backyard that are happening that you are not giving money for," Monterroso said.

    Mashable spoke with leaders of organizations that are trying to improve racial equity in tech. Here's what they had to say for how tech leaders can do more to support black lives than just tweet.

    1. Face the tech world's blind spots

    The mythology of Silicon Valley revolves around meritocracy: that the best ideas (and people) will rise to the top. However, the economic and societal barriers that keep people of color out of higher education, job interviews, and board rooms tells another story. Correcting that problem involves acknowledging the implicit racism within the tech world — and reaching out directly to black people to help.

    "What I have appreciated with some of the folks reaching out and what I’m seeing, is that they’re at least saying I’m looking to support my black employees, my black suppliers, black founders, etc.," Rodney Sampson, who has worked for decades to promote equity in tech and runs an organization called OHUB(Opens in a new tab) that places and empowers people of color in tech jobs, said. "Acknowledgement is sort of a first step."

    There are a host of other problems Sampson said leaders need to take a hard look at. Chief among them is how tech hubs disrupt and gentrify(Opens in a new tab) communities of color, and how job opportunities don't make their way(Opens in a new tab) to local communities. The first step to solving those problems? Taking an honest look at yourself.

    "Tech being so influential in really being a driving force of innovation throughout the world, really opening up and being transparent about their shortcomings is critical," Sherrell Dorsey, the founder of a website covering black innovation, The Plug(Opens in a new tab), said.

    2. Be accountable to your promises

    The outpouring of support from the tech world caught Dorsey by surprise. She and her team began cataloguing(Opens in a new tab) all of the statements made by tech leaders and companies, and comparing them to donations made, diversity statistics, and more, in order to keep a record of these extraordinary times. Not letting the promises made in tweets float into the social media ether will be a critical next step in translating solidarity into action.

    "Whatever the place is coming from to make these statements, all the attention is on the next move."

    "I think transparency is definitely key," Dorsey said. "Whatever the place is coming from to make these statements, all the attention is on the next move. This list continues to grow."

    What's more, it shouldn't be up to people of color to hold the white tech world accountable. That responsibility has to come from within. Martin, with Black & Brown Founders, encourages tech leaders to 1) "Make space for our presence" and 2) "Acknowledge our experiences and our truth."

    "When you or your white colleagues, friends or families, find yourselves falling short on #1 and #2, call it out and take accountability through action, not just words," Martin said.

    3. Put your money where your mouth is and actually hire people of color

    Before COVID-19, according to Monterroso, there were 700,000 open jobs in tech. And yet reports show(Opens in a new tab) that people of color are not being hired for them.

    "You have an available talent pool, you have a lot of open jobs," Monterroso said. "We are not giving jobs to every person who gets trained."

    Tech has touted its commitment to diversity again and again, yet jobs have not materialized.

    "I'm actually fairly done with the 'commitments' to hire more people," Monterroso said. "They've been committing to hire more people since 2014 at least, if not more than that. That is not enough. Hiring them is enough. Actually do the hiring."

    4. Revamp the hiring process, evaluation, and retention

    The tech world contains barriers that both keep people of color out of jobs and undermine their success. Hiring, evaluation, and workplace environment needs an overhaul.

    To help people get their foot in the door, hiring managers should stop using elite educations as a way to pre-screen candidates.

    "By making university pedigree the largest factor in screening, what companies do is disproportionately take out black and Latinx people [from] a university system we already know is disenfranchising students," Monterroso said. "They are outsourcing their hiring to a university system that requires money, not just for entrance, but for preparation for standardized testing."

    Multiple experts brought up problems with employee retention at tech companies. Monterroso said that black employees get disproportionately low marks on performance reviews, which most likely speaks to bias in assessment, not performance. Additionally, workplaces can inadvertently push out black employees by fostering unwelcoming environments. One former Google employee wrote eloquently(Opens in a new tab) of the phenomenon in a memo circulated last year of how he "never stopped feeling the burden of being black" while working at Google.

    "Make space for our presence," Martin said. "This means not questioning whether we should be somewhere that you're at — be it personally or professionally. And definitely make space at the table from which you sit and lead."

    5. Reinvest in black businesses and venture funds

    Hiring is not the only way to empower black people in tech. Sampson pointed out a huge discrepancy(Opens in a new tab) in investments in startups with black founders, particularly black women founders. This should be a moment for change in how black businesses and funds get supported. There are also specific corporate incentives(Opens in a new tab) created to fund businesses that benefit low income communities, called opportunity zones; investors should educate themselves on how to take advantage of these programs. Additionally, companies can also look to their operational budget to work with black-owned vendors.

    "A company may argue they don’t have extra money to do hiring right now, they could spend money with black-owned businesses," Sampson said.

    Sampson wants to see the promises of this moment translate into black board members and funded companies.

    "Forget the virtue signaling," Sampson said. "Write a check. Write a large check. If you want to fund black economic empowerment, fund black businesses."

    6. Develop progressive products. And please, make sure your current products don't enable racism

    Some pointed Twitter moments emerged after Brand Twitter started to verbally support the Black Lives Matter movement. For example, the ACLU called out Amazon's tweet in support of Black Lives Matter, suggesting that stopping the sale of racist facial recognition software to police departments would be more effective than a nice sentiment. (Multiple tests(Opens in a new tab) have found that facial recognition algorithms, including Amazon's, misidentify people of color more often than white people).

    "New technologies are actively and/or passively oppressive," Deldelp Medina, of Black & Brown Founders, said. "From the automation of jobs to the elimination of well-paid work (for folks of color and Black folks in particular), to the gathering of personal data which is used to prosecute, give sentencing guidelines, and incarcerate, we are seeing it increase, not level off."

    From facial recognition software that could enable the surveillance of protesters to algorithms that amplify messages of hate, tech has often been complicit or enabling of racism and racist institutions. If tech leaders are tweeting in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, they can start with not actively contributing to the problem.

    "No amount of money that is given out to criminal justice organizations by Mark Zuckerberg through CZI(Opens in a new tab), [Zuckerberg's family foundation], changes that that product is incentivizing and coloring the dialogue of the country," Monterroso said of Facebook and how its algorithm tends to favor(Opens in a new tab) polarizing content, including spreading demonizing characterizations of the recent protests seeking justice for Floyd.

    Some tech companies have taken steps to reorient their products and business deals in ways that don't enable hatred. But Sampson, and others, want to see more real world action.

    "It’s not time for kumbaya solidarity," Sampson said. "It’s gotta be transactional."

  • John Boyega makes emotional speech to Black Lives Matter protesters in London

    John Boyega makes emotional speech to Black Lives Matter protesters in London

    Star Wars actor John Boyega is one of the many people taking action in wake of George Floyd's death.


    Floyd died on May 25, after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes, and in the week since, protests against racism and police brutality have spread around the world.

    Thousands of people in the UK gathered to protest in solidarity with the U.S. over the weekend, and on Wednesday, the British actor was seen delivering an emotional address in the middle of a Black Lives Matter protest at London's Hyde Park.

    Photos show Boyega speaking to the crowd of fellow protesters through a megaphone, and videos shared to social media caught snippets of his powerful speeches.

    "Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain't waiting," Boyega shouted into the megaphone.

    SEE ALSO: Thousands protest racism and police violence around the globe in solidarity with U.S.

    The 28-year-old was seen wiping tears from his cheeks at the event, and also encouraged everyone around him to take a knee at one point.

    "Thank you for coming out today. Thank you for being there to show your support to us. Black people, I love you. I appreciate you. Today is an important day. We're fighting for our rights, we're fighting for our ability to live in freedom, we're fighting for our ability to achieve," Boyega said. "Today, you guys are a physical representation of that."

    You can watch Boyega's full speech below.

    Last week Boyega addressed the death of George Floyd on his Twitter account(Opens in a new tab), and has since fired off several other tweets condemning racism and criticizing those who took issue with him speaking out. The actor also spoke to followers in an Instagram Live video(Opens in a new tab), during which he said, "Although I don’t live in the States, I’m black…So I'll say it again: Fuck you racist white people. I said what I said. And if you don’t fucking like it, go suck a dick."

    Boyega and other protesters in London defied coronavirus restrictions to attend these rallies. As of right now the UK is still under severe coronavirus restrictions, and the government has stated that groups should not contain more than six people(Opens in a new tab).

  • Signals new blur tool will help hide protesters identities

    Signals new blur tool will help hide protesters identities

    Secure messaging app Signal has announced a new in-app blur tool that will allow users to censor faces in photos before sharing them. The feature is being introduced to protect protesters currently demonstrating against police brutality by helping to hide their identities.


    "Right now, people around the world are marching and protesting against racism and police brutality, outraged by the most recent police murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor," Signal wrote in a blog post(Opens in a new tab) on Wednesday. "At Signal, we support the people who have gone into the streets to make their voices heard."

    Floyd died on May 25 after Minneapolis police handcuffed him and knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Taylor died on March 13 after Louisville police entered her home(Opens in a new tab) and shot her multiple times. They are just two among countless black people who have been needlessly assaulted or killed by law enforcement, sparking the widespread protests.

    SEE ALSO: How to demand justice for George Floyd and support Minneapolis protesters

    Many feel it important that the civilians currently protesting are able to remain anonymous, as police have largely responded to the protests with further unprovoked violence(Opens in a new tab), and law enforcement has a history when it comes to using facial recognition technology, as does ICE.

    As such, Signal's blur tool will enable users to censor photos before sharing them, obscuring protesters' faces so they can't be easily identified.

    The new blur feature will be able to automatically detect and hide faces in an image, with all processing taking place on the user's phone to ensure security. Signal users will also be able to manually censor parts of a photo by tapping on the blur tool in the image editor. Face-detecting software isn't always perfect, so this will allow users to pick up any faces that might have been missed.

    The update will roll out "as soon as possible" on both the Android and iOS Signal apps, having already been submitted to the app stores.

    Signal will allow users to manually blur images before sharing them. Credit: signal

    Signal has seen significantly increased traffic over the past few days. The encrypted messaging app has been downloaded thousands of times since Floyd was killed and the protests began, with 121,000 downloads in the U.S. alone. This may be partially because Signal doesn't keep its users' message data, making it ideal for those concerned the law enforcement might try to subpoena their chat logs.

    In further support of the protestors, Signal has also announced they are currently looking into manufacturing masks and distributing them for free. Details are currently being finalised, with more information to come.

    As the company's blog post noted, "One immediate thing seems clear: 2020 is a pretty good year to cover your face."

  • Meghan Markle on the killing of George Floyd: The only wrong thing to say is to say nothing

    Meghan Markle on the killing of George Floyd: The only wrong thing to say is to say nothing

    Silence speaks volumes.


    But silence is not an option after the killing of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, prompting widespread protests across America and around the world.

    In a virtual commencement speech(Opens in a new tab) addressing students graduating from her former school Immaculate Heart High School, Los Angeles, Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, gave a powerful statement on these times.

    "I wasn't sure what I could say to you. I wanted to say the right thing and I was really nervous that I wouldn't or it would get picked apart," she said.

    "I realised the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing."

    SEE ALSO: How to demand justice for George Floyd and support Minneapolis protesters

    Markle then went on to say the names of black people who were killed by police.

    "Because George Floyd's life mattered, and Breonna Taylor(Opens in a new tab)'s life matter, and Philando Castile(Opens in a new tab)'s life mattered, and Tamir Rice(Opens in a new tab)'s life mattered, and so did so many other people whose names we know and whose names we do not know. Stephon Clark(Opens in a new tab), his life mattered," she said.

    Markle then reflected on the words a teacher once said to her in her sophomore year of school: "Always remember to put others' needs above your own fears."

    If you're looking for more information about how to demand justice for George Floyd, read this. To learn more about how to become anti-racist, read this.

  • Gamers take to Toontown to stand with Black Lives Matter protesters

    Gamers take to Toontown to stand with Black Lives Matter protesters

    As protests and demonstrations flood the streets of the United States and beyond with people calling for the end of police brutality and abuse of power, there's one place packed with vocal Black Lives Matter supporters that you won't find on any map: Toontown.


    Players in Toontown Rewritten (a free-to-play, not-for profit, and barely legal recreation of Disney's defunct MMORPG Toontown) are bringing messages of support to oppressed and abused communities with messages containing "Black Lives Matter" and calls to action to sign petitions and defund the police.

    It just goes to show that you can show up and support this movement no matter how old you are.

    As the Toontown Rewritten community comes together to spread these messages, the developers behind the game released a statement that they support players who are using their game as a platform for positivity around diversity, equality, and inclusion. Additionally, the team noted that they will suspend any player using the game to spread any form of hateful oppression.

    Toontown Rewritten players were previously being warned for sharing messages containing "Black Lives Matter," according to some users(Opens in a new tab), but the game has been updated(Opens in a new tab) to allow players to use that phrase and other relevant messages within the game without any penalty.

    Toontown Rewritten is a child-focused game, so messages promoting violence are still not allowed in the game. Still, players seem to be able to get their points across.

    Toontown may seem like a bit of an odd platform for people to spread their messages against police violence and abuse of power, but its core has always revolved around the struggle against systems and people in power. The main enemies in Toontown are Cogs, which are robotic corporate people who are trying to turn the town into a cookie-cut version of their own ideals. There are business Cogs, law Cogs, and cash Cogs, and players take them on by doing gags like hitting them with seltzer or pies.

    Club Penguin, another kid-focused online game from the mid-2000s, also saw protests spring up in the Rewritten version of the game that officially closed down in 2017.

    For those who either can't get out to protest themselves or are looking for ways to support the movement in creative ways, this method is certainly surprising but ultimately a positive direction as the world expresses its rage and frustration at the systems that continuously do harm to the communities they're supposed to protect.

  • The NFLs backtracking apology forgot one thing: Colin Kaepernick.

    The NFLs backtracking apology forgot one thing: Colin Kaepernick.

    Say his name, Roger Goodell.


    The NFL would like to apologize for ignoring players who have protested police violence and racial inequality since 2016. There's just one problem: Colin Kaepernick is still being erased.

    "We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a video statement released Friday night. "We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier, and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest."

    It's a nice enough statement if you're willing to overlook the fact that it's coming four years late, and pointedly ignores the man responsible for getting players to protest. It is a well-known fact now that Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, put the spotlight on the NFL in 2016 when he started kneeling during the pre-game national anthem.

    Over the years, Kaep's critics have embraced a bad faith framing of the protest being an intentional act of disrespect toward the American flag, and by extension U.S. troops. That's a lie, plain and simple. Kaepernick spelled out his intent very clearly in 2016.

    "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," he told(Opens in a new tab) the media arm of the NFL. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

    Just a few days after those quotes surfaced, Kaepernick pointed out that his protest isn't a show of disrespect for the flag or for U.S. troops, as many had leapt to assuming. "I have great respect for men and women that have fought for this country," he said during a press conference, as reported by Sports Illustrated(Opens in a new tab). People who listened and took the man at his word actually got it(Opens in a new tab).

    Unfortunately, the NFL wasn't among those who listened. Kaepernick played through the season and then opted out of his contract ahead of the 2017 season. No team stepped up to sign the promising young quarterback, leading to suspicions that he'd fallen victim to a coordinated effort to keep him from playing professionally again. That suspicion eventually gave way to a lawsuit, which the league settled(Opens in a new tab) in 2019.

    Even after that, and with Kaepernick expressing a continued interest in playing professionally, no team would have him. All throughout, both before and after the lawsuit, the league's handling of Kaepernick, whose protest caught the eye and ire of Donald Trump early in his first term, was marked by unusual events.

    There was, for example, the very strange moment when Kaep's name was removed from a song on the Madden NFL 19 video game's soundtrack. On the YG track "Big Bank" during Big Sean's guest verse, a direct reference to the former 49er by name was censored out.

    The next year, months after the lawsuit had settled and midway through the 2019-2020 season, there was supposed to be a confidential NFL-sanctified workout session for Kaepernick. A moment when he could show the league that he was still up to the challenge of playing professionally.

    Unfortunately, the whole thing fell apart at the last minute. There's a lengthy story(Opens in a new tab) behind the undoing of the workout, but it boils down to two major points of contention: a liability waiver from the NFL that Kaepernick refused to sign due to disagreements over the waiver's outside-the-norm demands, and the fact that the league went public with the workout despite prior discussion to the contrary.

    There are other examples, including the league's efforts to stamp out all acts of protest in a post-Kaepernick world, but you should see a picture forming here. Outwardly, the league stuck to a company line of Kaepernick being a free agent. But the reality was that Kaepernick, a proven talent, failed again and again to generate any traction with quarterback-hungry teams.

    Even now, in the midst of all the unrest and what could accurately be described as a more mainstream recognition of the systemic racism that's plagued the United States since its birth, the NFL sticks to that line. On May 30, league spokesperson Joe Lockhart suggested that the Minnesota Vikings should have signed Kaep in 2017.

    He then added: "Colin is a free agent. Clubs may sign him if they choose to do so."

    Lockhart was doing the press rounds(Opens in a new tab) in the aftermath of the NFL's initial response to the current round of protests. Many saw the statement, which expressed solidarity with Black Lives Matter and acknowledged the country's deeply rooted racism, as deeply hypocritical. The statement made no mention of Kaepernick, no mention of player protests of any kind.

    Days later, a group of prominent NFL players released a powerful video in which they expressed solidarity with Black Lives Matter. The video was a direct response to the NFL's May 30 statement.

    The video provides the NFL with a blueprint, from the players, for a statement on current events that isn't openly hypocritical and ignorant of the league's own recent struggles with systemic oppression. Goodell's video statement, which arrived the very next day, is an almost word-for-word reproduction.

    SEE ALSO: The 49ers, Kaepernick's last NFL team, criticized for Blackout Tuesday post

    Unfortunately, the league didn't take the obvious next step of naming Kaepernick. He's a victim of the same system of oppression that's made COVID-19 (and the ensuing economic destruction) a greater threat to black Americans. It's also the same system that killed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and a heartbreakingly long list of others. Kaep kept his life and leveraged his platform to find success in other ways, but he lost the career that he apparently loved.

    For years, the NFL has gone out of its way to passive-aggressively erase Kaepernick from the narrative around the protests that he himself started. That erasure continued on Friday with Goodell's statement.

    The league clearly still has a lot to learn.

  • Protesters turned Donald Trumps #BabyGate fence into something beautiful

    Protesters turned Donald Trumps #BabyGate fence into something beautiful

    The fence Donald Trump had erected around the White House because he's too cowardly to have protesters exercising their First Amendment rights on his doorstep has been transformed.


    The barrier that was quickly dubbed #BabyGate has now become something of an art installation for protesters gathered around its perimeter. They may not be able to air their grievances in front of the White House anymore, but they can decorate every inch of the fencing as they mass around it.

    That's exactly what has happened. Based on the photos and videos appearing on social media, the fence is now partially or wholly covered with signs of protest. Literal signs, I mean. So even when the protesters have dispersed, the protest itself lingers on right where it's most important for those grievances to be heard.

    The protests in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere continue to surge onward, almost two weeks after the killing of George Floyd, who died on May 25 in police custody. The death occurred after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on the 46-year-old black man's neck for almost nine minutes while three other officers either simply watched or actively helped "restrain" Floyd.

    As the protests spread out from Minneapolis and arrived in D.C., crowds began to mass in front of the White House. (As much as Trump would like to relinquish all responsibility for bad things that happen, the buck still stops with the U.S. president.)

    The fence went up not long after Trump's desire for a photo opp led to the forced removal of a peaceful protest(Opens in a new tab) from in front of the White House.

    SEE ALSO: How to find a protest near you to seek justice for George Floyd

    It's not clear how long our image-obsessed president will allow the fence postings to remain sitting on the fence, especially in the midst of daily curfews sending D.C. residents back to their homes. But you can bet that for every item removed, protesters will return with more as these ongoing protests carry on.

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

Random articles


  • Slugging, gua sha, rice water, and more: How stolen cultural beauty practices feed viral videos

    Slugging, gua sha, rice water, and more: How stolen cultural beauty practices feed viral videos

    There is nothing like watching someone expertly blend out a smokey eye, slather on a 10-step skincare routine, or stick some sparkly gems to a Euphoria-inspired look. The best types of beauty videos grasp my attention and make my senses tingle. They tickle the part of my brain that likes to learn things — and the part that just likes to ogle over pretty things. 


    Naturally, it's not just me. Beauty videos accounted for 169 billion views in 2018 on YouTube(Opens in a new tab), which is where the original beauty vlogger was born in 2006(Opens in a new tab) to an audience rabid for beauty lessons, advice, and reviews. On TikTok, the short form video mecca, the hashtag #beauty(Opens in a new tab) has more than 103 billion views, and you'd be remiss to scroll the For You Page very long and not find a video telling you to buy a beauty product or test out a new technique. 

    Today's TikTok beauty videos are also often credited as responsible for discovering the most viral beauty products and practices — slugging, glass skin(Opens in a new tab), and over-lined lips(Opens in a new tab), to name a few — inspiring a discourse cycle(Opens in a new tab) that elevates these widely shared and replicated videos to genius-level status. The viral beauty videos are usually visually stunning, and sometimes they share genuinely useful beauty advice. 

    But too often, we credit social-first videos as trendsetters(Opens in a new tab) or originators in the online beauty world, when in reality, viral beauty videos usually rely on a socially acceptable (read: white) face to rename and redisperse beauty practices that are long discovered, often passed down in different cultures for centuries. 

    The beauty trends we're all obsessed with lately, and why they work on video

    Think of the beauty trends that have been buzziest of late: slugging(Opens in a new tab), which involves taking a heavy occlusive like Vaseline or CeraVe's Healing Ointment and slathering it all over your face on top of the rest of your skincare, sleeping in it, then removing in the morning; snail mucin(Opens in a new tab), both as a partial ingredient in skincare or on its own entirely; no-makeup makeup(Opens in a new tab) looks; thin eyebrows(Opens in a new tab); Euphoria(Opens in a new tab) looks(Opens in a new tab) — the list could go on forever. They all address a different beauty concern or goal, but all of them came to their biggest fame via social video. 

    "A lot of the beauty trends that are currently in fashion come from TikTok," said renowned beauty vlogger Nikkie de Jager (aka NikkieTutorials) in, ironically, her YouTube video(Opens in a new tab).

    In my personal viewing experience, the most viral beauty videos usually accomplish at least one of four effects: They're visually and skillfully impressive; they invoke a sense of nostalgia or make a pop culture reference; they discover and/or spread new beauty information; or they offer a speedier, easier way of accomplishing a look, aka, a beauty hack.

    SEE ALSO: The Dyson Airwrap's secret sauce is jet engine tech

    All of these categories translate perfectly to social video. Because beauty is an inherently visual medium, vlogging allows for the creative process to be captured, and for the viewer to come along for the ride to an eventual satisfactory result. 

    "There's a foundational way that all memes happen," said Earnest Pettie, YouTube's Trends Insight Lead, to Mashable. (In this case, a meme refers to any cultural element, like a social video, that can be passed from one person to another.) "And that is, you have an idea or a concept that is transmissible and easily copyable."

    This concept applies to the way any type of content can go viral, but it morphs a bit when you zero in on the beauty community. At YouTube, Pettie has seen beauty videos transform from the original grainy webcam shots to professionally produced longform videos. What started mainly as home tutorials for and from beauty junkies has now become a more varied content niche, offering even more ideas to be transmitted and copied. 

    A recent variation on beauty YouTube are true-crime stories told via voiceover or by the host while makeup is applied on camera, capturing a potential viewer via multiple points of interest. Through it all, the visual element of beauty remains a vital allure, and the most viral videos offer that transmissible element particularly well — whether that's the (ethically questionable) shock of the true-crime story, the education on makeup technique, or the wow factor of the finished look. 

    On TikTok, the same principle applies: The more replicable or captivating a beauty video, the more likely it is to go viral. But because TikTok is for short-form video, the content has to be a lot more succinct. Viewers expect to get to the most exciting point immediately, and for that point to be culturally relevant. This speed and cycle does lend the entire platform toward viral trends — hence the onslaught of slugging videos all at the same time, hoping to tap into that velocity. 

    Another element of TikTok's virality cycle is also geographic, especially within beauty videos that cross cultural lines. "A lot of these trends that emerge, or the videos and practices that end up emerging through trends, are quite country specific," said Dr. Crystal Abidin, an internet anthropologist and founder of the TikTok Cultures Research Network(Opens in a new tab), to Mashable

    Through her research, Dr. Crystal has identified that TikTok users crave authenticity and relatability in their viewing habits. But in each country's market, that authenticity presents itself quite differently. If you're in an Asian country, Korean beauty routines or Japanese makeup tricks do better when presented by a Korean or Japanese person. 

    Similarly, if you're in the American or European market, videos showing beauty techniques usually only take off when presented by a fellow American or European. Too often, this translates to white people performing cultural beauty practices for the internet and reaping the social and financial benefits.

    Cultural beauty practices vs. novelty beauty looks

    Take, for example, the trend of gua sha. The practice itself dates back to the Yuan Dynasty(Opens in a new tab), a period of Chinese history that took place from the early 13th century to 1368(Opens in a new tab), and involves taking a tool and scraping it along the skin in one direction to alleviate certain illnesses or muscle aches. In beauty, the practice has been adapted to treat facial swelling or bloating by activating your blood circulation, usually with a distinctly shaped jade or rose quartz tool.

    One of many gua sha tutorials that cropped up in 2021 Credit: Screenshot: TikTok / @allyoucanface
    Another gua sha tutorial, from early 2022 Credit: Screenshot: TikTok / @carolinehannibal

    In the American online beauty space, gua sha has experienced several waves of virality. Most recently, the obsession with it bubbled up last summer, with celebrities like Elizabeth Olsen(Opens in a new tab) bringing it back into the spotlight and content creators making tons of tutorials on how best to gua sha. As TikTok users and influencers made content capitalizing on the trend from either side — continuing to either praise the practice or claim that it was "just product marketing" and didn't really provide skin-lifting benefits — they made little mention of its roots. And most often, the most viewed and liked gua sha videos(Opens in a new tab) came from and featured white faces, despite the practice beginning in China and its deep Chinese cultural relevance today.

    Slugging followed a similar trajectory. The practice blew up on the app as something white influencers on TikTok "discovered" after it was discussed on the internet(Opens in a new tab) for a few years as a trend emerging from Korean beauty. Little did much of the American TikTok audience know, the technique has been employed by the Black community for ages. It wasn't called "slugging," but rather "greasing up,(Opens in a new tab)" and it very much existed for generations before being discovered on TikTok.

    Esthetician and beauty influencer Tiara Willis(Opens in a new tab) has long been educating her audience on the benefits of using an occlusive as part of your nighttime skincare routine. She regularly tweets advice about it, and in 2020, coined the term "glazed donut gang" to mean the same thing as "slugging." In an interview with The Cut(Opens in a new tab), fashion industry veteran Michaela Angela Davis spoke about the ritual of using Vaseline in Black beauty routines, and how the product is a staple that has passed between generations of Black women in her own family.

    The same virality cycle happens with beauty trends like skincare routines originating from Korean roots, rice water hair treatments from Japan being called "Kim Kardashian's hair secret(Opens in a new tab)," tel malishes from India being renamed as "hair slugging(Opens in a new tab)," or even filters that create an aegyosal(Opens in a new tab), an East Asian beauty standard that emphasizes a fattier undereye area, being named "Belle(Opens in a new tab)." When these trends are adopted and appropriated by white faces to only then go viral, without any semblance of credit or acknowledgement of their roots, it quickly erases multicultural relevance from the online beauty community.

    "It only really bothers me when I see online that these [trends] are being written up as new trends, or publications [and] Google say 'we've discovered hair slugging' when they haven't discovered anything," said TikTok creator Seerat Saini in her video(Opens in a new tab) calling out the way beauty trends are credited online.

    It's a markedly different experience from when beauty trends inspired by general pop culture go viral. Trends like Euphoria looks, thin eyebrows, or '90s-inspired makeup do not stem from an ethnic group's needs and traditions. So whether they go viral via white influencers or a more diverse group of creators, their cultural roots and online story are not affected. White creators can make this type of content and it can blow up online without jeopardizing a cultural practice's roots or taking up space that might be better occupied by a creator of color.

    This is not to say that white influencers and creators cannot participate in beauty trends that originate with other cultures; rather, the onus should be to recognize, respect, and clearly identify cultural roots in their videos. But when we as an audience continue to push white faces wearing cultural techniques that are not their own to the forefront of online discourse, vaguely crediting them as "TikTok discoveries," rather than acknowledging their real origins, we are doing a major disservice to the diversity and history of cultural beauty via the internet.

    Can an algorithm be racist? 

    It's natural (and too easy) to blame all-white videos on the all-knowing and conveniently vague algorithm. How can you help that your FYP feeds you white influencers? Or that YouTube's recommendations feed only shows you white faces?

    The truth is, the algorithms do have a lot to do with it. But we, as people, have a lot to do with the algorithms. 

    According to Dr. Crystal, the paid partnerships promoted via hashtags have a lot of power on TikTok. "There are widespread reports from the clients and influencers that I've interviewed who claim that unless something is a TikTok official campaign or hashtag, chances are your attempt at trying to ride on the app to promote yourself or a business is going to get shadowbanned. So one of the ways to sharpen the algorithm generally is to have an official partnership with TikTok that you pay for."

    SEE ALSO: Digital blackface thrives on TikTok audio

    Obviously, we shouldn't rely on creators of color to spend their hard-earned dollars on paid partnership campaigns just to signal to TikTok that their content is worthy of views when white creators do not often face this additional burden — especially when that content has cultural roots. 

    On TikTok, viewers have the power to train their algorithms via what Dr. Crystal calls "micro actions." If you watch a beauty video made by creators of color for longer, or like, comment, share, or otherwise interact with it, the algorithm learns that you value this type of content, and will then feed you more of it. It can even get more granular: Whether you click on the comments, if you spend time looking at comment threads, whether you share via text or within the app's DM system, etc. All of these tiny decisions inform the algorithm, and in turn, your content. 

    The same principle applies on YouTube. Even though the platform is known for longer-form social video, its algorithms still learn from viewers' behavior. 

    "There's a part of YouTube which you are less in control of, which is what you're being recommended, " said Pettie. "But the thing that you're 100 percent in control of is who you're subscribed to, and thus, what videos show up in your subsequent subscriptions feed. So if you are intentionally going out with a purpose of trying to diversify your content consumption, you can do that by simply being intentional on who you're subscribing to."

    It's important to note that YouTube does say in a blog post from 2021(Opens in a new tab) that its recommendations feed accounts for more video viewership platform-wide than individual subscriptions. In theory, actively subscribing to more diverse creators should also help train your recommendations algorithm, as the company explains that the algorithm does analyze several viewer behaviors (like click amount, watch time, and sharing/liking/disliking) to create this feed. In short, the more you consciously interact with diverse content, the more likely it is to affect the type of content that you are shown.

    We, as viewers, have the power to influence what goes viral

    Virality isn't a meager force. It might seem trivial to nitpick who is delivering your beauty advice online — after all, does it matter which viral influencer tells you a beauty tip if you still walk away with the knowledge? But going viral is not just a trivial event.

    In our increasingly online culture, virality and influence often bring literal money, and if not money immediately, then social capital and relevance that leads to brand deals and opportunities... aka, money. This cycle translates to bigger societal effects, ranging in material consequences (like what types of products are made) to cultural ones (like who gets a voice in the beauty industry and community).

    When we continuously signal to platforms like TikTok and YouTube that we only care about beauty videos when performed by white faces, we create endless echo chambers of elevated content stolen from cultures that actually originated and deeply understand it. We also rob ourselves of a richer learning experience. Learning beauty tips straight from the horse's mouth (in this case, the horses = creators of color) ensures that details aren't diluted, and technical skill gained from growing up within a culture is preserved.

    Beauty on the internet can also leave out queer communities or male beauty enthusiasts in favor of the stereotypical white, "beautiful," cisgender woman. Plenty of iconic viral looks also stem from drag queens and male MUAs, and actively diversifying your beauty content consumption should always include these communities as well. 

    This isn't to say that you cannot engage with white influencers, or feel like these cultural beauty practices must remain only within its original cultures. Most creators of color who make content about their cultural practices welcome respectful engagement and use. When you want to try out a new technique yourself, it is simply your responsibility to recognize where it came from — and a little idea credit never hurts, either.

    "You would think that the existence of these platforms would create this kind of democratic marketplace of ideas, where every single person has an equal opportunity to have their ideas be successful," said Pettie. "But I think the reality is that, within the internet, within these platforms, these are really just microcosms of the societies in which they exist. So they take on the biases and the dynamics of those societies. Virality should be the path of discovery. And then from there, you can be intentional in how you dive deeper."

  • President Trump taken to Walter Reed Medical Center after COVID-19 diagnosis

    President Trump taken to Walter Reed Medical Center after COVID-19 diagnosis

    President Donald Trump was admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday evening, just hours it was announced he had contracted COVID-19.


    The Washington Post (Opens in a new tab)reported(Opens in a new tab) that Trump was being taken to Walter Reed on Friday evening, citing " two administration officials" as its sources.

    Officials have said Trump has had mild to moderate symptoms, including a fever. There have not yet been any updates or indications if his condition has worsened. He is, according to a statement from the White House, being treated with Regeneron's polyclonal antibody cocktail, which is still experimental.

    The White House maintains this step is being taken in "an abundance of caution," and that the president will be "working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days."

    After being flown to Walter Reed, Trump himself posted a video to Twitter about his trip to the hospital.

    "I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support," he said. "I think I'm doing very well. But we're going to make sure that things work out."

    Trump walked under his own power to the Marine One to be transported to the hospital.

    The president first announced in a tweet after 1 a.m. ET on Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump had contracted coronavirus. The first indications that it was possible the Commander-in-Chief had contracted the virus came when it was revealed on Thursday that top adviser Hope Hicks had tested positive.

    "Tonight, @FLOTUS(Opens in a new tab) and I tested positive for COVID-19," Trump wrote at the time. "We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!"

    The president was first described as having mild symptoms. Vanity Fair reported on Friday(Opens in a new tab) that his first symptoms included a cough and fever. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany later on Friday released a statement from Trump's doctor that said that the president had received a dose of Regeneron's antibody cocktail a "precautionary measure." Trump was described as "fatigued" but "in good spirits."

    Other world leaders, such as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson(Opens in a new tab) and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, have previously contracted the virus and recovered. Johnson had to be hospitalized, while Bolsonaro reportedly had(Opens in a new tab) a mild case.

    Before contracting the illness, Trump had long downplayed the seriousness of the coronavirus — which has killed more than 200,000 Americans(Opens in a new tab) — and even mocked Vice President Joe Biden for always wearing a mask during the first presidential debate.

    In the days after the debate, it was revealed a number of people in Trump's orbit had contracted COVID-19. Among those infected were RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins, and Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee.

    In the wake of the news that the president had coronavirus, news broke that there had been a number of events in Republican circles that did not adhere strict social-distancing or mask-wearing guidelines.

    Much of the Trump family did not wear masks(Opens in a new tab) at the presidential debate, a number of events surrounding(Opens in a new tab) Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court were unmasked, and Trump fundraiser in New Jersey reportedly(Opens in a new tab) wasn't socially distanced or masked. It isn't yet clear where or how exactly Trump contracted the virus, however.

    This story is developing...

  • John Lewis mourners push back against hypocritical GOP sentiments on Twitter

    John Lewis mourners push back against hypocritical GOP sentiments on Twitter

    As the nation mourns the loss of Representative John Lewis (D-GA), a lifelong civil rights advocate and iconic proponent of racial equality, not all condolences are welcome.


    On Saturday, following the announcement of Lewis' death, political figures flocked to social media to share statements of remembrance and grief. Among them was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(Opens in a new tab) — a man uniquely positioned to champion or, as critics have pointed out, stand in the way of Lewis's hard-fought legacy.

    In December, Lewis led the House of Representatives in passing the Voting Rights Advancement Act(Opens in a new tab), which stands to restore and modernize the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by expanding and improving the federal government's ability to prevent against voter discrimination. Since then, McConnell has refused to hold a hearing for the proposed legislation.

    It's one of numerous efforts(Opens in a new tab) (or lack thereof) by the Republican Party that seem aimed at preventing a free and fair election this November.

    "I will never forget joining hands with John as members of Congress sang We Shall Overcome at a 2008 ceremony honoring his friend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.," McConnell tweeted(Opens in a new tab), referencing one of the prominent photo opportunities featuring the two leaders.

    "I will never forget that Mitch McConnell will not even give the Voting Rights Advancement Act a hearing, and that he has done everything possible to stand in the way of protecting the right to vote," responded(Opens in a new tab) The Atlantic journalist Jemele Hill. "We can't overcome because people like you love being in the way of progress."

    Amidst allegations of lip service and hypocrisy, multiple users resurfaced a controversial photo(Opens in a new tab) of McConnell posing in front of a confederate flag and pointed out other ways the Kentucky senator has aided in the Trump administration's troubling move towards voter suppression.

    Donald Trump and plenty of other Republicans shared their sympathies(Opens in a new tab) online as well, but were met with similar criticism.

    In one particularly blistering thread(Opens in a new tab), journalist Dave Levitan juxtaposed screenshots of Lewis memorial statements with news stories spotlighting GOP endeavors to prevent equal voting access.

    Among those included were representatives Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Fred Upton (R-MI), John Joyce (R-PA), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), David McKinley (R-WV), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Paul Mitchell (R-MI), Jason Smith (R-MO), Van Taylor (R-TX), Morgan Griffith (R-VA); senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), David Perdue (R-GA), Roy Blunt (R-MO); and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp.

    And the statement from the official GOP Twitter account? Well, about as divisive as you'd expect.

  • You’re going to want to avoid these dating app clichés. Here’s how.

    You’re going to want to avoid these dating app clichés. Here’s how.

    Let’s face it, dating apps are a double-edged sword — they carry the possibility for a magnificent gift of love, but also a terrifying potential for getting cursed out, rejected, or humiliated. Of course, you’d never be alone: As of 2021, some 370.1 million people use dating apps, according to the website 2date4love(Opens in a new tab)


    Nearly everyone I’ve come across in my personal life has used a dating app, is currently using a dating app, or has heard at least one dating app story, good or bad. I myself used dating apps religiously, with messages coming in from Hinge, Tinder, Bumble, and even OkCupid before I started dating my boyfriend. Before you ask: We met through work, not a dating app. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have luck on them; some of my exes came from Tinder. 

    And the clichés about dating apps are no farce. I saw so many things: meme accounts, accounts with one awkward picture, people who’d cuss you out if you didn’t respond quickly enough, and weird bios that made you scratch your head. You grow used to seeing these profiles, wondering what would happen if they had chosen just a little bit differently. Well, it’s about time to speak about the most common dating app faux pas — and give tips for fixing them.

    1. Face-obstructing selfies

    Whether it be an unfortunate haircut or an intentionally awkward angle to hide that surprise zit, the amount of low-quality, face-obstructing selfies I saw on dating apps was out of control. “If your romantic interest can’t immediately tell what you look like because your photos are old and low-quality, or because you have too many group shots (or because you’re wearing sunglasses, or because your photo is over-edited...) they’re swiping left! Do yourself a favor, and take an hour to take some quality photos if you don’t have six already,” says Blaine Anderson, founder and CEO of in a new tab), a consultation service that helps men up the ante on their dating profiles.

    A good, quality photo is an unobstructed view of your face, showing off your best features. For my pictures, I’d make sure to tilt ever so slightly to the side of my face I like, angle the phone slightly upward, and be sure I got a lot of light. (You might even invest in a mini-ring light and practice your angles if you’re committed to fixing this issue.)

    2. Lying about age or height

    Many think that they have to lie about their height or age to seem desirable. The most common examples of this I ran into were men lying about being six feet tall; in person, I'd inevitably find out they were six inches off. As Kevin Darné, author of Online Dating Avoid the Catfish!: How to Date Online Successfully(Opens in a new tab) says, “Lying about age, height, weight, career, and relationship status is a big mistake if you're hoping to have a serious relationship.”

    Charly Lester(Opens in a new tab), a dating expert and founder of Lumen, a dating app for people over 50, says, “Put simply, singles want great dates. That starts with positivity and being your best self. By listing negative qualities, you not only put off the people you don’t want, but the ones you do want as well. There are more positive ways you can attract the right person. If you’re a tall woman, instead of ‘no one under 6 feet,’ try listing your own height to match up with similar people. That way, you can attract high quality matches and set the conversation off on a positive foot.”

    Know that quality matches won’t care about those numbers. Tell the truth, and if they don’t like it, why would you want to date them? 

    3. Not enough photos

    Another photo faux pas is the lack of photos. Having only one to two is a bit of a red flag, and not just for me personally. I remember when I religiously used dating apps, the biggest thing that’d make me swipe left is if there were only one to two available photos. Besides a good bio, photos are all you can offer in the crucial moments of swiping right or left. Many apps have six or more slots for photos, so use them. 

    “I’d also stay away from obviously clichéd photos like mirror selfies, posing with a fish, etc. The best photos are ones that clearly show what you look like, but can also tell a story about your personality. So, while a selfie could be good, high quality current photos of you doing what you love are best,” says Jonathan Bennett, an owner and dating/relationship coach for Double Trust Dating(Opens in a new tab).

    If all else fails, the best photos are those of you having fun and smiling. Photos show who you are and what you like, so make them count. 

    Amber Lee, CEO of Select Date Society(Opens in a new tab), a matchmaking service, recommends including recent photos. “The worst thing you can do is show up to a date looking nothing like your photos because they were outdated.” Lee also recommends “showing off your many dimensions,” adding that you should “include photos of you dressed up to go to a black-tie event as well as photos of you in workout clothes. Show a variety of different looks to show how dynamic you are.”

    4. Bad conversations

    “Hey” just won’t cut it in the dating world. Conversations die fast, especially among strangers online. Anderson added, “Opening the conversation without good direction [is a big no-no]... The most important factor in landing a superb partner via dating apps is standing out.” 

    And sometimes, it's about getting enough of a conversation going to get off of the DMs and meet in person.

    A colleague of mine, Richard Baxter(Opens in a new tab), who works in e-sports, told me about his personal experience, “I met my partner on a dating app. Quickly, she stopped our message exchange saying that there’s a good chance of messages creating false expectations and we should just meet for a coffee to check the chemistry before an actual date."

    SEE ALSO: These are the best free dating apps and sites for singles on a budget

    Now if you’re not ready to meet someone in real life or not ready to take that leap, always trust your gut at the end of the day.

    Starting a conversation with a stranger you’re hoping to build a connection with can be difficult — even terrifying — but you have to at least try if you want to go on dates. Some things you can use to start the conversation:

    • A joke or pun you love

    • Ask about the other person. Check if their bio mentioned something you like or know of, and go from there.

    • Start with a simple compliment: a feature you like about them, something cool they like — stray away from shallow-seeming compliments that are too looks-based or aggressive. 

    • You can also lean on some probing questions used by a researcher(Opens in a new tab) trying to speed up intimacy between strangers. But perhaps start with asking about what a perfect day would be for them before inquiring about their most terrible memory.

    5. Cliché bios: Saying what you’re NOT looking for

    Canwen Xu, dating expert at iris, a dating app(Opens in a new tab), discussed what a bad bio can do. “If you're listing some characteristics about yourself, try to keep them in a list rather than separating them with a bunch of commas. It's way easier to read. It also might not be the best idea to include your social media handles because you open yourself up to lots of scammers.” Xu added, “A good bio is one that shows off a bit of your personality while leaving people wanting to know more. You can include a couple of basic facts about where you're from, what you like to do, and what you're looking for so that matches have something to ask you about when you're messaging each other.”

    You can make some simple adjustments to your bio, and if you’re having issues, Hinge has some built-in prompts you can add like what your ideal date is, two truths and a lie, etc. But if you prefer the free-form essay of dating app bios, there are a few things you can add, such as:

    • Entertainment you like (What are your favorite books, movies, TV shows, or games?)

    • Be honest about why you’re on a dating app

    • What’s something you’re super proud of?

    • Talk about your job or school (What do you do? Do you like it? What's your dream job?)

    It’s always good to figure out yourself before you figure out what you’re looking for from other people. And whether you’re more into dating online or dating in real life, just put yourself out there.

    Want more dating app advice? You got it.

    • A very efficient guide to not wasting your time while online dating

    • Is Tinder Platinum worth it? I tried it for 3 months to find out.

    • EliteSingles vs. Match: How a career-oriented site fares against the OG

    • How to use Bumble, and is it better than Tinder?

    • Best LGBTQ+ dating apps: The best options for gay folx

    • The most exclusive 'dating app for Jews' is not actually that Jewish

    • How do all the best dating app algorithms work?

  • Harrys House finds a home on TikTok

    Harrys House finds a home on TikTok

    The world is on fire. So much so that TikTok can sometimes feel like an alternate reality. The trends keep trending. The algorithm never stops churning out content onto our feeds. This week, we are all in Harry's House. Harry Styles's latest album is all my FYP can talk about. But he wasn't the only musician going viral on the app; Halsey's exposé of  the music industry’s obsession with TikTok marketing also struck a nerve with users on the platform. 


    But before we get into this week's TikTok trends, this is your reminder to call your senators(Opens in a new tab).

    Harry's House (Glee Version) 

    On May 20, Harry Styles released his third solo album, Harry's House, and it has since found a home on TikTok. Between thirsty fan edits and track rankings, the 13 tracks on Harry's House are unavoidable on the app. And so are clips of the singer performing the album during his One Night Only show in New York City on its release day. 

    SEE ALSO: 'Harry's House' album leaks are a lesson in fandom politics

    The first single off the album, "As It Was," is going on its second month of TikTok stardom with almost 2 million videos made using the audio clip. 

    Some highlights of Harry’s House TikTok have been fan reactions(Opens in a new tab) to the energetic track "Satellite(Opens in a new tab)" and the random, but perfect crossover the album has had with the Glee fandom. (Yes, Gleeks still exist.) It all began with @skatie96's astute observation(Opens in a new tab) that the Glee cast would body "Music for a Sushi Restaurant." Another creator, @graciwithluv(Opens in a new tab), proceeded to impeccably assign each song on the album to a member of the original New Directions. (I would pay good money to hear Sam sing "Daylight," whereas Mr. Schue performing "Late Night Talking" would indubitably ruin the song for me). 

    Warblers version of "Music for a Sushi Restaurant" when?! Credit: TikTok / skatie96

    Perhaps the best Harry's House trend is a soundbite from Styles’s interview with Zane Lowe. In the interview, Styles describes the inspiration behind the song "Matilda." He explains, "I had an experience with someone where, in getting to know them better, they revealed some stuff to me that was very much like, 'Oh, that’s not normal, like I think you should maybe get some help or something.'" TikTokkers have taken the serious conversation out of context, isolating the, "That's not normal, like I think you should maybe get some help or something," and using it for classic TikTok antics. It's become the soundtrack to descriptions of obsessive fan behavior and other concerning actions. So far, the sound has been used in over 13,000 videos.

    The clip was originally posted by @heart4harry1(Opens in a new tab) with the caption, "my friends after seeing me crying over every single thing Harry does." The trend has become popular outside the Harry Styles fandom with videos like @bowanderson's(Opens in a new tab)that reads, "When your a grown adult but still need to have your whole body under the duvet in case the monsters get you."

    Industry discourse of the week 

    This week, Halsey took to TikTok (Opens in a new tab)to call out the music industry's dependency on TikTok marketing, lambasting her label for asking her to create a viral moment for a yet-to-be-released song. In turn, Halsey’s TikTok exposing industry tactics created a viral moment… which is what we call meta marketing.

    On May 22, Halsey posted the TikTok that launched a thousand conversations. In the viral TikTok. the singer writes, "basically i have a song that i love that i wanna release ASAP, but my record company won't let me…i can't release it unless they can fake a viral moment on tiktok." The TikTok received nearly 9 million views and over 1.2 million likes. The comments section is mixed between support and comments like, "this is the viral marketing video," which makes an excellent point that videos like Halsey's insight sympathy and may make people more inclined to stream Halsey's forthcoming song. 

    Later on in the TikTok Halsey said, "Everything is marketing. They are doing this to basically every artist these days."

    The discussion eventually migrated to Twitter, where users posted screenshots of other artists who have complained about being forced to make TikToks to promote their music, including Charli XCX, FKA Twigs, and Florence and the Machine. Charli XCX later clarified that her TikTok was just a joke, but it doesn't negate the fact that artists are being asked to create content on TikTok to help a song take off on the app. If the song can gain traction on the platform, then, as we've seen time and time again, it will only help its streaming numbers and position on the Billboard charts. So are the labels necessarily wrong in wanting their artists to have a hit record? Or should artists be allowed to promote their music however they want? 

    Halsey followed up with a second TikTok that played a recording of a conversation between them and a label exec about promoting their song on TikTok. It reads, "I wish I was kidding lol."

    Regardless of where you stand on the issue, Halsey’s TikTok discourse definitely speaks to the impact of TikTok on the music industry. 

  • Todays top deals include new price drops on a Ninja Foodi, second-gen AirPods Pro, and the all-new E

    Todays top deals include new price drops on a Ninja Foodi, second-gen AirPods Pro, and the all-new Echo Dot

    We've gathered up all the best deals for you to shop on Nov. 22 — here are our top picks:


    • BEST APPLE DEAL: Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)(Opens in a new tab)$199.99 $249.99 (save $49.01)

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

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

    • BEST STREAMING DEAL: Three months of HBO Max(Opens in a new tab)$1.99/month $9.99/month (save $29.97)

    Black Friday week is off to quite an epic start. Retailers are fighting for your hard-earned cash — and they're doing a great job.

    Walmart came in hot with its final Deals for Days event, which began yesterday evening. While some particularly good deals already sold out, there are plenty still live on the site — like $79 Beats Solo3 headphones(Opens in a new tab) and a $110 Ninja Foodi OL501(Opens in a new tab). Amazon has yet to match these major discounts, but has plenty of its own deals to shop — particularly on Amazon devices. Meanwhile, Best Buy's electronics deals are still reigning supreme with some of the best prices we've seen on MacBooks(Opens in a new tab) and Chromebooks(Opens in a new tab) this season.

    Get Mashable Deals delivered to your inbox daily
    Be the first to know about price drops on Apple products.
    By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) and Privacy Policy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab).
    Thanks for signing up!

    We've done the grunt work of searching for all the top deals you can shop on Nov. 22, so you can save time as well as money. From Apple and Amazon to Ninja and Samsung, here are the best deals of the day sorted into convenient categories.

    Best Apple deal

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Apple
    Our Pick: Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    $199.99 at Best Buy (save $49.01)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Why we like it

    If you already own the original AirPods Pro, the second-generation buds "are not an essential upgrade," Mashable senior editor Stan Schroeder wrote in his review. However, they're definitely great earbuds, with impressive sound quality and stellar noise cancelation. While $49 doesn't seem like a huge discount, it's the biggest price drop(Opens in a new tab) we've seen on these buds so far — they were just released in September. They're sitting at the same price at Amazon(Opens in a new tab), but if you snag them at Best Buy instead, you'll get three free months of Apple TV+, plus four free months of Apple Music and Apple News+.

    More Apple deals

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

    • 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)

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

    • 2022 Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi, 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 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 (Apple M1 Pro chip, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$2,199.00 $2,699 (save $500)

    Best home deal

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Ninja
    Our Pick: Ninja Foodi 14-in-1 XL (6.5-Quart) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    $109.99 at Walmart (save $170)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Why we like it

    Just last week, the 6.5-quart OL501 Ninja Foodi dropped to an unbelievable $129.99 — that's $150 off its usual $279.99 price tag. Thanks to Walmart's epic Deals for Days event, the price on Nov. 22 is even lower at just $109.99 (for comparison purposes, Amazon(Opens in a new tab) currently has it listed at $154). That 6.5-quart Foodi is big enough to whip up two things at once with dual layers. Plus, it's brimming with cooking options, from air frying to slow cooking to yogurt making.

    More home deals

    Kitchen deals

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

    • Ninja Foodi 4-in-1 2-Basket Air Fryer (8-Quart)(Opens in a new tab)$99 $199.99 (save $100.99)

    • Ninja Supra Kitchen System 72-ounce Blender and Food Processor(Opens in a new tab) — $99 $149 (save $50)

    • 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)

    • Nespresso Coffee and Espresso Machines(Opens in a new tab)starting at $118.30 (save up to 30%)

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

    • Ninja OL601 Foodi XL 14-in-1 Pressure Cooker (8-Quart)(Opens in a new tab)$149.99 $32

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

    Floor care deals

    • Hoover MAXLife PowerDrive Swivel XL Bagless Upright Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$59 $119 (save 60)

    • 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)

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

    Best Amazon device deal

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Amazon / Philips
    Our Pick: Echo Dot (5th Gen) + Free Philips Hue Smart Bulb (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    $24.99 at Amazon (save $40.98)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Why we like it

    Amazon's new Echo Dot is billed as its most powerful yet, with a larger speaker that packs clearer vocals and better bass into its usual spherical form. It also features a new AZ2 Neural Edge processor, temperature sensors, and built-in eero (an Echo Dot first). Just released at the end of October, this is the first discount of this caliber we've seen. Plus, Amazon will even throw in a free Philips Hue Smart Bulb or a free six-month Amazon Music Unlimited subscription(Opens in a new tab) (a $53.94 value).

    More Amazon device deals

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

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

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

    • Echo Dot (5th Gen) with clock(Opens in a new tab)$39.99 $59.99 (save $20)

    • 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)

    • Fire HD 8 Tablet(Opens in a new tab)$54.99 $99.99 (save $45)

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

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

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

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

    • 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)

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

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

    • 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)

    • 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)

    Tech deals

    Smart TV and home theater deals

    • TCL 2.1-ch S522W Home Theater Sound Bar(Opens in a new tab)$59 $79.99 (save $20.99)

    • 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)

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

    • LG 55-inch Class UP7050 Series LED 4K UHD Smart webOS TV(Opens in a new tab)$298 $398 (save $100)

    • 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

    • 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)

    • Lenovo Tab M8 (3rd Gen) 8-inch Tablet (MediaTek Helio P22T, 3GB RAM, 32GB eMCP)(Opens in a new tab)$79 $119 (save $40)

    • 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)

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

    • MSI GF63 Thin 11SC-693 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop (Intel Core i5, 8GB Memory, 256GB NVMe SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$499 $599 (save $100)

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

    • 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)

    Headphone and speaker deals

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

    • 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)

    Streaming device and subscription deals

    • 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)

    • One year of Grubhub+(Opens in a new tab)free for Prime members $119.88 (save $119.88)

    • First month of Xbox Game Pass(Opens in a new tab)$1 $14.99 (save $13.99)

    • Three months of HBO Max(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)

    • 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)

  • #BoycottWalgreens grows after pharmacy refuses to sell abortion pill in 20 states

    #BoycottWalgreens grows after pharmacy refuses to sell abortion pill in 20 states

    People are calling to #BoycottWalgreens after the pharmacy giant announced(Opens in a new tab) it will no longer sell abortion medication mifepristone in 20 Republican states — including some where abortion is still legal.

    The move comes after heightened pressure from Republican state attorneys general, who sent a letter to the company(Opens in a new tab) in February, threatening legal action if Walgreens continued to distribute the medication. The letter was co-signed by attorneys general from states including Texas, Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, West Virginia, North Dakota, and South Carolina. In some of these states, abortion remains legal, including Alaska(Opens in a new tab), Florida(Opens in a new tab), Iowa(Opens in a new tab), and Montana(Opens in a new tab).

    In January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone, the first of two pills to be taken for a medical abortion, to be distributed at retail pharmacies in states where abortion remains legal.

    SEE ALSO: Pills for medical abortions can now be dispensed at pharmacies under new FDA rules

    Referencing the reversal of Roe v Wade, the letter was sent not only to Walgreens but to CVS, Rite Aid, Costco, Walmart, Kroger, and Albertsons. Walgreens caved, telling Politico that it had responded to the signees(Opens in a new tab), assuring them that the pharmacy will not dispense the pill by mail or in stores located in these states.


    Since Walgreen's decision, people are calling for a boycott of the company.

    Both "Walgreens" and "#BoycottWalgreens(Opens in a new tab)" trended on Twitter on Friday, continuing to gain traction throughout the weekend. Responses to Politico reporter Alice Miranda Ollstein's tweet(Opens in a new tab) also included such calls: "I will not shop at Walgreens until they reverse this decision" and "I will no longer be spending any money at Walgreens."

    Many users called for people to cancel their Walgreens accounts, while some displayed receipts of them doing so. People criticized the pharmacy for giving into fear tactics from anti-abortion politicians.

    Abortion pills accounted for more than half(Opens in a new tab) of all U.S. abortions in 2020. This commonly used method of abortion has been deemed safe and effective(Opens in a new tab), according to sexual health research organization Guttmacher Institute. Access to abortion pills is currently legal in 37 states, though it must be prescribed by a doctor in 15 states.

    Walgreens, alongside its competitor CVS, said it is applying for certification to dispense the abortion pill following the FDA's announcement(Opens in a new tab). However, Walgreens' decision to stop distributing the pill in nearly half a dozen states, however, is more than disheartening — and comes amid a nationwide fight to preserve reproductive justice.

  • TikTok users are dressing up as their Republican-sonas

    TikTok users are dressing up as their Republican-sonas

    TikTok has heralded in countless viral makeup trends over the last few years, but this one crosses the partisan divide.


    Well, not really. But it's nice to think so.

    TikTok users are donning spray tans, thick mascara, and pale pink lipstick to transform themselves into their "Republican-sonas," a reimagined version of themselves that backs the blue and probably has too many regressive opinions on universal healthcare. The term is a play on "fursona(Opens in a new tab)," a portmanteau of "furry" and "persona" that the online furry community uses to describe their animal alter ego.

    TikTok users are notoriously snarky — when a popular Los Angeles salon ignored public criticism for not enforcing mask wearing during this pandemic, TikTok users flooded the salon's hashtag with videos mocking the owner's hair coloring technique. On an app known for its strong alternative community, bold styles thrive.

    Conservatives are not known to be good with change, and that goes for both public policy and aesthetics. Former President Trump, for example, surrounded himself(Opens in a new tab) with women who all had the same blonde hair, inoffensive makeup, and above all, were white. Fox News, known for its conservative bias, has a track record of hiring female anchors(Opens in a new tab) who all emulate that same look. There is a universal Fox News style(Opens in a new tab) that the women on its shows adhere to: A blonde blowout, thick eyeshadow, and heavy bronzer over pale foundation.

    Makeup is ever-changing, and to achieve this outdated beauty standard, you're likely to use outdated techniques.

    On TikTok, this style is known as "Republican makeup." Makeup is ever-changing, and to achieve this outdated beauty standard, you're likely to use outdated techniques.

    The song "God Made Girls" by country artist RaeLynn, which is fittingly heteronormative, has become the song representing this trend. Participants film themselves removing facial piercings and covering their bright colored hair with a (usually) blonde wig, before caking on foundation, dabbing on pale lip gloss, and applying enough chunky mascara to be worthy of a Fox & Friends appearance.

    Republicansonas are taking over TikTok. Credit: Tiktok / zorbeez
    Republicansonas are taking over TikTok. Credit: Tiktok / zorbeez

    The trend is similar to the viral "This is what I would look like if I was straight" sound that was popular on Gay TikTok last summer, in which alternative, and often queer, TikTok users removed their septum rings and dramatic makeup, covered their hair, and wore "normie" clothing. Like that trend, this one mocks straight, conservative Americans for looking the same.

    The trend criticizes Republicans for using outdating makeup to adhere to outdated beauty standards. Credit: Tiktok / pimpdaddyshayne
    The trend criticizes Republicans for using outdated makeup to adhere to outdated beauty standards. Credit: tiktok / pimpdaddyshayne

    Some conservative TikTok users tried to flip the trend around by mimicking "liberal" makeup trends. The "liberal" trends they're attempting are often alternative makeup looks popularized by e-girls(Opens in a new tab), young women known for their online presences and bold punk-adjacent aesthetic.

    That, however, seemed to backfire. When conservative TikTok users mocked the other side of the partisan divide with techniques like sharp eyeliner and rosy blushed cheeks, other TikTok users pointed out that they actually looked better than before.

    "Wait this is such a glow up," one TikTok user commented on syd.thekiddo's post of her "liberal-sona."

    "You look cute!" another replied. "I think this trend backfired on you sis."

    The trend backfired when conservative TikTok users tried it in reverse. Credit: tktok / lol.itz.carly
    The trend backfired when Republicans tried it. Credit: tktok / syd.thekiddo

    If you plan to participate, no matter what side of the aisle you're on, be prepared to be eviscerated by Gen Z.

  • Why is everyone horny for Martha Stewart?

    Why is everyone horny for Martha Stewart?

    The internet has been debilitatingly parched, devastatingly eager, and overwhelmingly obsessed with the thirst traps that are coming from the one and only 81-year-old ex-con and home influencer Martha Stewart.


    On Saturday, Stewart was trending on Twitter not for a new line of home goods or a new cookbook but for a passionate advertisement she made weeks ago for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. In the video, it appears that she is completely nude save for a Green Mountain Coffee Roasters apron. She alludes to herself being "a thing of natural beauty." As I refuse to participate in the has-she-hasn't-she debate over plastic surgery, I can't help but agree.

    The horny ad didn't come from nowhere. Stewart has been playing into the internet's yearning hands for years. We've been asking for it, and she's been giving it! What kindness! In one post, she dons a beautiful white silk robe with fur cuffs — the style affectionately known as an "I just killed my rich husband robe." To my knowledge, Stewart has not participated in self-windowing and her ex-husband is still breathing, but the robe is very sexy.

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

    This is not a particularly scandalous change in Stewart's life — she did start off as a Chanel model — but at 81 years old, she is posting more thirst traps than many of her peers and for that, we must celebrate. She has always been hot. She was the tastefully-nude cover model for SPY magazine in 1996(Opens in a new tab). She's Snoop Dogg's BFF. She's taking sexy selfies by the pool and she's eating oysters while making eye contact with the photographer and she's kissing the camera(Opens in a new tab) with gobs of lip gloss on. She's fraternizing with famous MILF lover Yung Gravy(Opens in a new tab). She said she's waiting on her friends to die so she can get their husbands(Opens in a new tab) but, like, in a nice way

    Every few months, Martha Stewart reminds us that she is hot. I have given up my inquiry into why she is doing this, and have decided to simply rejoice in the beauty that is Martha Stewart's Internet as so many others have.

  • The most heartwarming reunions and hugs post-COVID-19 vaccine

    The most heartwarming reunions and hugs post-COVID-19 vaccine

    When COVID-19 first began spreading around the globe, the world responded by locking down. The rules were clear: Do not see people you do not live with. Do not gather together in groups. Wear masks. Do not touch strangers, or acquaintances, or even loved ones. And of course: Do not hug. It left many of us lonely and starved for connection.


    Then, vaccinations began rolling out, albeit slowly. By July 6, according to (Opens in a new tab)The New York Times(Opens in a new tab), more than 3.29 billion vaccine doses have been administered across the world. But some countries — particularly those in North America and Europe — are much more highly vaccinated than others, including countries with lower incomes. In some areas in the U.S. with the highest vaccination rates(Opens in a new tab), another new normal began springing up. Public health experts announced that, if everyone is vaccinated, you can reunite with your family, friends, loved ones, and, yes, even acquaintances. Videos of these reunions flooded our feeds, and gave us something pure and nice to look at! Here are some of our favorite reunions and hugs as the world began to open up thanks to COVID-19 vaccinations.

    This video(Opens in a new tab) from KAPP-KVEW, a news station that covers the Tri-Cities of Washington state, of a three-year-old greeting his grandmother after months apart.

    This video of Twitter user Jenny Montgomery surprising a whole host of kiddos after 9 months apart.

    This clip from ABC News that shows a grandfather surprised by his grandkids in bed.

    After more than a year, this grandad got to see the grandson he calls "my man."

    A quick jump and hug from this grandson who finally got to hug his grandmother.

    This mother and daughter who were reunited after getting vaccinated in New Mexico. "It means a lot to me."

    This video, posted by 9 & 10 News, showing a man and his grandmother reunited in Brazil after more than a year apart because his family got vaccinated.

    Newsday reporter Chelsea Irizarry tweeted out this heartwarming video of an 80-year-old man who was finally able to hug his wife and sister from his nursing home after his family got vaccinated.

    While these joyous moments are just that — joyous — they should also be viewed with trepidation. In the U.S. and other nations with higher vaccination rates, this is possible. But in places like Africa and Oceana, where vaccinations aren't nearly as accessible, reunions aren't as festive. Vaccine hesitancy is on the rise in some communities even in the U.S.(Opens in a new tab), and the delta variant, which highly transmissible and dangerous, is becoming a dominant and powerful strain(Opens in a new tab).