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Elon Musks Twitter changes have disrupted K-pop’s biggest awards show

2023-03-19 06:20:23

Elon Musks Twitter changes have disrupted K-pop’s biggest awards show

Elon Musks's reign of Twitter terror now extends to one of the largest factions on the site: K-pop fans. This year's MAMA Awards, an annual Korean music awards show hosted by Mnet, a channel owned by massive Seoul-based media conglomerate CJ ENM, says voting for two categories has been affected by "internal changes within Twitter."

Elon Musks Twitter changes have disrupted K-pop’s biggest awards show(图1)

In an official statement,(Opens in a new tab) Mnet said that it is impossible to "secure and collect voting data" for their "Worldwide Icon of the Year" and "Worldwide Fan's Choice" awards, which are determined based on a combination of elements including music video plays, Spotify streams, and tweets. Therefore tweeted votes, which account for 20 percent of the total for "Worldwide Icon of the Year" and 10 percent of the total for "Worldwide Fan's Choice," would no longer be counted as part of the total.

It's unclear if the internal changes they refer to are the result of layoffs at Twitter Korea(Opens in a new tab). When reached for comment, a PR representative for CJ ENM would not expand on the statement to specify if voting was affected by staffing or another issue.

Many fans were frustrated by the change. "So we were literally voting on twitter and posting those hashtags for nothing???!" asked one(Opens in a new tab) in a quote tweet. "Why would they waste our efforts?" asked another(Opens in a new tab).

Some expressed(Opens in a new tab) suspicions(Opens in a new tab) at the timing of the statement, given recent accusations of voting fraud(Opens in a new tab) against the awards show. In regards to this concern, the MAMA Awards provided Mashable with the following statement:

"MAMA AWARDS monitors the voting data in real time to flag any irregularities and any abnormal votes monitored through post-data verifications are excluded from the final vote count. To ensure transparency and objectivity, the entire voting process, including the final vote tally, is verified by Samil PwC - the same company that handles the votes for the Academy Awards. MAMA is a all-round awards that incorporates global index, reflecting the voices from global fans and data from global music platforms. As the leading global K-POP awards, it is our priority to ensure fair and accurate voting results."

The Awards have also added a notice to all visitors of their website assuring that they have "conducted a thorough verification to ensure fair and accurate voting results" and that votes "will also go through a thorough verification and data confirmation process."

SEE ALSO: V Live, the largest archive of K-pop live streams, is shutting down. What will happen to those videos?

CJ ENM last came under significant scrutiny for vote rigging between 2019 and 2021, when producers of Produce 101, a popular competition series on Mnet, were found guilty of vote manipulation(Opens in a new tab). The scandal resulted in the disbandment of X1, a group formed on Produce X 101, and led to general distrust among fans and viewers. In 2017, CJ ENM paused voting(Opens in a new tab) for the MAMA Awards to address accusations of voter fraud.

The MAMA Awards heralds itself as the "World's No.1 K-pop Awards." The event is scheduled to take place over two nights, starting Nov. 29, with performers including Stray Kids, ZICO, Tomorrow x Together, NewJeans, NMIXX, and BIBI.

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  • Boses Sleepbuds II are for catching some Zs, not playing your music

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    If you've been having trouble sleeping, Bose has a $250 solution for you.


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  • Twitter spams Trumps COVID tweet with copypasta in Amharic

    Twitter spams Trumps COVID tweet with copypasta in Amharic

    Twitter users flooded the president's mentions with creepy passages and haunting images after he announced that he tested positive for COVID-19. No, it's not some otherworldly hex on Trump — this is just another meme.


    President announced his and first lady Melania Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis via Twitter (of course) on Thursday night, and social media exploded. Amid well wishes for a speedy recovery, glee at the diagnosis, and discourse over each response, Twitter users also started responding with messages paired with creepy images. When translated from Amharic to English, the messages warned of a "sinful soul" beyond salvation.

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    CARD ID: 515002

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    Trump falsely claims theres a cure for COVID-19 in rambling Facebook, Twitter posts

    Donald Trump is spreading dangerous misinformation — again — about the coronavirus on both Facebook and Twitter.


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  • Kamala Harris reactions to Mike Pence at the VP debate are all you need to see

    Kamala Harris reactions to Mike Pence at the VP debate are all you need to see

    Kamala Harris' face has gone on QUITE the journey.


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    Comedian hilariously imitates the fly on Mike Pences head

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    "I fly in because I smell a little bit of-a poop," Thomas's fly says in an Italian accent. "But it is no poop. It is a dead man. So I sit on top of a dead man corpse and I rub my hands together like this." The video goes on to describe the encounter from the fly's perspective, even imitating Harris's also-viral "I'm speaking"(Opens in a new tab) moment.

    This isn't Thomas' first foray into fly impressions; in fact, it's arguably what he's best known for on Twitter. In August, a video of him acting as an annoying fly — also with an Italian accent, for whatever reason — also went viral:

    Thomas told Mashable that he didn't connect Pence's fly with his other video at first. "That little fella was just a blessed visitor and nothing more," he said over Twitter DM.

    "Folks were tagging me in heavy fly content and I was like haha fun! Then it clicked, so I slapped together another fly clip."

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    "I have waited my whole life for this," Thomas tweeted(Opens in a new tab) after posting the video, "God pls call me home." But with a couple of debates left, who knows how many more flies Thomas will need to imitate?

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  • Twitter rallies around #MyNameIs hashtag after a GOP Senator mocked Kamala Harris

    Twitter rallies around #MyNameIs hashtag after a GOP Senator mocked Kamala Harris

    It's pronounced Kamala, with emphasis on the first syllable.


    Georgia Senator David Perdue kept things real classy as he introduced Mr. Class himself, Donald Trump, at a rally in Macon on Friday. As Perdue turned his attention toward the Democratic candidates, Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris, he mispronounced the latter's name.

    That description actually fails to capture the extent of Perdue's antics. He didn't just say Harris' name incorrectly. He did so repeatedly, and mockingly. Here's a clip of the moment, shared by Jon Ossoff, Perdue's Democratic competitor in the upcoming election.

    Later on Friday, Perdue's campaign released a statement(Opens in a new tab) defending the senator's rally comments. "Senator Perdue simply mispronounced Senator Harris' name, and he didn't mean anything by it."

    Let's pause for a brief moment and call a bad faith argument out for what it is. You can see that clip above. Any reasonable person watching it would conclude that Perdue leaned in on the mispronunciation, and that he very much did mean something by it. A campaign statement saying otherwise doesn't change basic facts.

    Anyway. Plenty of people outside the Perdue campaign did see the senator's words and tone for what they were: openly disrespectful and vaguely racist. Some of those people chose to respond, populating the #MyNameIs hashtag(Opens in a new tab) on Twitter with information about the etymology of their own names.

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  • You need to try this super easy, air fryer hot dog recipe

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    There's something idyllic about hot dogs in the summertime. It's the simplest food and it always works, whether it's from the grill, on the boardwalk, or at a ballgame. Don't ask me how or why, but hot dogs simply hit differently in the summer. They're meant to be enjoyed when the weather is nice.


    But here's a little secret: You don't need to fire up the grill to have a delicious hot dog this summer. You can make a great dog in the air fryer in just eight minutes. Plus, you can make a spicy topping at about that time as well, if you're like me and want your food to have a bit of heat.

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    Here's what you need to know about the recipe.


    • 4 hot dogs (or as many as you like)

    • 4 hot dog buns (or as many as you need)

    • 1 jalapeño (optional, for spicy topping)

    • Half of a small white onion, diced very finely (optional)


    1. Lay your hot dogs out on a cutting board in a row. Using a knife, carefully score the hot dogs on the diagonal. Do not cut through the dogs. Make only a shallow cut.

    2. Flip the dogs over. Using a knife, score the hot dogs in the opposite direction.

    3. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with eight minutes of cook time. Toss your buns in the air fryer basket as it preheats so they toast as you wait.

    4. Once the air fryer has preheated, remove the buns.

    5. Put your hot dogs and the whole jalapeño in the air fryer. Cook for about eight minutes.

    6. While that cooks, dice the onion as finely as possible.

    7. Once the hot dogs are done — you can cook for less or more time, depending on how crisp you like them — place each link in a bun.

    8. Once the jalapeño has cooled enough to touch it, dice it to about the same size as the onion. If you like spice, keep the seeds, if not, discard them. Mix the onion with the jalapeño, then use it to top the hot dogs. Add any other condiments you like and enjoy!

    The details

    This is a wildly simple recipe. I'd like to see someone mess it up. I think it's impossible. Because even if you make a mistake, cooking a hot dog essentially amounts to cooking it to your desired crispness. And the air fryer heats so well that you'll almost assuredly get a nice, crispy result.

    Seriously, with about ten minutes and a few knife skills, there's precious little to mess up. Scoring the hot dog can seem unnecessary, at first. And technically it's not something you have to do. I just like the result better because the hot dog expands and crisps further when it's scored — the added surface area gets nice and charred. Scoring is easy, once you've done it. Here's how it looked as I scored my hot dogs.

    Cut into the hot dog but not through it. Credit: Mashable

    Once that process is done, it's as easy as tossing stuff in the air fryer. My favorite trick I've come up with in the air fryer is to toast any kind of bread as you preheat. So make sure you do that with the buns. It takes little effort but results in a better overall product — toasted buns are superior to smooshy, soft buns — and I've found, at least in my air fryer, that the preheat is the perfect length of time for toasting.

    Then you dice some onions, dice some roasted jalapeños, and bam, you've got some hot dogs that are juicy, tasty, and a little spicy.

    Jalapeños, always a good idea., Credit: Mashable

    It's a very easy recipe, kicked up just a little bit the jalapeño addition. Here's how my final product looked.

    Not bad, right? Credit: Mashable

    Is this as good as a grilled dog? Honestly, I think so. At least if you're using a gas grill. I do love the taste of charcoal, but it seems like a heck of a lot of work to light a charcoal fire for a few hot dogs. Gas grills, meanwhile, don't add any flavor and the result would be as good while requiring more work.

    So next time you feel like having a barbecue, I say save the space on the grill for other items, just air fry your hot dogs.

  • Todays top deals include a Schwinn 470 elliptical, 65-inch Amazon Omni TV, and Showtime subscription

    Todays top deals include a Schwinn 470 elliptical, 65-inch Amazon Omni TV, and Showtime subscriptions

    We've rounded up the best deals we could find on Jan. 4 — here are our top picks:

    • BEST FITNESS DEAL: Schwinn Fitness 470 elliptical(Opens in a new tab)$899 $1,299 (save $400)

    • BEST STREAMING DEAL: Showtime subscription(Opens in a new tab)$3.99/month $10.99/month (save $65.94) for six months, plus your first month free

    • BEST TECH DEAL: Amazon Fire TV 65-inch Omni QLED 4K UHD smart TV(Opens in a new tab)$549.99 $799.99 (save $250)

    A new year calls for new goals. Whether you're looking to create a consistent workout routine in 2023 or dedicate more time to rest, there's a deal calling your name on Jan. 4.

    Retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy have tons of deals on fitness equipment — from treadmills and bikes to weights and massage guns — if building a home gym is at the top of your goal list. But there are plenty of other ways to save as we kick off the new year on things like tech gadgets, streaming services, apps and software, kitchen appliances, and more. Maybe your goal is to sleep better — there are fitness tracker deals that can help you keep an eye on your sleep patterns. Or maybe you want to step back from the daily grind and focus more on resting — kick back with a discounted subscription to a new streaming service.

    Whatever your 2023 goal is, there are lots of deals waiting for you. And we've rounded up the best ones we could find on Jan. 4. Keep scrolling to shop our top picks of the day.

    Best fitness deal

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Schwinn
    Schwinn Fitness 470 elliptical (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    $899 at Amazon (save $400)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Why we like it

    If your 2023 goals include building a consistent workout routine, you're going to need some home gym equipment. The Schwinn Fitness 470 Elliptical offers an enjoyable way to get your blood pumping without the harsh impact of running. It features a 10-degree motorized adjustable ramp, 25 levels of resistance, Bluetooth connectivity for setting, tracking, and monitoring progress with app-based tools, and a DualTrack LCD system that displays 29 workout programs. You can even explore 50-plus digital global routes — like the Japanese countryside or the Scottish Highlands — that auto-adjust in real time to your speed and distance (Explore the World subscription required). This elliptical is $400 off at Amazon for a limited time — a great excuse to build your home gym and save money.

    More health and fitness deals

    • Brita insulated filtered water bottle (36-ounce)(Opens in a new tab) — $22.19 $28.99 (save $6.80)

    • Everlast 70 lbs. boxing bag kit(Opens in a new tab) $69 $99.99 (save $30.99)

    • Bowflex SelectTech 840 adjustable kettlebell(Opens in a new tab)$119.99 $149.99 (save $30)

    • Theragun Prime electric handheld massage gun(Opens in a new tab)$198 $299.99 (save $101.99)

    • Sunny Health and Fitness slim walking pad treadmill(Opens in a new tab) — $295.11 $369 (save $73.89)

    • NordicTrack 55 Lb Select-a-Weight dumbbells(Opens in a new tab)$260 $329 (save $69)

    • TheraGun Elite handheld electric massage gun(Opens in a new tab)$298 $399 (save $101)

    • NordicTrack 50 Lb iSelect adjustable dumbbells(Opens in a new tab)$340 $429 (save $89)

    • TheraGun Pro handheld massage gun(Opens in a new tab)$399 $599 (save $200)

    • Schwinn IC3 indoor cycling bike(Opens in a new tab)$399.99 $699.99 (save $300 as a MyBestBuy member)

    • Sunny Health and Fitness Synergy Series magnetic indoor cycling exercise bike(Opens in a new tab)$400.48 $649.99 (save $249.51)

    • Sunny Health and Fitness folding incline treadmill(Opens in a new tab)$584.98 $649 (save $64.02)

    • NordicTrack Commercial Studio cycle(Opens in a new tab)$1,099 $1,499.99 (save $400.99)

    • Original Peloton bike(Opens in a new tab)$1,195 $1,445 (save $250)

    • ProForm Pro 2000 smart treadmill(Opens in a new tab) $1,249.47 $1,499 (save $249.53)

    Best streaming deal

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Showtime
    Our pick: Showtime subscription (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    $3.99/month for six months (save $65.94) plus your first month free
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Why we like it

    The highly anticipated second season of Yellowjackets is coming in March 2023. If that's not enough of a reason to sign up for Showtime, how about the fact that it's discounted to just $3.99 per month for six months (after an initial 30 days for free)? You'll save $52.99 on seven months of streaming fees and, besides Yellowjackets, you'll get to watch hidden gems like Kidding, Dexter: New Blood, Billions, George & Tammy, and more.

    More streaming deals

    • Apple TV+(Opens in a new tab)free $6.99/month (save $20.97) for three months

    • Apple Music(Opens in a new tab) free $10.99/month (save $43.96) for four months

    • Sling TV premium pass(Opens in a new tab)free for your first month

    • Vudu(Opens in a new tab)save 30% on your first purchase or rental

    • YouTube TV(Opens in a new tab)$54.99/month for your first three months $64.99/month (save $30)

    Best tech deal

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Amazon
    Amazon Fire TV 65-inch Omni QLED 4K UHD smart TV (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    $549.99 at Amazon (save $250)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Why we like it

    Kick off your 2023 streaming experience with an upgrade to the latest Amazon 65-inch Fire TV Omni QLED 4K TV(Opens in a new tab) on sale for just $549.99. Now sitting at 31% off its retail price, the TV has slid back down to its all-time low Black Friday price(Opens in a new tab). Released just last fall, the 65-inch Omni includes the latest smart features in addition to a 4K Quantum Dot Display, the latest generation of HDR10+, adaptive brightness, and hands-free Alexa voice controls.

    More tech deals

    • Osmo Words starter kit for iPad (ages 6-10)(Opens in a new tab) — $29 $49.44 (save $20.44)

    • Osmo Super Studio Disney princess starter kit for iPad (ages 5-11)(Opens in a new tab) $29 $39.97 (save $10.97)

    • Amazon Halo band(Opens in a new tab) — $39.99 $69.99 (save $30) + free accessory band with code HALOFREEACCY

    • Amazon Halo View fitness tracker(Opens in a new tab)$49.99 $79.99 (save $30) + free accessory band with code HALOFREEACCY

    • Amazon Halo Rise(Opens in a new tab) — $109.99 $139.99 (save $30)

    • Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro(Opens in a new tab) — $169 $230 (save $61)

    • Celestron AstroMaster 90AZ Telescope with smartphone adapter and Bluetooth remote(Opens in a new tab) $178 $319.95 (save $141.95)

    • Fitbit Sense 2(Opens in a new tab)$229.95 $299.95 (save $70)

    • Hisense 58-inch ULED U6 Series Quantum Dot LED 4K UHD smart Fire TV(Opens in a new tab)$349.99 $599.99 (save $250)

    • Acer Predator X34 34-inch Curved UWQHD IPS gaming monitor(Opens in a new tab)$899.99 $1,099.99 (save $200)

    • (图1)

      Dell 16-inch Inspiron 2-in-1 FHD+ touch laptop (Intel Evo i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$999.99 $1,249.99 (save $250)

    • ASUS VivoBook Pro 16X OLED slim laptop (AMD Ryzen 7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$1,099.99 $1,449.99 (save $350)

    • MacBook Pro 14-inch laptop (M1 Pro chip, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$1,599 $1,999 (save $400)

    Home deals

    • Dash SmartStore 2-slice wide-slot stainless steel toaster(Opens in a new tab)$24.99 $39.99 (save $15)

    • Dash Deluxe Everyday electric griddle(Opens in a new tab)$34.99 $59.99 (save $25)

    • Dash Tasti-Crisp digital air fryer (2.6-quart)(Opens in a new tab)$49.99 $79.99 (save $30)

    • Dash Chef Series 7-in-1 convection toaster oven cooker(Opens in a new tab)$149.64 $229 (save $79.36)

    • Shark HyperAir hair dryer with IQ 2-in-1 concentrator and styling brush attachments(Opens in a new tab)$169.99 $229.99 (save $60)

    • eufy Security SmartDrop Package Drop Box(Opens in a new tab)$199.99 $399.99 (save $200 with on-page coupon)

    • T3 Twirl Trio interchangeable clip barrel iron set(Opens in a new tab)$284.99 $335 (save $50.01)

    • Dyson Supersonic hair dryer(Opens in a new tab)$379.99 $429.99 (save $50)

    Apps and software deals

    • TurboTax Deluxe 2022 tax software(Opens in a new tab)$44.99 $69.99 (save $25)

    • Nintendo Switch Online family membership (12-month)(Opens in a new tab)$49.99 $87.98 (save $37.99)

    • TurboTax Premier 2022 tax software(Opens in a new tab) — $64.99 $104.99 (save $40)

    • TurboTax Home and Business 2022 tax software(Opens in a new tab) — $75.99 $119.99 (save $44)

  • ChatGPT essays and more: How teachers and schools are dealing with AI writing

    ChatGPT essays and more: How teachers and schools are dealing with AI writing

    With the release of OpenAI's ChatGPT back in December, AI-generated plagiarism has become a cause for concern in academia as teachers and school boards across the country grapple with whether to take caution or embrace the potential of AI writing tools.

    Teachers are both concerned and excited because ChatGPT and other chatbots can generate writing on any subject in almost any format. Want a sonnet in the same style as Shakespeare, maybe a limerick while you're at it? How about a 500-word English paper on the thematic meaning of blue curtains in The Great Gatsby? You can even have tools like Quillbot(Opens in a new tab) paraphrase the essays ChatGPT gives you so it doesn't look too obvious.

    SEE ALSO: Tinder users are using ChatGPT to message matches

    No one is under the illusion that ChatGPT can write valedictorian-caliber essays, but as Mashable's Mike Pearl writes, "ChatGPT knows just enough to be dangerous."

    Outside the narrow topic of school essays, some teachers are excited about the potential of AI writing to enhance learning experiences, while others are hesitant to incorporate them into the classroom. Here's a look at how teachers and schools across the country and on the internet are dealing with ChatGPT:

    New York City blocks the use of the ChatGPT bot in its schools

    In what appears to be the first policy against the use of AI bots in schools, the New York City Department of Education banned the use of ChatGPT by students and teachers on district networks and devices. According to the report by The Washington Post(Opens in a new tab), it has not been made clear if the use of ChatGPT outside of school is forbidden or not.

    “While the tool may be able to provide quick and easy answers to questions, it does not build critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for academic and lifelong success,” said Jenna Lyle, a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Education, in a statement to The Washington Post.

    The NYCDOE is the first to take action, and many other states and school districts are still deciding their ChatGPT policies. However, at some schools, the teachers themselves have taken preventative measures for their classes in lieu of any official decision from the district.

    In a report from the San Francisco Standard, teachers at Oceana High School in Pacifica, California have sent out messages to students warning against using AI-writing software for assignments. Some teachers, like Andrew Bader, told the Standard that they may require students to turn in "hand-written or multimedia assignments that students can’t copy-and-paste from AI."

    To stop plagiarism, some sites have created tools to recognize AI writing like in a new tab)'s AI-content detector or the anti-ChatGPT tool, GPTZero.

    And for what it's worth, OpenAI itself says it's working on a way to digitally "watermark(Opens in a new tab)" its text outputs, which means making sure the text has signs of being AI-generated that a robot can spot, but a human can't.

    Embracing potential


    Teachers across the internet, but particularly on TikTok, are mixed in their support for or opposition to ChatGPT. For some educators, the chatbot helps to make their job easier by creating lesson plans and material for their students. As Dan Lewer comments on one of his TikTok videos(Opens in a new tab), "Notice how my suggestions help teachers do their jobs better, not do their job for them. Bots cannot replace good teachers. Yet. 👍"

    Another teacher on TikTok, Tyler Tarver, shared with his followers(Opens in a new tab) his opinion that ChatGPT "allows you to support and engage every student regardless of their ability level." To illustrate this point, Tarver used AI to create part of the script for the very video he was making. It's worth noting that Tarver said in another TikTok post that "Kids can just tell it what they want it to do [like] Write a 500-word essay on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." But in his endorsement of ChatGPT, he focuses much more on the chatbot's potential power as a classroom tool. He notes that it can do things like generate lesson materials for teachers, and function as a discussion aid for students.

    There's no consensus in these videos — with teachers expressing both optimism and hesitation regarding how content generation AI will forever change the classroom. Judging from the reaction on TikTok, teachers on the app see ChatGPT as a tool to be treated the same way calculators and cell phones are used in class — as resources to help students succeed but not do the work for them.

    Ultimately, the decision to use AI writing tools in the classroom is up to the individual teachers, and the needs of their students.

  • You may know Karlie Kloss as a supermodel who has graced the cover of Vogue 42 times

    You may know Karlie Kloss as a supermodel who has graced the cover of Vogue 42 times, walked hundreds of global runways, and played muse to the most distinguished design minds in the world. But for the better part of the last two years the 30-year-old investor and mom has been focused on the potential of Roblox, a social platform best known for being beloved by children.


    With "60 million daily active users, and billions of dollars of commerce happening on the platform [in 2022]," Kloss understands its global influence. "This is not just some kids game [or] cute little metaverse thing, it's a real business," she tells Mashable. And it's where she thinks the future of fashion could thrive.

    Last Wednesday, Kloss launched Klossette, a Roblox world where players can create and style their own looks and climb the fashion ranks from intern to editor-in-chief as their designs are upvoted by fellows players. In less than a week, players have visited the game an astounding 7 million times.

    The game's success supports Kloss' belief that tech and fashion can create new opportunities for young people, especially women, to learn and express themselves. She wants to open the industry up to a new generation of talent and share the "surreal" learning experiences she had growing up in the world's most elite ateliers. "I'm a girl from Missouri!" she laughs.

    "How did I end up in these spaces? And how do I share that access? That's where I see the potential; democratizing these experiences, tools, and opportunities. This game is reaching a demographic and audience that is very real," she says. "And if you build it, they will come."


    Learning to love Roblox

    Like most millennials, Kloss initially heard about Roblox from younger family members and her friends' children. "When I started to really pay attention and think about where I thought the [fashion] industry should be going… I literally got on the phone with a bunch of strangers and I was like, how can you tell me about what you're doing, how you design, and how it works?" says Kloss. Those strangers were Roblox's top designers, "and they're superstars!" Kloss says. "It's like getting on the phone with Marc Jacobs."

    I'm sitting with the multi-hyphenate in a plush hotel on the West side of lower Manhattan. On the couch next to her is Rush Bogin, a 17-year-old wunderkind with a shock of red hair who started designing on Roblox under the username Rush_X(Opens in a new tab) about four years ago. Since then, Bogin has built a multimillion-dollar business selling avatar hairstyles, among other things, that have become about as aesthetically synonymous with the platform as its blocky default avatar. 

    "A lot of brands stay away from kids and teens," says Bogin, who is dressed the part of a fashion trendsetter in a crisp Alexander McQueen button-up, Thom Browne knit, and teal Gucci sneakers. "I even told Karlie on [our first] call, 'You're the first person ever that has reached out to me.'"


    Kloss on the left, walking in the Carolina Herrera Spring 2023 show in September 2022. In the middle, the dress in the Roblox catalog and on a Roblox avatar on the right.Credit: Mashable composite; Roblox, Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

    Kloss is a serial early adopter. For example, she was one of the first celebrities to post vlogs and other video content to YouTube in 2015, before a crowd of recognizable names adopted the platform years later. That same year she founded the Kode With Klossy(Opens in a new tab) foundation, which hosts free summer coding camps for young women and non-binary people to help close tech's chasmal gender gap.

    Now, with Roblox, "I feel like there's kind of nothing to lose," she says, "I'm just an insatiably curious person. I'm not afraid to say that I don't get something. I think that's part of why people in the fashion industry have not necessarily jumped in. Because they don't get it. It's natural and normal to be scared of change, but I don't see it at all as a replacement."

    Bogin, she notes, has sold 40 million items on the platform. "That's insane!" she exclaims, "The top designers in the world, and certainly New York Fashion Week or CFDA, will never reach that sort of distribution. That's what's so interesting about [Roblox]: the limitless potential and scale of this space to create and share."

    Kloss' first foray into creating experiences on Roblox was a limited-time experience called Fashion Klossette Designer Showcase, and she used her deep industry ties to bridge her two words. In September 2022, she wore a floral Carolina Herrera gown on the runway, then tapped a Roblox creator to bring the dress to digital life. The item was a hit on the platform, and is now reselling for about 860,000 Robux, approximately $10,700 USD (the dress cannot be traded for actual money).

    Kloss' genuine interest in the community has set her apart, says Bogin. "I've seen a lot of branded experiences launch, and they advertise it everywhere. [But] you only see a couple hundred people playing," he says.

    Klossette is different. "They love it," Bogin smiles, glancing at my laptop screen, where players are running around Klossette's glass-topped gallerie. "There are 4,000 people playing it right now! I think it shows how strong of a community Karlie's built."

    Klossette's avatars are infinitely customizable and custom to the game, which means they can't be found anywhere else on Roblox.Credit: Klossette


    Nurturing the next generation of designers

    In Kloss' vision of the future "you will need to have technical literacy in creative industries," she says, but right now "in the more traditional fashion industry, there's a real disconnect" from tech. Designers need to adopt technical advancements and fast. Otherwise, "how do we protect the best of what fashion is in the evolving world that we live in?" Kloss posits.

    She points to one of her investments, a digital identities developer named Eon(Opens in a new tab), whose software tracks the manufacturing, sale, resale, and authentication of a garment. "That is an infrastructure innovation that doesn't take away from the beauty of the couture atelier," she explains, "It's more an evolution of problem solving in this industry."

    And that evolution includes opening the often exclusive world of fashion to a global audience. "I really believe so deeply in democratizing access to skills and tools and community to be able to equip individuals, in particular women and gender non-conforming individuals, to be a part of building that tech, part of that conversation."

    That's where Roblox comes in. "What we're really hoping to do is kind of act as a curated space that can both elevate and invest the design talent on the platform, like Rush." (In fact, Kloss believes in Bogin so much that she wrote him a letter of recommendation when he applied to college.)

    "A fashion publication used to play that curation role, and I think still does, but the next generation is going other places for that influence, that taste-making." She reminisces about now-closed Colette, a storied Parisian concept store that debuted the Apple iWatch(Opens in a new tab) and hosted a month-long pop-up of Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel(Opens in a new tab) while amplifying the work of unknown designers.

    "It was so inspirational to me... a curated space that both elevated next gen and curated the best of the industry. That is the kind of experiential space we've wanted to create: a living, breathing ecosystem."

    Items in Klossette can be customized in a nearly infinite number of color and texture combinations.Credit: Klossette

    Two in five of Roblox's Gen Z users say expressing themselves with clothing and accessories in the digital world is more important than in the physical world. More than 43 percent of users say that styling their avatars allows them to showcase their individuality and feel good about themselves, and 40 percent of monthly users update their avatars once a month. Eighteen percent of the more than 60 million daily users update their avatar every day.


    Roblox users are already quite fashion-forward. Real-life trends are reflected in the digital clothes and accessories available for purchase. The iPod shuffles that Gen Z have repurposed as hair clips(Opens in a new tab), for example, are in the catalog alongside Squid Game costumes and Vivienne Westwood-inspired jewelry.

    Klossette is a new home for that kind of self-expression. "I wanted to create something that didn't exist on the platform," says Kloss, "where you can just kind of get lost in creativity."

    Pushing the technical boundaries with Klossette

    Kloss hopes Klossette will hasten the next evolution of the fashion industry, but it has already revolutionized Roblox itself. Kloss worked with developers at Sawhorse Interactive to reimagine what was possible on the platform to make Klossette a "premium" experience with more dimension than the 2D games that preceded it.

    They replaced Roblox's default "blocky" avatars with anthropomorphic designs and its clunky default avatar styling catalog with an intuitive, immensely customizable experience. Players can choose the exact color and texture of clothing, hair, and accessories. When applying make-up, highlighter hugs the curves of the face to create layered looks. Fabric shadows shift to accommodate different lighting options in a player's design studio.


    "These are all very complex technical innovations that nobody else needs to know about," says Kloss, "but we really wanted to be intentional in creating a space that was different than other things on the platform... I'm not in this for a quick buck," she adds.

    In the long term, Kloss hopes Klossette can push the technical prowess of the industry forward, too. "I envision a future where a designer could present their collection on the Fashion Klossette and have hundreds of thousands of people engage, say what they love or what they will buy, and [for the brand to] be able to take that real-time data to actually influence decisions about what gets made." That could also reduce the waste associated with overproduction by helping designers understand the demand for their work. 

    "It's an evolution, and I want to continue to bring more people into the conversation," says Kloss. "Fashion should be for everyone and also by everyone."

  • Digital blackface thrives on TikTok audio

    Digital blackface thrives on TikTok audio

    Open the TikTok app and scroll for a few minutes. You're probably going to find a creator, big or small, lip-synching along to an audio track with the distinct voice of Sesame Street's favorite red Muppet. But the Elmo audio that you're likely giggling along to may be unintentionally perpetuating digital blackface in a way that's unique to the app. 


    After blowing up online for his iconic feud with Rocco earlier this year, Elmo has become a bit of a viral celebrity for his sass. Naturally, audio clips featuring his voice have since become a script for thousands of videos on TikTok. 

    A TikTok using the viral Elmo audio as interpreted by a white creator... Credit: Screenshot: TikTok/kirby_j
    vs. as interpreted by a Black creator. Credit: Screenshot: TikTok/willyjsaint

    Among these popular audio clips is a snippet from Elmo's appearance(Opens in a new tab) on The Tonight Show, where he is learning how to cook with host Jimmy Fallon. In listing his ingredients, Elmo states, "Onions, garlic, celery, balsAAAAMIC vinegah," with heavy emphasis on the vowel sound in "balsamic" and a non-rhotic pronunciation that drops the “r” at the end of "vinegar." This specific pronunciation has led some TikTokkers to identify Elmo as Black,(Opens in a new tab) an idea that has floated around the internet before.(Opens in a new tab) It's also a key vocal note that has led to two distinct, physical interpretations in parody skits using Elmo's particular pronunciation across TikTok: joking emphasis and exaggerated flirting.

    These different explications usually delineate a clear line amongst TikTok creators: Black creators, who often recognize the Blackness in Elmo's speech patterns and naturally use it for emphasis, and… everyone else, who uses the same audio flirtatiously. In his own video, TikTok creator Justin Jordan, aka @freddiesroomate, explains why this latest viral take on Elmo's voice and mannerisms demonstrates a deep-rooted internalization of Black stereotypes.

    In his video, Jordan details the history of Elmo's voice actors, which includes Kevin Clash and Ryan Dillon. Clash, who is a Black man, voiced Elmo beginning in 1984, when the Muppet joined the Sesame Street main cast after being voiced by three previous actors. Clash is what Jordan calls "one of Elmo's most prolific voice actors," and he naturally put a lot of his own speech patterns into Elmo's signature voice. But the balsamic vinegar clip that is circulating TikTok comes from Ryan Dillon, a white man who succeeded Clash after he resigned amid sexual abuse allegations in 2012(Opens in a new tab). And, as Jordan mentions in his video, Dillon is approximating Clash's voice into his version of Elmo. (Mashable reached out to Sesame Street and Dillon for comment on his vocal approach, and they did not reply as of press time.)

    While the history of Elmo's mannerisms is interesting, that's not where TikTok's digital blackface comes into play. 

    "The joke, implicitly, is that Elmo talks Black," Jordan told Mashable. "So every joke that's using an Elmo audio is 'Elmo sounds Black.' And then they add the characteristics or the implicit biases that they have [about Black people] onto Elmo. It's 'Oh, I'm going to make him sound a little bit flirty and sexual, which Elmo is not. And that's the bad part."

    What is digital blackface?

    According to Merriam Webster,(Opens in a new tab) digital blackface is "the use by white people of digital depictions(Opens in a new tab) of Black or brown people or skin tones especially for the purpose of self-representation or self-expression." The dictionary definition subtly minimizes the effects of digital blackface by calling it "self-expression." In reality, many Black people have likened it to the modern iteration of centuries of Black minstrelsy, made anew by the internet — it's most often a mockery of Black people and culture, digitally perpetuating harmful Black stereotypes like hypersexuality, aggression, or general over-animation. 

    In the case of Elmo, digital blackface manifests in both the lip-sync interpretations mentioned above and the way some TikTok creators mimic Elmo's voice themselves. "When people make their own audios using their own voices to make it funnier, they emphasize the AAVE [African American Vernacular English], or the non-rhotic sounds in Elmo to make them sound more hood, or street, or more sexual," said Jordan. "Why is the culture, specifically on the internet, when we want to make things more sexual, more aggressive, more threatening, we add [Black speech patterns] to our language?"

    The internet first more broadly became aware of digital blackface in the form of reaction GIFs. (Opens in a new tab)We can argue about whether GIF usage is falling out of fashion all we want, but it's long been a trend that the "funniest" and most viral reaction GIFs and memes feature Black faces. From Oprah to NBA players to Real Housewives, you've likely laughed at a GIF that turns Black people's facial expressions, mannerisms, or quotes into caricatures of their original context. And it's not limited to one platform — I've personally noticed it more broadly on apps like Twitter and in more intimate digital spaces like an iMessage group chat. 

    Why is the culture, specifically on the internet, when we want to make things more sexual, more aggressive, more threatening, we add [Black speech patterns] to our language?

    As the internet evolves, so does digital blackface, beyond just GIFs. Gen Z has recently come under fire(Opens in a new tab) for perpetuating what many young people on the internet claim to be "internet slang," a certain cache of slang common in online spaces featuring words and phrases like "chile," "go off queen," and "periodt." These phrases, which pepper the comment sections of TikToks and make frequent appearances in viral tweets, almost always originate from AAVE. 

    "The language of TikTok is a bit of a counterculture. People are very proud of trends and ways of speaking that will 'start' on TikTok," Dr. Daniel Hieber, a research linguist who also creates linguistics content on TikTok, told Mashable. "Some of the audios that go viral are precisely because the language is attention-grabbing, it's interesting, it's unique. And I think one of the reasons why people find certain audios attention-grabbing is precisely because they have ways of speaking that aren't familiar to them. A lot of times, what that means is ways of speaking that are spoken by non-prestigious dialects or non-mainstream dialects, [like AAVE]."

    On TikTok, digital blackface continues to transform. In some of its earlier versions, it manifested visually, as in the dance trends predominantly made by Black creators going viral once a white influencer performed them(Opens in a new tab). This led to the #BlackTikTok strike, which happened as a larger conversation about race and appropriation ignited on the app, in which users began discussing who can and should use (Opens in a new tab)certain audio tracks(Opens in a new tab), trends(Opens in a new tab), and filters.

    Because the platform is so audio-centric, with the ability to lift soundtracks from any video, digital blackface offenses will also often happen when a creator lip-syncs along to a track taken out of context, or when tracks featuring Black voices are remade to emphasize a joke at the expense of the Blackness it features. The range of digital blackface via TikTok's audio tracks varies greatly, from the covertness of Elmo's voice interpretations to the overt parody of Nicki Minaj and Nene Leakes' sound bites. 

    Siwa's take on the trend displays this question as the audio plays "Am I a Nicki fan?" Credit: Screenshot: TikTok/Jojo Siwa
    This text displays while the audio plays "Pull up in the Sri Lanka, what!" Credit: Screenshot: TikTok/Jojo Siwa

    In some of the worst (and also most ridiculous) audio cases, white creators will take a viral sound clip originally said by a Black person and completely get the point wrong in a new viral take. In one of these recent trends, Wendy Osefo of The Real Housewives of Potomac misquotes a Nicki Minaj lyric and states "Am I a Nicki fan? Pull up in the Sri Lanka, what!" to demonstrate how avid of a Nicki fan she is. While Black creators originally circulated the clip to laugh at the glaring misquote of Minaj’s “Monster” verse,(Opens in a new tab) the audio took off even more when white creators began using the clip to genuinely showcase a prime example of a personality trait or claim — essentially spreading the opposite message of the original meme as made by Black people, abetted by the parody of Osefo's voice. 

    They're just calling [it] internet speak, rather than being aware of the fact like 'Oh, this actually isn't internet speak so much as it is African American English.'

    This happened on every level, from casual TikTok users(Opens in a new tab) to big names like Jojo Siwa(Opens in a new tab). Siwa used the audio track to ask "Have you gotten a lot of hate?" as the sound played "Am I a Nicki fan?" and then provided several funny examples of the types of hate messages she receives on screen while the track played "Pull up in the Sri Lanka." This kind of wild reimagining of a trend made by Black people about Black people demonstrates the willful ignorance white TikTok users often have about audio and trend origins. And the total disconnect from Black users on the app is, at the very least, embarrassing, and at most, potentially abetting the spread of harmful Black stereotypes as trends morph. 

    "Usually, by the time a linguistic trend [like the appropriation of AAVE as internet speak] starts getting in the public consciousness, it's too late. It's already been ingrained," said Hieber. "It is, in some ways, pretty unfortunate that all of these features of African American English that people are just picking up on [for] the first time, not realizing where it comes from. They're just calling [it] internet speak, rather than being aware of the fact like 'Oh, this actually isn't internet speak so much as it is African American English.'"

    Even when creators are aware of the AAVE roots of a word or phrase, TikTok's trend culture still encourages them to make the joke anyway, to jump on the latest trends in order to stay relevant on the app. Your FYP is an echo chamber. Sunn m'Cheaux, a Harvard lecturer(Opens in a new tab) who teaches Gullah, an English-based Creole language spoken by Black people in South Carolina and Georgia, issued a reminder in his own video(Opens in a new tab): "Quick heads-up for fellow Black creators of comedic content that's centered on our language and culture, particularly language: Never let our language or dialect be the butt of the joke."

    So is Elmo canceled? Can white people not use audio clips voiced by Black people? 

    No, Elmo is not canceled. In fact, that was something Jordan wanted to emphasize in our conversation. "I'm not canceling Elmo! Elmo's my guy. I'm not trying to exclude Black people from the joke. We can make jokes about Black people. I just want us to be mindful of who and what we are punching down on."

    Digital blackface is an issue that deserves attention and dedicated resources, but it shouldn't start and end with individual response. Yes, it'd be nice if every single user on TikTok implicitly knew the rights and wrongs of how to interact with socially sensitive content, but real change has to happen on a more systemic and educational level. Online culture needs to continue to strive for more mindfulness and inclusivity, especially given how quickly TikTok trend cycles move.

    "The problem isn't the features on TikTok itself. It's as a culture, we think Blackness is funny. So we have to change culture, and people have been trying to do that for literally hundreds of years. We have a long way ahead," said Jordan. "It's not gonna happen overnight, and I don't even think it's gonna happen in my lifetime. But it's just [about] making people more aware of the cultural tools they're using to be successful."

    Black creators are not responsible for teaching the rest of the internet how to conduct themselves; in fact, the onus falls on non-Black users to create a culture in which Black creators have the freedom to make whatever content they'd like, and where non-Black creators aren’t appropriating in the first place. But if creators like Jordan are willing to put in the time and effort to offer educational content, it is our responsibility as fellow internet users to have open ears and heed their advice. 

    SEE ALSO: How whitewashed is TikTok? Let Kahlil Greene break it down for you.

    "I think if you're an individual user on this app, I think your responsibility is to just know why you think [something is] funny," said Jordan. "What are the cultural elements going into [the joke]? Why are we all laughing at this? And then once we all collectively, or most of us, agree, why we are pointing at this and laughing, then we can actually start to have conversations about intent or non-intent or malicious intent."

    Some might deem this bare-bones effort as yet another way to censor our freedom of speech. That internet wokeness has taken it too far once again! Hardly. In reality, it's in everyone's best interests to make the internet a kinder, more respectful space for all, even if that means sacrificing a TikTok joke or two when it's not your place to make one. 

    So, before filming your next silly little 15-second video, take a second to think about the joke you're making: What message are you communicating? And are you degrading an entire community to do so?

    Let's be honest: Your Elmo lip-synch video wasn't gonna get that many views anyway.

  • The TikTok bold glamour filter is going viral for its wildly unrealistic beauty standard


    The TikTok bold glamour filter is going viral for its wildly unrealistic beauty standard

    Lots of filters online are designed to zhuzh up your look. But a filter going viral on TikTok is different. It basically overhauls your entire face and it's leaving people worried.

    The "bold glamour" filter basically makes you a different person. It sharpens your chin, fills in your eyebrows, smooths your skin, brightens your cheeks — hell, it might even improve your credit score, who knows. It's a wildly effective filter — it can be difficult to decipher that it's a filter at all. Folks immediately pointed out the danger of such a filter.

    Imagine the beauty standards it would set. People don't want to live in a world where everyone has to airbrush out anything perceived as an imperfection.

    What makes the bold glamour filter especially concerning is it is seamless. You can move your face, put your hands in front of the filter, do whatever — and the filter remains on. That means people might not be able to immediately realize you're using a filter in your TikTok. Back in the day, a filter was something silly like dog ears or Disney-fied eyes. Now the tech has come far enough where it's basically reshaping and contouring your appearance in real time. That is frightening, especially for young folks on TikTok trying to grapple with beauty standards.

    People on TikTok wrote that the filter should come with a warning and that it was basically face tuning, but just a filter. They're not wrong. It smooths out any blemishes, it plumps your lips, whitens your teeth, while all still plausibly looking like it's still you. The skin even seems to retain some texture while using the filter, basically hiding the fact that it's smoothed.

    The bold glamour filter is frighteningly effective. Should we let it, it creates an impossible and off-putting standard for anyone living a normal life. Already, there are tons of TikToks tutorials promising make-up to copy the filter IRL. That feels like a dangerous precedent to set.

    The bold glamour filter left lots of people perturbed. Credit: Screenshots: TikTok / @joannajkenny / @chiaraking / @wearelunaapp

    The bold glamour filter is out there. And, remember, nobody can — or should aspire to — look like that filter in real life.

    How to get the 'bold glamour' TikTok filter

    Should you want to see what the filter looks like, you can pull it up pretty much like any other filter on TikTok. All you do is click the plus button in the app. From there you can click effects on the bottom left corner, search and choose the bold glamour effect, and see what you look like with the filter. Just be forewarned, TikTok is not real life.

  • The year of Be(ing)Real

    The year of Be(ing)Real

    At the beginning of the year, if you saw ⚠️ pop up on your screen you were probably anticipating an emergency alert. Now, it means something totally different in the public consciousness: You have two minutes to take a photo. 

    Over the course of 2022, BeReal, the photo-sharing app that gives you a minuscule window to take a photo from both your front and back cameras, charmed social media users jaded by Instagram and TikTok with its simplicity and aim for authenticity. Even after surpassing 53 million downloads(Opens in a new tab), achieving the mainstream mark of approval (a Saturday Night Live sketch), becoming Apple's top iPhone app(Opens in a new tab) of the year, and being cloned by its competitors, it hasn't made any major updates, which is refreshing in an age when every social media platform is trying to be everything for every user. 

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

    Much like Wordle, BeReal had everyone jumping on the bandwagon. Just glance around social media when its daily notification randomly strikes, and you can see the scope of the app's popularity. But as the novelty begins to fade, will BeReal last into the new year?

    As much as I delighted in seeing the mundanities of my friends' days, I stopped using the app at the end of October due to its overwhelming number of daily notifications. Not only does it alert you when it's time to post, but it also sends you notifications every time one of your friends posts late, inundating you with notifications for the rest of the day. I assumed that most of my peers would also gravitate away from the platform, but for a relatively simple app, people are coming back every day for different reasons. 

    While its intended purpose is for users to post within the 2-minute window, you can still post later in the day. You just can't see other people's photos until you post. Once BeReal started really gaining traction among Gen Z and millennial users this summer, I saw a shift in how people were using it. As more people joined the platform and BeReal circles became bigger, some users started taking their BeReals during the highlight of their day, rather than limiting themselves to the designated posting time. The change in the way people began posting on BeReal changed the "spontaneous" appeal of the app and sparked conversation that instead of a place for being real, BeReal was turning into every platform that came before it: A destination for showing the best version of yourself — a place to be fake.

    Used this way, BeReals, much like the 0.5 selfie, became fodder for photo dumps on Instagram and TikTok. BeReals became the new version of the selfie, with people clamoring to get memorable BeReals at concerts and with celebrities. It became a new way to go viral on other, more monetizable platforms. 

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

    The most obvious reason to use BeReal is the community of the app and seeing what your friends are doing throughout the day. But one of its main features users keep returning to is "Memories." Similar to Snapchat, BeReal saves your previous posts to Memories and you can scroll back and see what you were doing every day that you posted. If you decide, like many, to use the app specifically for Memories, you can curate your posts to what you want to remember about each day and store all those moments together in one place. This application of BeReal is reminiscent of the app 1 Second Everyday

    Memories serves as a cool way to look back on your years, reflecting on all of the small moments you might have forgotten — especially when your camera roll is often cluttered with stuff like homework assignments, screenshots you sent a friend, and random photos.

    So while BeReal's initial charm might be waning, it's transforming into something else entirely: a new form of journaling in the modern age. With 2023 right around the corner, it's never too late to start.


  • TikTok announces 10-minute videos. But will it pay creators for their time?

    TikTok announces 10-minute videos. But will it pay creators for their time?

    After teasing their interest(Opens in a new tab) in longer-form videos last week, TikTok confirmed today(Opens in a new tab) (Feb. 28) that it will allow users to upload videos up to 10 minutes long. That's a major bump up from both the three-minute maximum previously available to users and the five-minute(Opens in a new tab) videos the platform had been beta testing.


    Sentiment in the Mashable newsroom Slack is "why?" and "who asked for this?" — and the general consensus is that even a three-minute video is already too long. There's a kind of infectious rhythm to flipping through TikTok that is thrown off by longer form content. As Deputy Entertainment Editor Kristy Puchko put it, "I get (arguably) irrationally angry when I get hit with a 3-min TikTok." Based on a quick search for related tweets, Twitter users seem(Opens in a new tab) to agree(Opens in a new tab).

    If TikTok was built on addictive, snappy, and snackable videos, why does it need to compete in long form content, too? The answer, as always, is money. As Wired(Opens in a new tab) reported last week, "TikTok has ridden the wave of popularity [but] to sustainably grow its revenue, it needs longer videos, which gain more attention, and allow them to sell more ads."

    YouTube has prioritized "watch time"(Opens in a new tab) as a metric since 2012, claiming it would phase out the prevalence of clickbaity thumbnails and reward "videos that actually kept viewers engaged." That might be true, but the change also multiplied the amount of available ad real estate, and may have led to higher rates of burnout amongst creators(Opens in a new tab) trying to keep up with producing more content.

    But there is still a huge difference in how the two platforms pay creators for their content. YouTube's industry-leading revenue split is far more equitable than TikTok's current monetization program and highly publicized but finite Creator Fund(Opens in a new tab), which endemic video creator Hank Green recently opined was "dramatically under-paying creators." Other star creators, like MrBeast(Opens in a new tab), agreed.

    As of now, it doesn't look like longer-form content will be monetized any differently than the bite-sized videos that make up the majority of the platform.

  • BeReal promised authenticity online. That doesnt exist.

    BeReal promised authenticity online. That doesnt exist.

    When I first wrote about BeReal in January it was a novelty. The platform had marketed itself through college ambassadors, and for the most part only college students were using it. Seven months later, BeReal has gone mainstream and become a pillar of the Gen Z social media landscape. While the app was designed as a "realer" alternative to Instagram and TikTok, it quickly became another way to post content.


    "BeReal won't make you famous," reads its description in the App Store(Opens in a new tab). "If you want to become an influencer you can stay on TikTok and Instagram." While to my knowledge no one is exclusively a BeReal influencer (yet), influencers, celebrities, and normies are posting BeReals on other, more easily monetized platforms. Posting your coolest or quirkiest BeReal on main is just another way to share the filtered highlights of your life. 

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

    A BeReal alert goes off once a day, giving you a two-minute window to take a photo. If used as designed, you're forced to post whatever you're doing when it goes off, theoretically making it more authentic than other platforms where you can carefully stage your photos and apply flattering filters. The other draw of the app is that everyone posts at the same time, so you only have to look at it once a day. I thought the platform had the potential to do what casual Instagram thought it was doing and be a rare place for genuineness online. But BeReal has proven that there is no authenticity on social media.

    The BeReal notification goes off at a different time every day. Credit: BeReal

    While BeReal gives you a two-minute window to post, it still allows you to post later in the day. You just can't view your friends' posts until you post. Because of this workaround many users simply wait until they're doing something notable to post, which defeats the intended purpose of the platform. It also causes you to be constantly inundated with notifications of your friends posting throughout the day. Don't get me wrong: It's still fun to see the highlights of my friends' day, but there isn’t anything novel or subversive about that. I could just watch their Instagram Stories instead. 

    I understand why you might be inclined to post the best part of your day on BeReal. When I downloaded the app I only added my close friends, treating the app like a finsta because only so many people should have the privilege of seeing me sitting at my laptop everyday. As the app became more popular, looser acquaintances added me, making it more like Instagram where you only post what you're comfortable with a bunch of people seeing. The circle of friends who got me on the platform were driven off the app because more and more people added them.

    In the past couple of weeks I’ve seen BeReals popping up in Instagram Stories and TikToks. BeReals capture your front and back camera, making for an alternative addition to your photo dumps. BeReal has filled the space VSCO and Huji left behind as apps that elevate your feeds on other social media platforms. I knew BeReal had solidified its place in the social media ecosystem when Tyler, the Creator posted a BeReal in his most recent, dreamy photo dump(Opens in a new tab)

    Additionally, TikTokker @bee.austin posted a TikTok(Opens in a new tab) of the BeReal she took with The 1975 frontman, Matty Healy. The TikTok garnered over 322,000 views and over 66,000 likes in less than 24 hours, proving that securing an iconic BeReal has become another opportunity to go viral. I've seen dozens on videos on my FYP of Harry Styles fans frantically trying to get the pop star in their BeReals at his concert. One posted by @emily.greeen(Opens in a new tab) got over 700,000 views and over 200,000 likes.

    Capturing an iconic BeReal is the latest way to go viral on TikTok. Credit: TikTok / bee.austin
    Credit: TikTok / emily.greeen

    Getting a selfie is no longer enough, but getting a BeReal? That's new and exciting. BeReals are the new selfie. They capture more than the traditional selfie, and if you're savvy enough to time your BeReal just so, like @bee.austin did, you can fit two selfies into one. The trendiest BeReals take advantage of popularity of the high-wide angle lens, creating an entirely new genre of selfie.

    Unfortunately, what was marketed as an authentic social media platform is now just another way to commodify your life.

  • 7 DIY Halloween candy delivery systems for socially distant trick-or-treating

    7 DIY Halloween candy delivery systems for socially distant trick-or-treating

    It's a weird time.


    The coronavirus pandemic rages on and it could care less about our favorite holidays.

    So, yeah, Halloween will be a bit more complicated this year.

    We've already outlined ways you can attempt to celebrate Halloween safely, but what about trick-or-treating?

    Traditional, door-to-door trick-or-treating is probably a bad idea. It's high risk. But if you feel like you must take kids trick-or-treating, you should at least make sure everyone is masked up and distanced.

    "I think if people really want to go and have that traditional experience, just make sure to wear a mask, stay in your group or your bubble, and not come within six feet of other people," Dr. Mariea Snell(Opens in a new tab), assistant director of the Online Doctor of Nursing Practice program(Opens in a new tab) at Maryville University, told Mashable. "If you're ringing a doorbell to trick-or-treat, you should take six steps back after you've done that so you're not too close to someone in their home."

    But what got a little more creative than a six-foot drop-off? Folks all over the country have come up with interesting candy-delivery systems. We collected a seven of our favorite ideas.

    1. A zip line

    This one delivers candy as well as adult beverages for the chaperone.

    2. A themed candy chute

    I mean come on: look at this space ship. Amazing.

    You could make any number of shoots made to look like something else. This is by far the preferred method for people, it seems. We collected a few of our favorites.

    3. A candy drone

    OK, this is extreme but also not impossible! Candy drone! Get wild, it's 2020.

    4. Candy slingshot

    Please, God, don't actually do this but also...I don't know...might be cool.

    5. Make a candy cannon, which is apparently a thing?

    This is not totally practical but if you can pull it off, it would technically work. Kids would never forget it.

    6. A candy RC car

    I haven't seen this idea floated online recently, but it's clearly possible to deliver candy with a remote-controlled car. Look at this viral video from last year.

    7. Leave goodie bags

    This is the most simple, albeit not quite as fun, idea. If you individually wrap goodie bags of candy, families can come and grab one per kid. Not wildly creative but definitely safer than close-up, in-person trick-or-treating.