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What’s going on with Drake’s fake press tour?

2023-03-19 06:21:34

What’s going on with Drake’s fake press tour?

Drake and 21 Savage have been busy promoting Her Loss, their joint album released Nov. 4. They've appeared on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert(Opens in a new tab) and Saturday Night Live(Opens in a new tab), performed a COLORS show(Opens in a new tab), graced a Vogue cover(Opens in a new tab), and were interviewed by Howard Stern(Opens in a new tab).

What’s going on with Drake’s fake press tour?(图1)

Except none of these things actually happened.

The pair's press tour is largely fake, the rappers have forged these materials and recordings, much to the amusement of fans and the chagrin of others, including Condé Nast. What's going on?

The Vogue issue

Starting in late October, Drake and 21 Savage began to roll out their alleged press appearances and other promotional events. The Vogue issue came first, picturing the two stars on a highly realistic but fabricated cover, complete with a quote from 21 Savage. In a now deleted Instagram post(Opens in a new tab), Drake thanked the magazine's commander-in-chief Anna Wintour, writing, "Thanks @voguemagazine and Anna Wintour or the love and support on this historic moment."

They even distributed copies of the zine-like edition. Rolling Stone deputy music editor Simon Vozick-Levinson tweeted about the magazine on Oct. 31, writing that the fake magazine was "a photoshopped version of Vogue's October issue". Others also posted about being handed the fake magazine on the street.

Condé Nast, the owner of Vogue, was unimpressed by this gimmick, and is now seeking up to $4 million(Opens in a new tab) in statutory damages. On Monday, the publisher filed a 30-page lawsuit(Opens in a new tab) against both Drake and 21 Savage, stating that the defendants went "so far as to create a counterfeit issue of Vogue magazine — distributing copies in North America's largest metropolitan cities". The suit also states that Wintour had "no involvement" in this promotion and that neither the magazine nor its editor "endorsed it in any way".

Praise for their stunts

Others who Drake and 21 Savage set out to troll or mimic, including Howard Stern and NPR, seemed to appreciate the album promotions more. The radio host praised the interview(Opens in a new tab), which uses clips and questions from Stern's other interviews and edits the pair to look like they're responding in the show's studio. "Drake did such a good job that the news outlets are reporting on it as if it’s real," he said.

SEE ALSO: 'Weird: The Al Yankovic Story' review: The parody king makes fun of musical biopics and much more

NPR, meanwhile, genuinely invited the duo to perform a Tiny Desk Concert, the broadcaster's series of intimate performance conducted against a signature backdrop of bookshelves, after their stunt. Drake and 21 Savage's team faked the artists sitting in NPR's instantly recognisable office corner, with the pair mimicking the style of the series in clips posted across social media.

An NPR spokesperson said, "If Drake and 21 Savage want to perform at the real Tiny Desk, we'd love to have them."

Each of the stunts have been meticulously executed — and realistic to the point of belief. That includes their SNL performance(Opens in a new tab), in which actor Michael B. Jordan played host. The tone of their campaign is largely facetious, seemingly prodding at — and resisting — the lengthy promotional cycles artists undergo pre-release.

Her Loss has proved to be controversial in other ways since its release, including backlash over a supposed dig at Megan Thee Stallion(Opens in a new tab). More broadly, the album and Drake himself has been accused of displaying ingrained misogyny(Opens in a new tab).

The album is set to make waves, though. The Wall Street Journal reports(Opens in a new tab) that "the music business" is expecting to see sales soar by the end of this week. Elsewhere, Billboard sees Her Loss as a possible contender(Opens in a new tab) to Taylor Swift's record-breaking Midnights.

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    Donald Trump Jr. tweet bunker Credit: Mashable screenshot

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    US President Donald Trump holds up a bible in front of St John's Episcopal church after walking across Lafayette Park from the White House in Washington, DC on June 1, 2020. - US President Donald Trump was due to make a televised address to the nation on Monday after days of anti-racism protests against police brutality that have erupted into violence. The White House announced that the president would make remarks imminently after he has been criticized for not publicly addressing in the crisis in recent days. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) / ALTERNATE CROP (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images) Credit: AFP via Getty Images
    US President Donald Trump holds up a Bible outside of St John's Episcopal church across Lafayette Park in Washington, DC on June 1, 2020. - US President Donald Trump was due to make a televised address to the nation on Monday after days of anti-racism protests against police brutality that have erupted into violence. The White House announced that the president would make remarks imminently after he has been criticized for not publicly addressing in the crisis in recent days. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images) Credit: AFP via Getty Images

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    Where to watch: Netflix(Opens in a new tab) or YouTube(Opens in a new tab)

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    Where to watch: HBO(Opens in a new tab)

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    Where to watch: Amazon(Opens in a new tab)

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    Wyatt Cenacs police-focused Problem Areas is now streaming for free on YouTube

    The first season of the HBO show Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas is now available to watch for free on YouTube(Opens in a new tab).


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    As people are coming together to voice their dissent against countless injustices perpetrated by police forces of the United States and police forces around the world, Problem Areas is a great source of information about the realities of what's going on.

    Cenac talks to all kinds of sources across this poignant season of television, from community activists to politicians to police themselves. It gives a well-rounded look not only at specific issues like the murder of Philando Castile by a police officer in Minnesota, but also shows how these different perspectives feed into the conversations around these broader topics.

    The first episode of the show is a great entry point into the conversation, beginning with conversations around the murder of Castile and how police are trained.

    This is a moment in history where information and context are paramount to understanding these huge demonstrations and the systems that these demonstrators are up against. For those privileged enough to not experience these issues firsthand, or to feel like they don't need to give it their attention, this show may be a great, easily digestible starting point.

    You cannot watch Problem Areas and feel like you can ignore what's going on in the world. It begins with a list of headlines about police murdering black people for absolutely no reason other than a false perception of threat. Cenac points out that these things keep happening over and over and over.

    That first episode aired over two years ago. To see that we're still seeing this time and time again, that people continue to fear for their lives and lose their lives to police officers, that the streets are packed with people right now who won't let the police get away with their abuses, is to understand how these discussions about and illumination of these detrimental systems is still so important.

    The cliché would be to say that Problem Areas is more relevant than ever. The sad thing is it's not. It was just as relevant at the time it first aired. Its points were relevant long before it ever aired, long before Cenac was born. It continues to be relevant and will likely continue to be relevant long after we're all dead, unless the systems in place are ripped out from their roots and replaced with something else entirely that doesn't rely on violence, oppression, and racism to impact its communities.

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    How to blur peoples faces in protest photos — and why you should do it

    With mass protests taking place across the United States and abroad, social media safety is more important than ever.


    Enormous crowds of people are gathering in cities around the country to protest racism and police brutality in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last week. Photos and videos of these protests serve the very important purpose of documenting these actions as well as exposing police mistreatment of protestors. Posting them publicly, however, comes with its own risks.

    For the safety of those involved, if you're going to take photos at protests, you should consider blurring or pixelating the faces of those protesting before sharing them with the world.

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    In a word: Retaliation. It's no secret that the federal government likes to surveil anti-racism protests through social media. The Intercept(Opens in a new tab) and Vice(Opens in a new tab) both reported on government monitoring of protest movements through social media after the killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, respectively.

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    Since the entire point of these protests is to end the unjust treatment of minorities by police, and end systemic racism more generally, it stands to reason that you should do what you can to protect those you photograph. You can still demonstrate the enormity of the moment without putting people exercising their First Amendment rights in harm's way.

    How to blur photos

    The good news is this isn't so tough to do on your own, even if you aren't a Photoshop wizard. A cursory Google search reveals plenty of free websites that can do it automatically or give you the tools to do it manually in a hurry. Facepixelizer(Opens in a new tab) is just one I found that seems to work pretty well. Encrypted messaging app Signal is also adding a blur tool.

    The fine folks over at Motherboard(Opens in a new tab) recommended Image Scrubber(Opens in a new tab), developed by Everest Pipkin, for covering up faces in protest photos. Image Scrubber is great because, aside from letting you easily and manually blur out faces on either a computer or a phone, it scrubs metadata from photos, too. Photos you take contain hidden data such as the date, time, and potentially even location in which they were snapped. It's possible(Opens in a new tab) for someone to get that information if they really want it.

    Load a photo into Image Scrubber and the first thing it does is list this data in plain text form. It also gives you the option to nuke it from your scrubbed photo. To test it out, I put a photo of my family's cat Max into the tool. Here is Max staring blankly into the distance, generally unaware of the world around him, as usual.

    Max, unscrubbed. Credit: barb perry

    After about two seconds of painting over Max's face with Image Scrubber's Microsoft Paint-like tools, the cat can no longer be recognized. It doesn't look professional, but it doesn't have to.

    Max, scrubbed. Credit: alex perry / mashable

    It only takes a few seconds to rid a photo of valuable metadata and blur out a face. Given the intensity of police response to these protests after less than a week, it can't hurt to do this with any photos you plan on sharing on your social feeds.

    Even if everyone at a protest is acting well within their rights, they can still face retaliation. We've seen peaceful protestors get tear gassed(Opens in a new tab) for the sake of a presidential photo op just this week. It can't hurt to go the extra mile to protect strangers you photograph.

  • The Iraqi man who threw his shoes at George W. Bush is a Twitter hero for todays protesters

    The Iraqi man who threw his shoes at George W. Bush is a Twitter hero for todays protesters

    "Hope you know you're an actual icon and we love you," wrote Twitter user @StreaamLightsup to Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi. "This video is my daily dose of serotonin."


    The video was one many Americans know on sight — when al-Zaidi threw his shoes at former President Bush in 2008.

    @StreaamLightsup's tweet is just one of many praising al-Zaidi, who often issues charming responses of support. He's using the platform, where he has more than 56,000 followers, to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the protesters calling out police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

    The shoeing incident(Opens in a new tab), as it's referred to on Wikipedia, occurred at a press conference at Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's palace. The Iraq War had dragged on for five years at that point and ravaged the country. As al-Zaidi later explained in an op-ed in The Guardian(Opens in a new tab), his duties as a journalist required him to report on daily tragedies. He would enter ruined homes, hear the screams of orphans — and he pledged to seek vengeance.

    When he saw his opportunity to do so that day, he took it.

    "This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog," al-Zaidi yelled as he threw the first show. "This is from the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq," he added as he threw the second.

    Al-Zaidi spent nine months(Opens in a new tab) in jail for the act, where he said he was tortured. In his Guardian essay, al-Zaidi explained that he threw the shoe to defend his country. "When I threw the shoe in the face of the criminal, George Bush, I wanted to express my rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people," al-Zaidi wrote.

    In the piece, al-Zaidi denied being a hero — but over a decade after "the shoe," his legacy as a hero has blossomed on social media. "Dude who threw the shoe at George W. Bush has done more for the betterment of America than most of its politicians and a huge segment of its actual populace," wrote another user on Twitter, @thankfulreact69(Opens in a new tab). "Absolute king shit."

    It's a sentiment many on social media share, especially after al-Zaidi publicly threw his support towards the current protests. Additionally, al-Zaidi has dedicated his freedom watch to Floyd.

    "We stand in solidarity with these protest[ers] because they are oppressed," said al-Zaidi in an interview with Mashable. He said he'd been aware of the protests since George Floyd's death, and knew they would escalate. "We in Iraq have suffered from American power and authority since the occupation of the US military in 2003 so all the support, sympathy, and solidarity with them."

    Not only are police inciting violence(Opens in a new tab) on peaceful protesters, but they're also targeting journalists(Opens in a new tab). As a journalist himself, al-Zaidi said he stands in solidarity with them, and that the police are violating their rights.

    He also said he knew from the beginning of Trump's presidency that he was spiteful of journalists. "Who[ever] hates journalists hates the truth," he said. "And Trump is the most untruthful person, so he is hostile to journalists because they convey the truth and he wants… the journalists to convey his lies."

    SEE ALSO: Facebook engineer resigns in protest of Zuckerberg's bankrupt morality

    Al-Zaidi pointed out that when protests erupted in Iraq(Opens in a new tab) last year, it didn't get nearly the same attention as the current U.S. protests. "In Iraq seven months ago we had demonstrations and more than 700 demonstrators were martyred by the Iraqi police without the world moving," he said.

    Regardless, al-Zaidi isn't hesitant to show his solidarity with demonstrators in the US and around the world. In fact, he sees his fame as a responsibility to do so. "Since people listen to your words," he said, "you must [show] solidarity with the people and the oppressed wherever they are. When there were demonstrations in America, solidarity with them [is] everywhere in the world."

    Al-Zaidi's advice to young protestors and activists is to keep peaceful demonstrations. "The peaceful weapon does not belong to the arrogant, dictatorial, and oppressive states of freedom," he said. "Instead, it has weapons, prisons, police, and media."

    Peaceful "weapons," al-Zaidi continued, are the best and longest-lasting weapons. "The authorities do not possess and do not want" these peaceful methods, he said, "so keep the peace as much as possible until your revolution triumphs."

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    K-pop fans are flooding QAnon hashtags with memes and fancams

    K-pop stans are legion and cannot be stopped.


    Just about a week after overwhelming a Dallas police "snitch" app with memes and fancams, K-pop fans are now flooding QAnon hashtags with fancams, videos, and memes. It's beautiful.

    After the hacker group Anonymous called for spamming QAnon hashtags, K-pop stans rushed in to do their part.

    If you don't know anything about K-pop — Korean pop bands — just know they have massive amounts of fans who hold the power to make literally everything go viral. The most notable band is BTS, whom you must have heard of.

    But, in the wake of mass protests against racism and police brutality, those fans have channeled their power for good. They've done the nearly unthinkable: stopped tweeting about their faves to ensure Black Lives Matter hashtags rose to the top of trending. And again, they also spammed a Dallas police department app aimed at identifying protesters with such force that it took down the app.

    And if you don't know anything about QAnon. Well, bless your good fortune. But basically, it's a very (Opens in a new tab)powerful, pro-Trump(Opens in a new tab), absolutely bonkers, winding conspiracy theory — the seeds of which were planted by a Reddit user nicknamed Q — that the president is actually in control of a plan to up-end the so-called "deep state" and expose(Opens in a new tab) countless powerful pedophiles.

    If you search common QAnon hashtags on Twitter, like #qanon and #WWG1WGA — which stands for "where we go one, we go all" — there is some typical conspiracy nonsense but also lots and lots of K-pop stuff.

    It just goes to show you: QAnon might be a powerful online conspiracy, but K-pop stans are a powerful online force with the ability to overwhelm conversations and change the dialogue.

    Of course in the wrong hands, this sort of power can be really dangerous, considering it's the sort of tactic employed by Russian bots(Opens in a new tab) during the 2016 election cycle.

  • These moments from CNNs Sesame Street town hall on racism will give you hope

    These moments from CNNs Sesame Street town hall on racism will give you hope

    On Saturday morning, CNN hosted a joint town hall for kids and families with Sesame Street, called Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism(Opens in a new tab).


    Racism and police brutality are difficult subjects to broach with adults, let alone children. But given the global protests, these issues are — and should be — impossible to ignore. This goes for children, who see what's going on either through media or their parents. In order to adequately explain these complex issues, it's necessary to talk about them even if it's uncomfortable.

    But how do you talk to children about something as ugly as racism without ruining their innocence? Guests like Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?(Opens in a new tab), fielded questions like these from children, parents, and Sesame Street characters. Here are some of the highlights:

    Children may be wondering why people are out in the streets at all. Elmo's dad Louie explained that it's an effort to end racism:

    Eight-year-old Xavier said that his nana marched in the 1960s, and asked why we still need to "do this again and again." A lot of us adults wonder the same thing. Sesame Street cast members Roscoe Orman (as Gordon Robinson) and Sonia Manzano (as Maria) discussed the importance of protesting:

    Keedron Bryant, the 12-year-old who went viral for his powerful song "I Just Want to Live,"(Opens in a new tab) visited Sesame Street to discuss the song:

    Some moments of the special were heartbreaking, like 9-year-old Saniya asking what to do when she encountered racism:

    The finale was especially touching. CNN hosts Van Jones and Erica Hill along with Sesame Street characters pledged to do better. "We can do better, we must do better, we will do better," Jones, Hill, Big Bird, and Elmo said in union:

    The town hall didn't dive deep into these issues; there's only so much that can be said in an hour. Hopefully, though, there will be more town halls like this one — and more importantly, hopefully this encourages parents to have these difficult conversations with their children.

Random articles


  • Donald Trumps bizarre walk down a ramp is a whole thing now

    Donald Trumps bizarre walk down a ramp is a whole thing now

    Donald Trump spoke at West Point's commencement on Saturday. After the speech, he left the stage by walking down a ramp.


    You'd think this would be a pretty straightforward exit, but it was not: Trump scooted down the ramp with noticeable caution, then spent the lead-up to his own birthday tweeting lies about it to defend himself. You hate to see it.

    In the video, Trump does seem to struggle with his descent. He steps gingerly and looks straight down, while West Point superintendent Darryl A. Williams seems to have no trouble at all.

    It's precisely the kind of clip that elicits lots of mockery on Twitter, and it did — especially when the "there's always a tweet" crowd dug up a 2014 tweet(Opens in a new tab) in which Trump calls Obama's stair-walking style "inelegant and unpresidential." (For what it's worth, which is almost nothing, President Obama descended the now-infamous West Point ramp(Opens in a new tab) with ease, also in 2014.)

    In typical fashion, Trump didn't take the jokes well. Instead, he tweeted a largely nonsensical defense of his walk, calling the ramp "long & steep" (it was not) and "very slippery." (The weather was dry.) He also claimed that he ran the last 10 feet of the ramp, which even the most brain worm-addled viewer can see is not the case.

    Of course, the worst thing about all this is that Trump appears to find debating his weird little trot more important than acknowledging the ongoing pandemic and widespread racial justice protests still happening across the country. But it's not really surprising — Trump has a storied history of taking offense when his health, strength, or "masculinity" is challenged, and this appears to be just another instance.

    Anyway, congrats to the West Point grads.

  • Why are exclusive dating apps usually so disappointing?

    Why are exclusive dating apps usually so disappointing?

    When I first heard of Lox Club, a glossy, exclusive dating app for young Jewish people, I audibly gasped.


    Its minimal Instagram page(Opens in a new tab) spun the tale of the real-life Lox Club, a speakeasy turned hangout for Jewish elite during the twentieth century. Now, Lox Club has been given the millennial rebrand complete with a sleek logo and New York Times (Opens in a new tab)writeup(Opens in a new tab). In 2021, Lox Club is a "private, membership-based dating app for Jews with ridiculously high standards."

    I hurriedly downloaded the app and filled out an application. Days later, I received a notification letting me know I was accepted.

    And then the app asked me to pay up.

    While I was initially surprised, every "exclusive" dating app I've come across costs money. In the case of Lox Club, the cheapest option is $35.99 for three months. A premium subscription goes hand-in-hand with the mission of exclusivity: Not being willing or able to pay for a dating app just whittles down its clientele, making it all more elite.

    So, too, does an app's waitlist. Lox Club's is currently at 20,000 people according to a spokesperson, though they did not respond to other questions about the app. In 2018, Raya's waitlist had more than 100,000 people(Opens in a new tab) on it. Raya, which didn't respond to multiple requests for comment, is a dating app known mostly for hosting celebrities.

    The test is whether you either a) fit whatever criteria those who run the app deem worthy of acceptance and/or b) want to be in the app so badly you stay on the waitlist long enough.

    online dating premium apps Credit: vicky leta / mashable

    Cost and waitlists are at the crux of the problem with exclusive dating apps: They only attract people who both can and want to be on them, and the result is usually disappointing.

    I recall getting into Raya some years ago; I used a friend pass(Opens in a new tab), or a referral. I can't tell you exactly when or what it was like or what C-lister I stumbled upon — because I barely used it. I must've sprung for the $8 they were charging for a month back then, however, because I vaguely remember its interface.

    I was at once over and underwhelmed. As described in The Verge's Why'd You Push That Button? podcast(Opens in a new tab), profiles on Raya are slideshows of people's photos paired with a song of their choice. Raya doesn't allow screenshots(Opens in a new tab) (screen recordings aren't mentioned but, presumably, they're also discouraged), so I couldn't even share what I was seeing with friends. Perhaps that's good for Cara Delevingne(Opens in a new tab) — but wouldn't she want to send screenshots to friends, too?

    What most turned me off Raya, however, was its pool of people. It was not only void of celebrities who'd whisk me away and pay off my student loans, but there also seemed to be a "type" pervading the app. People who went to the gym every day and explicitly wanted their partners to as well; people on step-and-repeats in contrived poses; people smizing in Expensive Suits with Big Coffees because they are Important.

    What most turned me off Raya, however, was its pool of people.

    There's nothing wrong with any of that on its own — but when that's the entirety of an app's user base, it gets old fast. It did, for me, as I gave up on Raya soon after getting in — and I'm not the only one(Opens in a new tab), either.

    Another popular exclusive app is The League(Opens in a new tab), meant for college graduates and "professionals" — whatever that means. An anonymous would-be League user told me that in 2018, the app told them they didn't allow for same-sex connections, and that they were "building that feature out later." A representative from The League told Mashable the app does allow same-sex connections, and that users can choose their interest in the opposite sex, same sex, or both.

    The confusion may speak to what's wrong with these apps in the first place: Acceptances are based on the people who work there. It results in a cherry-picked user base that you may enjoy.

    Or, if you're like me, you'll suck it up and go back to Tinder or Bumble or Hinge or the many other dating apps without a waitlist.

    So will these be the downfall of Lox Club? Nope, not from what I've seen — there's not a step-and-repeat in sight. So what's the problem?

    The problem, as far as I can see it, with Lox Club is its cost. It didn't deter me from trying it out, but here's what may keep me from staying: There just aren't many Lox Club users who live where I do, in New York City. I blew through local profiles weeks ago, and now see people who live in Nashville and Toronto and Los Angeles. I don't want to find a long-distance love on a dating app, and that concept is even more laughable during a pandemic.

    SEE ALSO: The stock market, explained by my Tinder matches

    The reality of dating apps is that, to be useful, they have to have a wide array of people who live in relatively close proximity. In the virtual speed dating that is swiping, having access to only one type of person, or only people who live across the country, or not a lot of people to begin with — it doesn't bode well.

    And when you have to pay for the experience on top of it? It's no wonder that more recent Apple Store reviews of Raya(Opens in a new tab) call it "useless," "obsolete," even "a joke." The League's Apple Store reviews(Opens in a new tab) aren't much better. When app employees and the algorithm they create decide who's on a dating app, it's easy to imagine many disappointed customers. The customer has to be one of the Chosen Ones who happen to be attracted to the other Chosen Ones.

    For now, however, I want to keep my Lox Club subscription. While writing this story, "Team Lox Club" texted members about partnerships with bars and delis (and, not shockingly, brands):

    Credit: mashable

    I'm interested to see where this'll go, especially as COVID vaccines become more available and maybe, just maybe, in-person dating becomes possible again. I'm interested if more people near me will get off the thousands-deep waitlist, if it will grow enough to use with the same ease as Tinder.

    If not, it may go the way of other exclusive apps: disappointing and deleted.

    UPDATE: Feb. 16, 2021, 5:05 p.m. EST This article has been updated with comment from The League.

    Read more from Love App-tually:

    • Just a Jim looking for his Pam: Fictional couples dominate dating apps

    • Fine break up with me, but let me keep Instagramming your dog

    • Stop creating cutesy buzzwords for asshole online dating behavior

    Related Video: How to go on a virtual date during the coronavirus pandemic

  • How to pull off a weekend BBQ when you’re busy all week

    How to pull off a weekend BBQ when you’re busy all week

    You Got This is a series that spotlights the gear you need to improve one area of your life. If you buy something from this post, we may earn an affiliate commission. 


    We all want to relish in sunny afternoons and warm nights any chance we get. Eating outdoors is one of the most chilled-out ways to enjoy summer. There is some prep involved, but these aren’t meals you’re laboring over for hours and they’re still good.

    When you have a busy schedule, a Walmart+ membership(Opens in a new tab) can save you around 2.5 hours per week with free delivery* from your store on purchases of $35 or more (some restrictions apply). Other benefits include W+ free shipping**, member prices on fuel, and mobile scan & go in store.

    Walmart+ offers fresh, high quality groceries — all the premium produce, meats, baked goods, and other items you need. With free delivery from your local store, it’s a no-brainer to make Walmart+ your go-to service for the freshest groceries. Sign up for a free trial today(Opens in a new tab), and peruse our picks for Walmart+ groceries guaranteed to make your holiday cookouts a big hit:

    Take full advantage of strawberry season

    There’s nothing quite like biting into a fresh strawberry on a hot day — proof that Mother Nature knows best how to create a refreshing treat. Slice up some just-picked strawberries to serve to cookout guests as bite-sized appetizers, and watch the smiles spread around the backyard.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Walmart
    Fresh strawberries, 2lb ($3.34) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    It’s burger time

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: there’s a reason that hamburgers are the centerpiece of cookouts all over the country. Grill up these fresh patties for your pals, and it will be easy to see — and smell and taste — why.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Walmart
    All Natural* 93% Lean/7% Fat Ground Beef Patties 4 Count, 1 lb ($6.48) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Enjoy some effervescence

    Crack open some serious refreshment with mini seltzer cans featuring graphics inspired by their flavors — Unicorn Kisses, Mermaid Songs, Pixie Lights, and Dragon Whispers. These juice- and sugar-free spritzers have natural fruit flavor for effervescent hydration or an easy mixer for drinks.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Polar
    Polar Seltzer JR Variety Pack, 8 oz, 24 Count ($12.09) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Spice up your grill game

    Add some kick to meat, seafood, and vegetables with garlic sriracha seasoning, worthy of secret sauce status. The mix has Thai chili pepper for heat, garlic, and a touch of sugar and vinegar. You’ll want to shake it on everything, from shrimp skewers to Bloody Marys, and maybe even stash a jar in your backpack.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Weber
    Weber® Garlic Sriracha Seasoning 6.2 oz. Shaker ($5.70) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Aw, shucks

    Is there a more versatile veggie than fresh corn? Grill it, boil it, roast it, steam it — there’s nothing like shucking a few ears of corn and enjoying the finished product, no matter how you cook it.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Walmart
    Fresh Corn on the Cob, 4 Pack ($3.97) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Put out the dips

    Savory dips are great with chips, cut-up veggies, or pretzels. Ready-made tubs, like French onion dip with caramelized onion and ranch flavors, are easy to serve right out of the container or for a little panache, plate them in colorful bowls.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Hidden Valley
    Hidden Valley Dip French Onion, 10 oz ($2.97) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Go big on the chips

    Chips are good snacking on their own or as vehicles for all kinds of deliciousness — creamy dips, salsa, guacamole, humus — or loaded up like nachos with shredded cheese and toppings. Scoop-shaped tortilla chips(Opens in a new tab) are a crunchy mode for digging in without cracking.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Tostitos
    Tostitos Scoops! Tortilla Chips Party Size, 14.5 oz Bag ($3.98) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Grilled chicken brings the party

    Chicken breasts are a versatile protein, ready for virtually any kind of flavor. Fresh from your local store, this family pack will reward marinating, grilling, frying — whatever you want to bring to the table.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Freshness Guaranteed Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Portions, 1.03 - 1.56 lb ($5.97) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Straight from the vine

    A juicy tomato plucked from the vine provides the perfect finish to a burger, but if you can’t wait for the grilling to finish, just add a little salt for a ready-made snack. Your guests will thank you.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Sunsets
    Tomatoes On The Vine, Per lb ($1.48) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Sign up for a free trial of Walmart+ today(Opens in a new tab), and enjoy these fresh grocery items and much more — delivered for free, from your local store. Time to get cooking!

    *Free delivery — includes $35 order minimum. **Free shipping — Excludes freight and Marketplace items. Restrictions apply.

  • Controversial influencer Andrew Tate banned from Facebook and Instagram

    Controversial influencer Andrew Tate banned from Facebook and Instagram

    Andrew Tate, the controversial social media influencer and self-help guru has been banned on all Meta platforms(Opens in a new tab) as of Friday as confirmed by The Guardian. At the time of his ban from Meta's platforms, Tate had amassed over 4.7 million followers on Instagram.


    Bans from Facebook and Instagram mean the former kickboxer turned multimillionaire influencer is now de-platformed from the big three social media platforms. He was banned from Twitter in 2016 after stating women should "bear responsibility"(Opens in a new tab) for being sexually assaulted. Meta banned Tate for violating its policies on “dangerous organizations and individuals," The Guardian confirmed.

    Tate's videos — which are cartoonishly misogynistic —amassed a large amount of attention this summer due to their controversial and over-the-top nature, and their ubiquity. Tate's questionable source of income appears to involve inducing customers at his "Hustler's University" business to create social media accounts, clipping short vignettes from Tate's podcast and interview appearances, and dispersing them to as many people as possible.

    SEE ALSO: Who is Andrew Tate? And why is the controversial figure taking over TikTok?

    What appeared to have been Tate's official Tiktok account has been banned for quite some time(Opens in a new tab) now, but his various fan accounts on TikTok have hundreds of thousands of followers. The #andrewtate hashtag alone has 13.4 billion views on Tiktok. A spokesperson with Tiktok told The Guardian that the platform has been "removing violative videos and accounts for weeks and welcome[s] the news that other platforms are also taking action against this individual."

    In a statement to The Guardian, Tate told the outlet that most of his videos are parody, and that "Internet sensationalism has purported the idea that I'm anti-women when nothing could be further from the truth." Tate appeared with popular Twitch streamer Adin Ross and spoke about the claims further(Opens in a new tab). He stated that everything said about him was a false narrative created by people who dislike him.

    "What they've done is found all the little clips across six years of content, a total of three or four minutes, and are trying to make it look like I'm out there trying to hate on women when I'm the one out here donating to women trying to prove that my influence has an effect and that I need to be very very careful with it," Tate said on Ross' stream. "It's a truly false narrative." Tate has so far been unapologetic about the many controversial statements (which you can read about here) that he claims are being used to construct this supposedly false narrative.

    SEE ALSO: Logan Paul, now an intellectual, says he's done with Hollywood

    The UK advocacy group Hope Not Hate told the BBC that Tate is a “dangerous misogynist” and called on more social media companies to deplatform him. Joe Mulhall, director of research at the group, told the BBC that "Mr. Tate poses a genuine threat to young men, radicalizing them towards extremism misogyny, racism and homophobia."

  • The 8 best and funniest tweets of the week

    The 8 best and funniest tweets of the week

    It's summer and it is HOT out there. I don't know where you are located, but where I live, it is oppressively muggy outside. I take two steps into the outdoors and I'm pouring sweat. And it's even hotter in other places.


    But you know what? You can just stay inside and read tweets all day. That's perfectly fine. You can do whatever you want.

    That in mind, we collected eight of the best tweets of the week. Go ahead and enjoy them, safely inside and away from the heat.

    1. Just trying to be normal as everything collapses. Every day. We love to see it. It is such a fun way to live.

    2. She lives on a different plane of existence. And I would like to be there.

    3.You always gotta be ready for Ninja Turtle weather. It's wild stuff.

    SEE ALSO: 16 best tweets of the week, including Thicken Nugget, male fridge, and Pentagon Subway

    4. An obligatory dril tweet for you.

    5. This is an absolute nightmare scenario. HR cannot resolve this. Nothing can resolve this.

    6. I'm not sure this if funny. But it is true. So there's that.

    7. OK, he did do that. He was hawlin(Opens in a new tab)' alright.

    8. And finally, this.

  • Taco Bell made a huge Cheez-It and is holding it prisoner in California

    Taco Bell made a huge Cheez-It and is holding it prisoner in California

    Well, I guess someone had to make a giant Cheez-It eventually.


    And who better to do that than the fast food restaurant that replaced taco shells with Doritos? Yes, Taco Bell(Opens in a new tab) is back at it with dark food sorcery, this time producing a Cheez-It that’s 16 times the size of a normal one for use in multiple experimental menu items at one restaurant in Irvine, California.

    Meet the Big Cheez-It Tostada and the Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap Supreme.

    Golly. Credit: Taco Bell

    The photos pretty much get the point across. But if that doesn’t work for you, allow me to explain: The Big Cheez-It Tostada is literally a humongous Cheez-It cracker with beef, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded cheese layered on top of it. It looks astoundingly unstable and messy, and a little bit like something a guy in his 20s who never learned how to cook would make for himself. 

    Holy mackerel. Credit: Taco Bell

    The Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap Supreme is literally just a regular Crunchwrap Supreme with the big cheese cracker in place of the hard taco shell that normally comes inside one of those bad boys. 

    Let’s cut to the chase: It sucks that this is only happening in one restaurant in southern California.

    I’m not confident that a huge Cheez-It will actually be good (that’s a lot of artificial cheese powder) but I need to try it to feel alive. The world around us is burning, the biggest jerks on the planet have a firm grip on the steering wheel, and I can’t even try the big Cheez-It?

    SEE ALSO: The 10 best Taco Bell menu items, ranked

    Please, people of Irvine, I beg you to buy a billion of these things so Taco Bell makes it available nationwide. We need this.

  • Airbnb freshens up home categories and adds host setup tools

    Airbnb freshens up home categories and adds host setup tools

    Airbnb is prioritizing the vital expansion of its accommodation categories and the experience of hosts, both existing and new.


    A fresh batch of features, announced today as part of the company's winter release(Opens in a new tab), include additional building types, namely Hanoks — traditional Korean homes constructed of natural materials — and new categories including "trending", "top of the world" (homes around 10,000 feet above sea level), and "play" (houses with basketball courts, game rooms, miniature golf, and water slides). These extra categories will allow hosts and their homes to be discovered more easily, while also allowing guests to "find hidden gems", as Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk puts it.

    "From a business perspective, it's helping us to better utilize our inventory. It's a way to help make sure that all the homes are getting a fair share of bookings," he tells Mashable. "And from a community perspective, this can be a driver of the economy, Spreading tourism over a broader, geographic footprint and allowing more communities to benefit from from tourism."

    The most significant of these updates is "adapted", a new category for homes with wheelchair access and verified step-free paths into the home, bedroom, and bathroom. Accuracy on these listings is important, and Airbnb worked with spatial data company Matterport(Opens in a new tab) for the scanning process of these homes. "It's always been very important to us to be inclusive," says Blecharczyk.

    New categories in AirBnb. Credit: AirBnb.

    Amongst the company's other updates is expanded AirCover for hosts and the introduction of Airbnb Setup, a new way to get people started transforming their homes into accommodation on the platform. This is especially important, Blecharczyk tells Mashable, "in this time of economic uncertainty".

    "We know that hosting is really important economically to a lot of people on the platform. We also know there's a lot of other people out there who probably could benefit from the extra income," he said in a Zoom interview, saying that the company recognizes the "great deal of trust" it takes to place a home on Airbnb.

    The setup feature will streamline this process, incorporating guidance from Superhosts(Opens in a new tab), Airbnb's top-rated and most-experienced hosts. First time users can chat with a designated Superhost over audio, video, or messaging. This is intended to ease any anxiety and cater to any uncertainty. There are already 1,500 Superhosts in over 80 countries signed up to the program already. Blecharczyk says they are eager to share their knowledge, noting that, "Hospitality is inherently about sharing information and welcoming people."

    The new 'Hanok' category platforms global housing. Credit: AirBnb.

    New hosts can also select to house experienced guests for the first stay, which would mean a guest with at least three stays and a good track record. The company has also expanded its top-to-bottom damage protection for hosts, primarily tripling it from $1 million to $3 million, while also expanding protection to include cars and boats.

    First-time hosts have new options. Credit: Airbnb

    "[AirCover] is something that every host qualifies for and I think it's really an example of how we continue to kind of lead the industry," Blecharczyk says. "We want to continue to innovate in terms of how we can build confidence in, people hosting."

    The new updates to AirBnb — Setup, AirCover, and its expanded categories — will begin rolling out worldwide next week.

    When asked about Airbnb's growth in relation to the current economy, Blecharczyk recalls how the company grew and adapted during the pandemic, something that Airbnb's CEO Brian Chesky spoke to Mashable about last year. Blecharczyk echoed Chesky's sentiments, saying this time is "actually an opportunity for Airbnb to really show our unique value propositions," citing their range of price points and additional offerings as examples.

    "Whatever happens in the future from an economic standpoint, people still are going to want to travel," he says.

  • How to stay anonymous on LinkedIn

    How to stay anonymous on LinkedIn

    Yes, you can be anonymous on LinkedIn. Also, if you didn't know, other users may be able to see when you viewed their profile. Kinda creepy, right?


    But going anonymous is a perfect feature for checking out other profiles who may have reached out to you. Using this feature, LinkedIn won't let them know that you viewed them. And if anyone finds your profile while you're browsing LinkedIn as anonymous, they won't be able to see your profile picture or other personal information.

    SEE ALSO: The best Dyson vacuums: A guide to the latest versions of stick, ball, and handheld cleaners

    However, if you browse in private mode you also won't be able to see who has viewed your profile, unless you upgrade to Premium(Opens in a new tab).

    So how do you do you go full anonymous mode on LinkedIn? Follow these steps.

    1. Log in to your LinkedIn profile

    2. Find where it says "Me" at the very top and click the dropdown arrow

    Find "Me" at the top of the page Credit: linkedin

    3. Select "Settings & Privacy" under "Account"

    Select "Settings and privacy" in the dropdown menu Credit: linkedin

    4. In the menu on the left, select "Visibility"

    Select "Visibility" on the left Credit: linkedin

    These settings will allow you to have control over who can see your profile and personal info.

    5. Select "Profile viewing options"

    After clicking "Visibility" in the menu on the left, select your LinkedIn profile viewing options Credit: linkedin

    6. At the bottom, select "Private Mode"

    LinkedIn "Private Mode" setting Credit: linkedin

    You'll now only be seen as an "Anonymous LinkedIn Member." View other profiles without them knowing you viewed them. Your profile, along with your contact info, won't be visible to others.

    You can also select "Private Mode" in your "Story viewing options," which lets you view LinkedIn members' stories anonymously.

    There are plenty of other privacy settings you can adjust to limit your LinkedIn visibility without going completely anonymous. Choose who can see your connections, who can see your last name and email address, whether approved apps and partners can display information from your profile, and more.

    Obviously, visibility (and more specifically, discoverability) is a large part of being active on LinkedIn and networking with other professionals, but for those moments you want to be less visible, LinkedIn allows you to be.

  • Minecraft spawns a massive milestone, and YouTube is celebrating

    Minecraft spawns a massive milestone, and YouTube is celebrating

    In the 10 years(Opens in a new tab) since it exited beta, Minecraft has become one of the world's most beloved and best-selling games, with 140 million monthly unique players globally. Today, Dec. 15, it realizes a new achievement, and it’s a big one: 1 trillion views on YouTube. That’s right, Minecraft content on the platform has surpassed a whopping 1,000,000,000,000 views. That’s 12 zeros!


    To commemorate the massive milestone, YouTube is celebrating with a mob of fun features. There's a Minecraft-themed takeover of the YouTube homepage(Opens in a new tab), and creators are sharing their favorite Minecraft memories using #MinecraftMuseum(Opens in a new tab) over on YouTube’s Instagram(Opens in a new tab). If you’re playing today, you can check out a free in-game "YouTube Creator" skin pack(Opens in a new tab) featuring top Minecraft creators.

    YouTube has also picked up their proverbial pickaxes to mine more than a decade of data for insights into the game’s growth. On their impressive interactive site(Opens in a new tab), you can calculate your personal contribution to those 1 trillion views (mine was a pitiful 0.0000000003 percent), explore top content trends by country, and see the biggest Minecraft creator by year.

    One of my favorite takeaways was that the game has racked up more than 500 billion views since 2019. That year, a natural resurgence in gameplay was burgeoned into a full-blown renaissance thanks to Keemstar's popular Minecraft Monday(Opens in a new tab) tournament, Dream's "Minecraft Manhunt" series(Opens in a new tab), Pewdiepie's renewed interest in Minecraft Let’s Plays, and interest from non-gaming creators like James Charles(Opens in a new tab) and Jack Black(Opens in a new tab).

    Creative ingenuity is driving this continuous expansion of 'Minecraft' viewership.
    - Earnest Pettie, YouTube

    There’s one more celebratory gem that players and fans should check out: an animated video(Opens in a new tab) featuring top creators and some of the community’s best moments. There are Easter eggs abound, so keep your eyes peeled! YouTube’s Culture and Trends Insights Lead Earnest Pettie (who showed up to our Zoom wearing a YouTube Gaming sweater, naturally) says his favorite is a reference to CaptainSparklez's music video parody "Fallen Kingdom(Opens in a new tab)." The parody, which now sits at more than 145 million views, is an example of how Minecraft’s sandbox gameplay has become an “empty canvas” for creativity on YouTube, where creators use the game for everything from scripted role plays(Opens in a new tab) to activism

    "For some YouTube creators, [Minecraft videos are] an expression of their point of view as a comedian or as a game player," explains Pettie, "and then you have people who are celebrating aspects of their identity, from Pride celebrations(Opens in a new tab) to people observing Ramadan."

    SEE ALSO: My friend's 'Minecraft' realm was the community I needed while 2020 slid downward

    Even after 10 years, the game retains wide universal appeal. YouTube says it considers more than 35,000 of its creators to be part of the Minecraft community, and that the game was the most-watched on YouTube in 2020. Minecraft also jump-started the careers of YouTube’s most-subscribed individual creators, Pewdiepie(Opens in a new tab) and Mr. Beast(Opens in a new tab), who still play on a regular basis.

    Pettie says that Minecraft’s combo of flexibility and universality is key to its continued success. "Creative ingenuity is driving this continuous expansion of Minecraft viewership," he says. "This game is over a decade old… the thing that allows it to continue to be as popular as it has been is the creators’ ability to think up new ways to keep it fresh."

  • Sisyphus puns are on a roll on Twitter

    Sisyphus puns are on a roll on Twitter

    Making puns about Sisyphus is an everlasting task, set to be rolled out again and again for eternity.


    Folks on Twitter have been turning to Greek mythology and epic tales of late for some truly Olympic puns, mainly about the ill-fated Sisyphus, but also featuring every other goddess, god, titan, hero, and doomed human you could think of from the legends and stories of ancient Greece.

    In case you slept through the class or Stephen Fry's audiobook of Mythos (how could you!?), Sisyphus was a king of Corinth whose cunning deception of Death led to an eternal daily punishment(Opens in a new tab) of rolling a great stone up a hill in the afterlife, only to have it roll down again every time.

    This classic tale and the rest of the legendary gang all get their moment in — or way too close to — the sun in this wonderfully nerdy online trend, including the likes of Prometheus (titan who created humans, then stole fire and gave it to said humans, punished for eternity by a Zeus-y eagle who pecks out his liver daily, fun!), Odysseus (king of Ithaca, hero of Homer's The Odyssey, takes ages to get home).

    The trend seems to have stemmed from an account called Classical Studies Memes for Hellenistic Teens(Opens in a new tab), which has been posting memes related to Classical Studies(Opens in a new tab) (Ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt etc.) for three years.

    SEE ALSO: 'Assassin's Creed Odyssey' review: a stunning, mythic adventure of Olympic proportions

    The account dropped this great Orpheus and Eurydice joke in July 2020, which seems to be at the core of the recent wave of quote retweets. (For reference, in a deal with Hades, Orpheus played his lyre to pull his love Eurydice from the underworld on the condition he didn't look back at her — folks, he did the damn thing).

    For the past 24 hours, the stream of nerdy classical jokes has been as neverending as having one of your internal organs pulverised daily by a bird of prey. Too soon, Prometheus?

    Some jokes flew extremely close to the sun.

    Others took all of their strength.

    Some were too good to be true.

    And on and on it went...

    Notably, the originator of the wave, @CSMFHT, also dropped some superb new jokes of their own.

    And...this absolute show-stopper.

    Long live Classics jokes!