current location: Home > glv5

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

2023-04-02 10:26:58

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

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

K-pop fans spam Dallas police snitch app with videos and memes to support protesters(图1)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mashable has contacted the Dallas Police Department for comment.

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

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

Website of this article:

Go to Baidu to see more

Comments from netizens


contact us



Popular articles


  • Can you masturbate too much?

    Can you masturbate too much?


    Wherever there is content extolling the benefits of masturbation, so too will you find a whole onslaught of voices condemning it. The topic always comes along with conversations about frequency, namely: Doing it too much. "While anxieties and negative attitudes about sexuality can be found throughout history, masturbation has particularly been a behavior of concern," says Sarah Melancon(opens in a new tab), Ph.D, a sociologist, clinical sexologist, and resident expert at The Sex Toy Collective.

    Libido is built out of our reward system — and so the more positive experiences you have, the more you want. Masturbation and orgasms beget wanting more masturbation, sex, and orgasms. TL;DR: masturbation is amazing. Solo sex is a fantastic (and free!) way to de-stress, unwind, and boost positive neuro-transmitters(opens in a new tab). It can also help boost mood and self-esteem.

    At the same time, there is nuance. Zachary Zane(opens in a new tab), author of Boyslut: A Memoir and Manifesto(opens in a new tab) and sex expert for Momentum Intimacy(opens in a new tab), points out, you can do pretty much anything too much. "Masturbation only becomes an issue if it's negatively affecting other aspects of your life," he says. For instance, if your masturbation habits have you skipping work, ditching sex with your partner, or are causing pain or injury, then it may be worth it to reevaluate your masturbation habits. "But if it's NOT negatively impacting your life in any way, then keep at it! Enjoy it," Zane says.

    In all likeliness, your wanking habits are probably completely normal and fine.

    In all likeliness, your wanking habits are probably completely normal and fine. And so, for this glorious month that is Masturbation May, we will be doing away with the pervasive idea that if you’re getting off too much, you’re doing something wrong or shameful or might break your dick/clit. Let’s shift the mindset.

    The roots of 'dangerous masturbation'

    Why are people so obsessed with how often you touch your junk? Melancon says that it’s pretty heavily based in religion. "Many religions condemn sexual activity(opens in a new tab) outside of heterosexual marriage, including masturbation," she says. "In Judeo-Christian religions, masturbation is considered a sin." This harks back to the "spilling the seed" story of Onan in the Bible. Onan was having sex with his brother’s wife and instead of climaxing inside her, he pulled out so that she wouldn't carry his off-spring. You know, a really cute and chill situation. God obviously curses him for spilling his seed because, well, The Bible. Ironically, the story on which this concept is based actually describes Onan pulling out rather than masturbation. 

    Want more sex and dating stories in your inbox? Sign up for Mashable's new weekly After Dark newsletter.

    In the Victorian era(opens in a new tab), masturbation was thought to cause mental illness. These pervasive views on the dangers and evils of masturbation may be  more coded in 2023, but the ghosts of the past still seem to follow us.

    Can you actually masturbate TOO much?

    Basically, not really. As long as you’re not rubbing yourself raw or ditching work to pound it out 24-7, Silva Neves(opens in a new tab), an accredited psychosexual and relationship psychotherapist, says that getting yourself off is not an issue you need to be worried about. "There is no evidence to suggest that masturbation is bad, and there is no agreed definition on measuring what is 'too much,' because everybody's limits are subjective and individual," he says. 

    SEE ALSO: Sex addiction isn't recognised by science. So, why are people still being diagnosed?

    What’s more, there is no evidence that frequent masturbation is in any way bad or addictive. The idea that masturbating too much can become a problem is heavily steeped in shame and sex negativity. Neves tells us that using terms like "porn addiction" or "sex addiction" is highly problematic — as it both increases shame around sex and is not endorsed by either the ICD or the DSM-5 as an addiction. 

    Long story short: You can’t masturbate too much as long as you aren’t hiding away in your room, ignoring your friends, family, and obligations in order to get off constantly. It’s about cultivating healthy habits.

    How you feel about masturbation informs how you feel about your behaviors.

    It’s not usually about whether you’re masturbating too much, it’s about how you FEEL about the behavior. A recent study(opens in a new tab) found four groupings of individuals based on masturbation frequency and sexual satisfaction. 

    1. High masturbation frequency + Satisfied

    2. Low/no masturbation frequency + Satisfied 

    3. (图2)

      High masturbation frequency + Dissatisfied

    4. Low/no masturbation frequency + Dissatisfied

    For those who reported high masturbation frequency and dissatisfaction, Melancon says that this group probably consists of people who view masturbation as being either bad or "less than" partnered sex. "This would likely include individuals using masturbation as a coping mechanism as well as individuals who are lonely and would rather at least some of their masturbation was actually partnered sexual activity instead," she says. What’s more, studies have shown(opens in a new tab) that people who have higher levels of religious belief are more likely to view their masturbation habits as "addictive," when the behaviors themselves are by no means clinically compulsive.

    SEE ALSO: Celebrate Masturbation May with sex toy deals from Satisfyer, Lelo, and more

    If you can shift away from the idea that masturbation = less than, gross, wrong, or addictive and into a mindset of masturbation = happy, healthy, and normal, you’re likely to see a massive improvement in how you perceive your habits. After all, masturbation is a healthy and OK form of sexual activity. Enough with the shame.

    Dealing with death grip.

    Like all good things in life, you might run into problems. Death Grip refers to masturbating in a repeated way, with a very tight grip on the penis. It can also refer to clitorises that are receiving the same, intense form of stimulation (often with a vibrator), leading to temporarily diminished effectiveness of other forms of sexual activity. The term "Death Grip" was originally coined by sex columnist Dan Savage in 2003. Savage was also the first person to coin the term "pegging" (when a cis-man is anally penetrated by someone wearing a strap-on or dildo).

    Death Grip is not an official medical diagnosis — it’s a recognized phenomenon that has been seen in many clinical settings. But, the aim should be dealing with it without pathologizing people. Death grip is actually highly treatable and highly subjective. It’s only a problem if you believe it’s a problem and want to do something about it. There’s nothing wrong with preferring or even needing one form of stimulation to receive pleasure, if that’s what you want. 

    If you’re experiencing Death Grip and feel like you’re losing sensation, change up your masturbation habits. Kenneth Play, an international educator and the bestselling author of Beyond Satisfied: A Sex Hacker’s Guide to Endless Orgasms, Mind-Blowing Connection, and Lasting Confidence(opens in a new tab), refers to "Habit Loops That Rule Our Sex Lives." He tells us that "The more you masturbate in a particular way, the more deeply ingrained a particular pathway to orgasm becomes, and our sexual identity forms around it. Our habits create a fast track to pleasure, and they can put up roadblocks to other forms of sex." 

    "When we masturbate in different ways for a couple of weeks, we start to rewire our habit loops, and we can learn new ways of getting pleasure."

    It’s not that you’re damaging your penis/clit or causing permanent desensitization, it’s just that you’ve gotten used to masturbating in a certain way — and so other forms of sex don’t feel as intense. "We can break our habit loops by turning down the volume on them for a while. We can put the vibrator away or relax the death grip on our penises," Play says. "When we masturbate in different ways for a couple of weeks, we start to rewire our habit loops, and we can learn new ways of getting pleasure."

    Melancon also suggests bringing in a mindfulness practice. “Mindfulness-style practices can help one expand one’s sensory awareness, so over time a lighter grip can become more pleasurable,” she says. Staying connected to our bodies can help to foster stronger connections between our genitals and our minds.

    It’s not that you’re masturbating too much, it might just be that you’re masturbating in the same way a bit too much. It might mean that you’re masturbating in a way that isn’t super connected to your body and doesn’t foster a ton of awareness. Masturbation frequency doesn’t need to cause problems if we cultivate a creative and positive mindset around it. Death Grip isn’t permanent and it simply means a change-up might be in order. 

    All in all, your masturbation habits are probably completely fine and we’d do better to celebrate self-love, rather than demonize it.

  • Bobcat rescued after being stuck in a cars grill for miles on Thanksgiving

    Bobcat rescued after being stuck in a cars grill for miles on Thanksgiving


    A bobcat just received the best Thanksgiving miracle: a second chance at life.

    Richmond Animal Care and Control(opens in a new tab) in Virginia rushed to the aid of the wild, big kitty after it was struck with a car on Thanksgiving Day by a citizen on her way to work.

    According to their Facebook post(opens in a new tab), the woman parked her car only to find the bobcat unable to move inside the grill.

    SEE ALSO: Rescue dog uses his smile to help find a forever home


    Rescuers rushed to the scene where they sedated and freed the bobcat, according to the Facebook post. He was then transferred to another animal care center, the Wildlife Center of Virginia for further treatment.

    Luckily for the cat, he only endured one minor scrape on his back.

    I bet this little guy is quite thankful.

  • Trump praises Native Americans and uses racial slur in the same sentence

    Trump praises Native Americans and uses racial slur in the same sentence


    You may have survived Thanksgiving with your racist uncle, but President Donald Trump won't let that feeling of relief last long.

    At an event honoring the Navajo code talkers who played a vital role in the U.S. military during World War II, Trump couldn't stop himself from making a racist dig at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, calling her "Pocahontas."

    SEE ALSO: John Oliver calls President Trump's Puerto Rico comments 'horribly racist'

    After three of the 13 remaining Navajo code talker veterans had the chance to share their history in the Oval Office on Monday, the president got up to give his remarks. The Navajo code talkers(opens in a new tab) served in the Marine corps during World War II, communicating top-secret messages in a code derived from their complex native language.

    Trump immediately handed over a binder of his prepared statements to the veterans, and proceeded to go off book. And that can only mean disaster with him.

    In his typical image-obsessed fashion, he first complimented the "good genes" of the elderly veterans. Then things got downright offensive.

    After admiring the Native American veterans' long history in the United States, he told them, "we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her 'Pocahontas.'"

    And the moment was as horrifying and awkward as it sounds.

    The president's derogatory nickname for Warren stems from the Massachusetts senator's claims that she has Cherokee ancestors. Although Warren was criticized by the press during her 2012 Senate race for not being able to back up these claims, Trump seems to think it's okay to make up a racist nickname for her.

    And as many have pointed out, it's not okay.


    Some also pointed out the tone deaf juxtaposition of celebrating Native American war heroes in front of a presidential portrait of Andrew Jackson, who was responsible for the death and displacement of many Native Americans, and who also happens to be one of President Trump's favorite predecessors.

    Sen. Warren responded to the president's remarks on television shortly after the event.

    Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had other ideas, telling the press corps that she thought categorizing Trump's "Pocahontas" jab as a slur was "ridiculous."

    UPDATE Nov. 27 3:55 p.m. PT

    The Navajo Nation responded to the incident with a statement, insisting that "cultural insensitivity is unfortunate."

  • Terry Crews on alleged sexual assaulter back at work: SOMEONE GOT A PASS

    Terry Crews on alleged sexual assaulter back at work: SOMEONE GOT A PASS


    Since practically Day 1 of the sexual misconduct reckoning in Hollywood, Terry Crews was one of the strongest voices speaking truth to power. Now that his alleged harasser has been welcomed back to work, he's not backing down.

    Crews famously accused a "high level Hollywood executive" of groping him at a 2016 party, leading top WME talent agent Adam Venit to take a leave of absence. Mashable has confirmed that Venit returned to work on Monday.

    For his part, Crews did not mince words in his response to this development:

    Sources familiar with the situation tell us that after a two-week internal investigation, Venit was suspended for 30 days without pay and demoted from head of the powerful agency's motion picture group. Even without that title, Venit is a true Hollywood power broker who represents high-profile celebrities like Adam Sandler, Sylvester Stallone, Emma Stone, Dustin Hoffman, Liam Hemsworth and Steve Martin.

    Presumably, Venit returns to WME even while still under investigation by the LAPD, after Crews filed a police report about the incident last month.

    Crews says that personally called on Ari Emanuel, co-CEO of WME, with his concerns. In a Tweet, Crews posted pictures of a HuffPost article Emanuel wrote in 2011 demanding that Mel Gibson be blacklisted from entertainment for his infamous anti-Semitic tirade.

    According to Crews, he gave Emanuel a printout of the article with a few edits. Emanuel – the man who in all likelihood chose to reinstate Venit – allegedly handed it back to Crews, claiming that "it's different."

    In the past month, Crews has gone on record about the incident, while also shining a spotlight on how both race and gender factor into sexual harassment.


    ABC Breaking News(opens in a new tab) | Latest News Videos(opens in a new tab)

    As this cultural shift in sexual assault continues to unfold, it's important to note which victims and predators slip through the cracks. Crews remains steadfast in his bravery as he demonstrates that victims are often not treated equally.

    And, in some cases, alleged perpetrators are still apparently considered too big to fail.

  • Fake Roy Moore accuser tries to trick the Washington Post and fails spectacularly

    Fake Roy Moore accuser tries to trick the Washington Post and fails spectacularly


    Project Veritas, you just played yourself.

    The group, founded by conservative "guerrilla journalist" James O’Keefe, tried to expose the Washington Post(opens in a new tab) but ended up looking pretty dumb in the end.

    It all started when a woman approached the Post with a story. She said that when she was 15 years old, she'd been impregnated by Roy Moore, the Alabama senate candidate who has been accused of sexually harassing and assaulting teenage girls.

    SEE ALSO: Stephen Colbert dissects Roy Moore's sexual assault allegations with brutal wit

    But when the Washington Post fact-checked her story(opens in a new tab), it didn't add up -- and then they watched her walk into the New York offices of Project Veritas. The "sting" was supposed to expose, I don't know, some liberal conspiracy against Moore. Instead it showed just how professional and thorough the Washington Post is when it comes to checking facts.

    The story was met with delight online.

    The botched undercover investigation shouldn't come as a surprise. This is the guy whose organization failed to get a CNN reporter onto a boat filled with dildos(opens in a new tab), and who outed its own plan to infiltrate a George Soros event by forgetting to hang up the phone(opens in a new tab).

    The conversation between the woman and Washington Post reporter was supposed to be off the record. But when the Post found out her true motives, all bets were off, according to executive editor Martin Baron


    “We always honor ‘off-the-record’ agreements when they’re entered into in good faith," Baron said. "But this so-called off-the-record conversation was the essence of a scheme to deceive and embarrass us. The intent by Project Veritas clearly was to publicize the conversation if we fell for the trap. Because of our customary journalistic rigor, we weren’t fooled, and we can’t honor an ‘off-the-record’ agreement that was solicited in maliciously bad faith.”

    O'Keefe didn't respond when the Post asked "if he was working with Moore, former White House adviser and Moore supporter Stephen K. Bannon, or Republican strategists."

    But he did try to defend himself by bragging about trending on Twitter, and then releasing a totally unrelated video before asking his supporters for more money.

    So, take that, competent mainstream media.

  • Blogger gets seven years in jail after writing about toxic spill in Vietnam

    Blogger gets seven years in jail after writing about toxic spill in Vietnam


    A court in Vietnam has sentenced a blogger to seven years in jail for reports he wrote about a toxic spill in the country.

    On Monday Nguyen Van Hoa was found guilty of spreading "anti-state propaganda" about a chemical spill that occured in Vietnam in 2016.

    SEE ALSO: Trump slurps shark fin soup as U.S. works to remove itself from the shark fin trade

    The spill, which occured in April, has been dubbed the country's worst environmental disaster. It happened when Formosa Ha Tinh Steel, a Taiwanese-owned steel factory released chemicals which included cyanide, into the sea.

    The discharge killed marine life, causing at least 70 tonnes of dead fish(opens in a new tab) to be washed ashore and destroyed some 200 hectares of coral reef. Hundreds of people were believed to have fallen ill after eating the poisoned fish.

    Thousands of demonstrators had come out to the factory protesting(opens in a new tab) and demanding compensation. It was these protests that the 22-year-old blogger wrote about that led to his arrest earlier this year.

    “The sentencing of Nguyen Van Hoa shows how profoundly the government’s paranoid desire to maintain political control trumps notions of justice and human rights," Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch Asia told the New York Times. (opens in a new tab)

    "How else can one explain that executives of an international firm that poisoned the ocean... are free to go about their business while this idealistic young journalist is heading to prison for helping expose their misdeeds?"

    'Defaming' the government

    But Nguyen isn't the only blogger to be affected.

    Another blogger, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, known as Mother Mushroom, was jailed earlier in June(opens in a new tab) this year for 10 years, for distributing propaganda against the state.

    Mother Mushroom first rose to prominence in 2006 writing about political and environmental issues.


    Her blog was frequently critical of the government, and she wrote about controversial issues like Beijing's financing of a bauxite mine in Vietnam and the government's handling of the toxic chemical spill.

    At a closed-door trial, a judge said she had defamed the government(opens in a new tab) and published inaccurate information, among other charges.

    Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, also known as "Mother Mushroom" (L) Credit: AFP/Getty Images

    Vietnam's government was heavily criticised after it remained silent for weeks after the chemical spill incident, only coming out later in June (opens in a new tab)to acknowledge that Formosa had indeed leaked chemicals into the South China Sea.

    The company later admitted responsibility and agreed to pay $500 million in damages.

    It re-opened (opens in a new tab)in May this year, with the organisation saying it would "improve environmental safety measures" and aim to re-start commercial production by the end of the year.

  • If Trump doesnt believe the Access Hollywood tape is real, he should just ask Billy Bush

    If Trump doesnt believe the Access Hollywood tape is real, he should just ask Billy Bush


    That President Donald Trump would buy into a conspiracy theory isn't a surprise.

    That he would concoct a new one that attempts to completely retcon his own history shows that, even after an absolutely bananas 10 months in office, he still has the power to stun us.

    SEE ALSO: Trump's tweets since he was elected president: A complete breakdown

    But that's where we're at as word continues to spread that Trump is privately suggesting the infamous Access Hollywood tape -- the one published by the (opens in a new tab)Washington Post(opens in a new tab) in which Trump audibly advocates sexual assault to a chuckling Billy Bush -- may not be real.

    The New York Times first reported(opens in a new tab) the whisperings as a buried nugget in a story about how Trump is tacitly endorsing Roy Moore in the Alabama senate race despite the heap of allegations facing Moore.

    And, on Monday, the Times' White House reporter Maggie Haberman said a third person has reported Trump's doubts over that being his voice on the tape.

    This all despite the fact that Trump fessed up and even offered an apology(opens in a new tab) for his statements after the story broke and his continuing to defend the conversation as "locker room talk."

    But no matter how much Trump may be trying to convince others -- or even himself -- that the video isn't him, if there's one person who knows the truth, it's Billy Bush.

    A littler over a week after the Post published the tape, Bush was fired by NBC(opens in a new tab) from his job at The Today Show. And though it would take months for Bush to publicly address the incident, he gave no indication that the conversation is, in any way, fake.


    Speaking to (opens in a new tab)The Hollywood Reporter(opens in a new tab) in May 2017, Bush said:

    "Looking back upon what was said on that bus, I wish I had changed the topic. [Trump] liked TV and competition. I could've said, 'Can you believe the ratings on whatever?' But I didn't have the strength of character to do it."

    When considering he was fired for his part in the conversation but Trump was elected president, Bush noted, "the irony was glaring."

    And if there's a guy who you think would try to claim the "tape is fake" card, it's the guy who actually lost his job because of it.

    The conversation was recorded in 2005 and one can forgive a fuzzy memory, especially from a man who has spewed so much vitriol just in the last 2.5 years, let alone the last decade. But even Trump can't possibly be this delusional, right?

    For their part, the folks at (opens in a new tab)Access Hollywood(opens in a new tab) are standing firm and saying that, yes, the tape is real.

    Bush hasn't commented on this latest wrinkle but he was recently hit in the head by a golf ball(opens in a new tab) which, frankly, would give him a far better excuse than Trump for having a hazy recollection.

  • Donald Trump just retweeted anti-Muslim videos from a British extreme far-right group

    Donald Trump just retweeted anti-Muslim videos from a British extreme far-right group


    UPDATE (3:15 p.m. ET): Updated to include White House comment on the videos.

    U.S. President Donald J. Trump woke up Wednesday morning and retweeted three anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, unverified videos from the deputy leader of one of Britain's most extreme far-right groups, Britain First.

    SEE ALSO: Trump's latest tweets lashing out at UCLA players are his most unpresidential yet
    Credit: realdonaldtrump/twitter

    The Twitter feed of Jayda Fransen, who was convicted(opens in a new tab) of religiously aggravated harassment last year after hurling abuse at a woman in hijab in front of her four young children, is basically just a stream of hateful content targeting Muslims and immigrants.

    Fransen was charged again(opens in a new tab) with religiously aggravated harassment in September this year.

    She was ecstatic that the U.S. President retweeted her unverified videos:


    Last year, Britain First announced(opens in a new tab) it was launching "direct action campaign against Muslim elected officials" targeting "where they live, work, pray". They singled out Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, and Sajid Javid, cabinet minister.

    The killer of British MP Jo Cox, Thomas Mair, reportedly shouted “Britain First”(opens in a new tab) as he shot and stabbed the Labour MP last year, one week before of the EU referendum.

    Cox's husband tweeted in response to Trump's retweets:

    The first video tweeted by Fransen is entitled "Muslim migrant beats up migrant boy on crutches" but according Geenstijl(opens in a new tab), the news site that posted it, "the perpetrator was not Muslim or a migrant, but a Dutchman."

    Credit: Geenstijl/screengrab

    On Wednesday morning, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that whether or not the videos were real, "these are real threats we have to talk about.

  • Meghan Markle started on Deal or No Deal way before her big royal engagement

    Meghan Markle started on Deal or No Deal way before her big royal engagement


    Meghan Markle knows all about making important decisions.

    Before she became a paralegal on Suits and Prince Harry's future bride, she was a briefcase model on Deal or No Deal.

    According to TMZ(opens in a new tab), she appeared in 34 episodes and modeled three different briefcases.

    SEE ALSO: 6 things you need to know about Meghan Markle now that she's about to become a royal

    "I went from working in the U.S. Embassy in Argentina to ending up on Deal. It's run the gamut," she told Esquire(opens in a new tab) back in 2013. "Definitely working on Deal or No Deal was a learning experience, and it helped me to understand what I would rather be doing."

    Although she appreciated the opportunity, Markle didn't shy away from telling the publication about the tiring experience: "I would end up standing up there forever in these terribly uncomfortable and inexpensive five-inch heels just waiting for someone to pick me so I could go and sit down."


    Despite her time as a case model, people applaud her for where she ended up -- being future royalty.

  • NBC employees reveal chilling details of Matt Lauers alleged sexual harassment

    NBC employees reveal chilling details of Matt Lauers alleged sexual harassment


    Details on the alleged inappropriate behavior leading to Today co-host Matt Lauer's ouster from NBC have surfaced – including sex toys as gifts, coerced sex with female employees and the disturbing report that Lauer had a button under his desk that could lock the door to his secluded office from within.

    NBC's initial statement Wednesday cited one complaint from a fellow female employee dating back to the Sochi Olympics. But in a memo, NBC News chairman Andy Lack said that "while it is the first complaint about his behavior" during his 20 years at the network, "we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."

    Hours later, Variety(opens in a new tab) revealed numerous, corroborated accounts of Lauer's widespread sexual harassment at the network from women who declined to be named.

    SEE ALSO: Resurfaced video shows Katie Couric saying Matt Lauer 'pinches me on the ass a lot'

    Allegations ranged from inappropriate "games" regarding coworkers' sex lives, to gifting a female colleague a sex toy with a lewd note about how he wanted her to use it, and even exposing himself to an employee in his office before berating her for not performing sex acts on him. Ten employees described Lauer's "fixation" on women, both at 30 Rockefeller and out in the field on assignment, including frequent comments on female staffers' appearances and sex lives.

    Perhaps most chillingly, Lauer reportedly had a button in his office desk that could discretely lock the door. Two victims of his harassment said this emboldened his inappropriate behavior.

    The New York Times(opens in a new tab) later reported Wednesday that NBC subsequently received at least two more complaints, one from a former employee who said Lauer summoned her and had sex with her in his office in 2001. The unidentified woman told the Times "she felt helpless because she didn’t want to lose her job, and that she didn’t report the encounter at the time because she felt ashamed."

    Though the network insisted it received its first complaint on Monday, many victims say they'd previously brought his behavior to the attention of NBC executives. One former reporter said that "management sucks there," and claimed executives "protected the shit out of Matt Lauer."

    Lauer is the third high-ranking NBC employee to recently be terminated from the network for inappropriate sexual behavior at the workplace, joining Today correspondent Mark Halperin and senior top talent booker Matt Zimmerman.

    The network initially declined to comment on Variety's story. But a spokesperson gave a CNN reporter a statement(opens in a new tab) claiming that, "We can say unequivocally, that, prior to Monday night, current NBC News management was never made aware of any complaints about Matt Lauer’s conduct.”


    While sources accounted for consensual relationships between Lauer and some NBC staffers, they also questioned the enormous power discrepancy involved. Producers from the network echoed the worry that denying Lauer's alleged advances would pose a risk to their careers.

    "He couldn’t sleep around town with celebrities or on the road with random people, because he’s Matt Lauer and he’s married," one producer told Variety. "So he’d have to do it within his stable, where he exerted power, and he knew people wouldn’t ever complain."

    As for the alleged Olympics incident cited by NBC, it appears to have been par for the course: Sources described how Lauer often initiated late-night hotel room visits with female employees during multiple Olympics.

    Lauer often presented himself as a bastion of progressive ideals on camera. Only three months ago, he interviewed his essential equivalent star at Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, grilling him over his own sexual misconduct in the workplace.

    Lauer has yet to comment or issue a statement.

Random articles


  • Survivor leaves 5-star eyeliner review because it stayed perfectly intact after car crash


    Survivor leaves 5-star eyeliner review because it stayed perfectly intact after car crash

    Warning: this article contains photos that some people might find disturbing.

    Good waterproof eyeliner is hard to find. Makeup lovers are always on the search for products that won't budge, even after crying jags or a day at the beach.

    Or in one eyeliner loyalist's case, surviving a car crash.

    SEE ALSO: Garden brows are taking the concept of 'natural beauty' to a new level

    Twitter user @guadalahari was on the hunt for a new eyeliner brand when she came across this review raving about Kat Von D's waterproof Tattoo Liner.

    "I was in a car accident and my eyeliner didn't budge," a review from eight months ago said.

    Here's the full review:

    "This product is truly amazing. June 28th I was pulled over in my car calling for roadside assistance when a distracted driver hit me going 55mph. I was taken via ambulance to the ER where I remained for 8 hours. My mascara was running down my face from crying and all other products had been wiped off in the transfer to the hospital. But not my tattoo eyeliner. I am posting a pick to show you, this product lasts and looks amazing through anything. Never buying any other liner again."

    The mystery reviewer, who left five stars, revealed herself in @guadalahari's comments.

    "Girl, when you find a good product, you have to share the info," @catsandcusswrds responded.

    Obviously, you can't make everyone happy. When @catsandcusswrds got some Twitter hate for taking a selfie after the accident, she defended herself.

    And other makeup wearers backed her up with proof of how good the eyeliner is in times of trouble -- journalist Madeleine Dunne shared a selfie of her face after she flew off her bike. She may have needed stitches, but her winged liner was still sharp!

    Twitter user @MageePaige concurred, tweeting a bloody selfie from an emergency room gurney. Her eyeliner was still perfect, though.

    But some worried that the liner wasn't as great as everyone hyped it up to be.

    Another product that's apparently great for surviving near-fatal accidents: setting spray.

    One Twitter user shared a screenshot of a NYX review. "If this setting spray can survive being hit by a car then that's all the proof I need and I'll definitely be buying it again," the reviewer said.

    Even the eyeliner company got in on the post, applauding @catsandcusswrds's review with some praise emoji.

    If you want to look good even through traumatic life events, this may be the eyeliner for you. Just drive safely, please.

  • Apparently Trump actually said sh*thouse, and people are questioning if its a word

    Apparently Trump actually said sh*thouse, and people are questioning if its a word


    Yes, we're having this discussion.

    As the fallout over Trump's alleged remark about the U.S. accepting people from "shithole" countries continues, we might be all getting angry about the wrong word.

    SEE ALSO: How foreign media translated Trump's 'shithole' comment

    The word uttered, according to a tweet by Washington Post's White House reporter Josh Dawsey, apparently might be "shithouse."

    So far Trump has denied using any shit-related word, despite Democrat senator Dick Durbin attesting to the fact he said it.(opens in a new tab)

    While the debate over the exact word Trump used doesn't dilute the malice of it, it did lead to people wondering if "shithouse" was actually a word.

    Of British origin, "shithouse" means an outhouse, and is also a more enjoyable way of saying "shit." It can be used as a slang word for poor quality, or when used in the idiom "built like a brick shithouse" it means something or someone with a tough physique.

    The word was even a punchline in 1993's Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Maybe Donald's a fan.


    It's a pretty common expression in Australia.

    Regardless, whatever Trump said, it's a pretty shithouse thing for him to say.

  • Uber driver plays his own Old Town Road remix dedicated to his cat

    Uber driver plays his own Old Town Road remix dedicated to his cat


    We're officially on our millionth "Old Town Road" remix, and Lil Nas X isn't even featured this time.

    Twitter user @justjordinjames(Opens in a new tab) posted a video of their very yeehaw-filled Uber ride last week. But instead of getting the horses in the back, this driver just really wanted to show some love for his own cat. His remix of "Old Town Road" is completely dedicated to his cat. Now that's what I call dedication.

    Despite being terribly off beat, you can feel the palpable love for his furry companion. "My cat is a master/mice she's going after/she peed on my carpet/you can go and ask her."


    Uber got in on feline rhymes and even added their own fresh lyrics to his remix.

    Can't nobody tell this Uber driver nothing, because no one loves his cat like he does.

  • Why apologies for sexual misconduct will never be enough

    Why apologies for sexual misconduct will never be enough


    Update 12/5 5:45 pm ET: This list has been updated to include more men's apologies.

    A certain incensed line of questioning is starting to take shape in the cultural conversation around harassment -- and we need to put an end to it right now.

    For the first time, some powerful men are suffering consequences for repeated sexual misconduct, then issuing publicist-approved apologies. And then a good amount of people think that's that, and ask the rest of us: What more do you want? What else do you expect? What more can he do if he's already apologized?

    But the underlying, unspoken message embedded in these questions is: Get over it. Stop complaining. Let the world go on as it always was.

    The answer to what we want is simple, though apparently nearly impossible for certain people to comprehend. We demand justice. We expect accountability. Apologies are not enough. And we do not care if justice comes at a personal cost to predators.

    SEE ALSO: Please stop applauding Louis C.K. for doing the bare minimum

    Louis C.K., Matt Lauer, Al Franken, Geraldo Rivera, Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein -- none of the sorrow, regret, or embarrassment outlined in their apologies began with realizing they were hurting people. It began when their hurting people became public.

    "It began when their hurting people became public."

    And if you look very closely at their apologies, they're not done hurting people yet either.

    As the latest to publish the same, now disturbingly familiar kinda culpa, Matt Lauer is a perfect example of the damage predatory men can inflict while apologizing. Because each one of these apologies ensures that the accused's ass is legally covered, often by slyly placing the blame back onto their victims. Or, most insidiously, purposefully blurring the boundaries of consent. I'm sorry, they seem to say, but you just don't know the other side of the story.

    Just look:

    1) Matt Lauer regrets that his victims are now hurting the people he cherishes.

    "Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly."

    2) Louis C.K. claims he asked for consent, implying victims just admired him so much they just couldn't say no.

    "These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me."

    Protesters at a Me Too rally tin Los Angeles, California Credit: Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

    3) Harvey Weinstein (opens in a new tab)is so remorseful toward the people he hurt that he doesn't bother asking them if he deserves a second chance.

    "I want a second chance in the community, but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it. I have goals that are now priorities. Trust me, this isn’t an overnight process. I’ve been trying to do this for 10 years, and this is a wake-up call. I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt, and I plan to do right by all of them."

    4) Kevin Spacey's sorry he likes to get drunk. Also: He's gay!

    "I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior... This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life... I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man."

    5) Al Franken(opens in a new tab)'s sorry for being a warm and friendly person.

    "I’ve met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs, often in crowded and chaotic situations ... I’m a warm person; I hug people. I’ve learned from recent stories that in some of those encounters, I crossed a line for some women."

    6) Geraldo Rivera(opens in a new tab) is embarrassed by how many consenting female conquests he's had.


    "27 years ago I wrote a tawdry book depicting consensual events in 1973 – 45 years ago – I’ve deeply regretted its distasteful & disrespectful tone & have refrained from speaking about it – I’m embarrassed & profoundly sorry to those mentioned – I have & again apologize to anyone offended. Although I recall the time @BetteMidler(opens in a new tab) has alluded to much differently than she, that does not change the fact that she has a right to speak out & demand an apology from me, for in the very least, publically [sic] embarrassing her all those years ago. Bette, I apologize."

    7) Danny Masterson(opens in a new tab) doesn't even need to say sorry because we all know the legal system is famously great at bringing justice to rapists.

    “I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix’s decision to write my character off of ‘The Ranch.’ From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused. I understand and look forward to clearing my name once and for all.”

    Here's my advice to those rushing to defend these redemption arcs: save your sympathy.

    Until about three months ago, the expectation was that survivors rather than perpetrators of sexual harassment, assault and rape would be the ones who suffered the greatest consequences of an allegation.

    Participants seen at Take Back The Workplace March and #MeToo Survivors March & Rally Credit: Chelsea Guglielmino/FilmMagic

    To the people (namely men) who saw this to be the natural order of things, they can barely imagine what actual justice looks like. All they know is that, as men (it's usually men), they didn't used to feel so anxious or threatened by the opposite sex all the time. Before, they never had to worry about being condemned by the court of public opinion. You know, like how survivors of harassment and assault usually feel and get treated.

    But now, for what seems like the first time, a few men are getting a taste of their own medicine And they cannot get over the injustice of it all.

    To those born with the privilege of a world built for their success and protection, justice can feel unjust. It can feel like your words and account of the events in question will not be heard or believed. It can feel like you are being put under unfounded scrutiny. It can feel like there is no way to regain your lost dignity. It can feel like there's no longer a safe place for you in this world.

    In short, this cultural reckoning is making a lot of predatory men feel like the people they victimized.

    But for those survivors -- like one of Weinstein's rape accusers, Rose McGowan -- there is no recovering your career or personal life for the crime of speaking out. Yet something tells me that a good deal of these men and their half-assed apologies will do just fine in due time.

    The countdown to the comeback tour begins.

  • A TikTok hack claims to give you a cheap, trendy manicure. Nail techs are begging you not to do it.

    A TikTok hack claims to give you a cheap, trendy manicure. Nail techs are begging you not to do it.

    Getting a trendy manicure that fully expresses your personality — think intricate designs, nail gems, the whole nine yards — has gotten increasingly expensive, yet extremely popular amongst the online beauty community. So when TikTok began circulating a cheap hack using press-on nails and gel curing, DIY-ers everywhere rejoiced. But nail professionals have issued a dire warning against the viral beauty trend.


    "I personally think this is a very alarming and scary trend that's happening on TikTok at the moment," says Amber Thomas, founder of The Healthy Nails Collaborative,(Opens in a new tab) in her video(Opens in a new tab). "UV light cannot go through a full cover press-on nail that is colored. It needs to be absolutely clear… You are leaving yourself open to developing an allergy to gel products." 

    The trend in question began circulating earlier this summer(Opens in a new tab) when creator @yasyyada's video(Opens in a new tab) brought it to the spotlight, raking in 2.3 million views. It involves using a bonding gel adhesive like Aprés's Extend Gel(Opens in a new tab) to attach inexpensive press-on nails that you'd typically get from a drug store. After applying the nail, the technique tells viewers to cure under a UV lamp, which should dry out the gel and produce a long-lasting and intricate manicure for low effort and low cost. 

    Both the issue and the draw, however, are that most affordable press-on nails from a drugstore come pre-designed. The nails are already painted and often feature impressive designs that nail novices can't accomplish themselves at home, making the whole process much easier. But those designs make the nails not completely clear, as Thomas says is necessary, and therefore block the UV light from actually fully curing the nail and the gel bonder beneath it. 

    SEE ALSO: Skin cycling is the TikTok trend that's demystifying active skincare

    A gel bonder like Extend Gel is meant to be used with entirely clear nail extensions, to be painted after application and fully curing. If gel is left uncured or only partially cured, the nails underneath may develop contact dermatitis and/or have an allergic reaction, which prevents the wearer from ever properly using a gel-based product again. According to Thomas, improperly cured gel also allows moisture to get trapped under the press-on nail, which could possibly lead to mold. 

    In many TikTok videos recommending the hack, viewers are told to use any affordable UV lamp they'd like to purchase, with a popular option being a mini lamp meant to be used for flash curing. Thomas has a separate video(Opens in a new tab) outlining the requirements for a safe nail UV lamp, which she says should be at least 48W and have a reflective bottom border to properly cure gel onto nails. 

    Other TikTokkers are also warning against the trend after trying it themselves and experiencing adverse effects. "My nails looked great until they started itching so bad that I had to pour almost boiling water on my nails just to try to ease the pain," said user @k.wamp in her video(Opens in a new tab). "And then my fingernails were so squishy underneath they were falling off."

    If nail enthusiasts do want an affordable alternative to salon-quality manicures, nail techs do agree that a gel bonder can still be used at home — it simply must be under a clear nail attachment and with a proper lamp. This, of course, then does require you to paint them yourself, making the hack much less useful to the less artistically inclined. 

    Somehow, taking the time to pick up some nail art skills seems worth it to avoid the burning, itching pain from a gel allergy. But maybe that's just us?

  • Man writes heartfelt breakup letter to his gym to end his membership

    Man writes heartfelt breakup letter to his gym to end his membership


    If you've ever had the pleasure of entering a contractual agreement with a gym, you'll know that ending that agreement can be a difficult task.

    After moving out of state, Redditor Mastrrbasser needed to cancel(opens in a new tab) his membership to Planet Fitness. But because Planet Fitness really doesn't want you to cancel your membership, they make it as difficult as possible, and required the man to write a certified letter.

    So that's exactly what he did, except he framed the whole thing like a breakup letter.

    SEE ALSO: This guy's hilarious driver's license prank is enough to make going to the DMV fun
    Reddit(opens in a new tab)

    "Certain events in my life have put me in a different place, and while it was one of the more taxing decisions I've made as of late, it is the right one," he wrote, adding that the purpose of the letter is to "end my relationship with Planet Fitness."

    Like many breakups, he placed the blame on himself.

    "I know I've been distant," he wrote. "But it's because I've changed. I have different needs now, and to be frank ... you really haven't changed at all."


    The letter goes on to say that Mastrrbasser now has a new exercise facility, and although he still loves Planet Fitness, it's more of a friend type of situation.

    But the nostalgia is still there.

    "I still think fondly of you, and the time we spent together as I drive by one of your many locations," the letter reads. Sometimes, when I'm alone, I even throw on one of my old 'power-pop workout' playlists and feel the rush of our past course through me as if we were still one, holding hands with your elliptical machine, and gingerly brushing my sweaty bangs out of my face as I huff and puff in a tumultuous vortex of sweat and endorphins."

    Honestly, the whole thing is really great.

  • YouTubers are faking trips on Instagram to make a statement about social media

    YouTubers are faking trips on Instagram to make a statement about social media


    The YouTubers faking trips around the world seem to be missing their own point.

    Popular influencers are tricking their followers by staging vacations around the world, often without even leaving their home countries. Through some skillful Photoshops, elaborate planning, and careful posing, influencers almost manage to convince their followers that they're really traveling to places like Italy and Japan.

    But while they claim they're calling out social media for portraying constant perfection, the criticism falls flat coming from influencers.

    As YouTuber Liraz Roxy noted in a video about her faked trip to Bora Bora, "If you have Instagram nowadays, you can pretty much fake everything, from your relationship to literally your lunch ... and it's so, so easy."

    With a bag of leis and a few leftover photos from a vacation to Hawaii — which she pointed out was a cheaper trip from Los Angeles than buying an international ticket to Indonesia — she tricked her followers into believing that she was actually spending a luxurious week on a Polynesian island.

    SEE ALSO: A 15-year-old influencer says she's married and pregnant, but is it just for clicks?

    "Please you guys, don't be depressed over something you don't know for sure because it can still be fake," she concluded.


    The London-based YouTube channel Meet The Vloggers echoed a similar sentiment in their video about pretending to visit New York City. The video opens with an intense voiceover questioning whether the trio of vloggers can even pull it off.

    "What you're about to witness will make you question everything you see on social media," the narration states. "Have we taken the lie too far? Will our subscribers ever believe us again?"

    Most recently, vlogger Gabbie Hanna pulled off a staged weekend at Coachella without once leaving the greater Los Angeles area. She offered some thoughtful insight on the people who actually do go to the desert music festival.

    "It seemed like a lot of people weren't looking forward to Coachella," she said, listing the extensive cost of the festival and the numerous outfits, meals, and accommodations that go along with it. "There's a lot of people that go to Coachella who do not enjoy the experience just because they're going for Instagram pictures. And that to me, feels stressful."

    In an effort to make a statement on how nothing on social media is real, the influencers seem to miss a crucial point: Despite calling out others for traveling for clout, they're still profiting off their faked Instagram posts.

    Despite calling out others for traveling for clout, they're still profiting off their faked Instagram posts.

    After posting a photo of herself against a Photoshopped desert backdrop, Hanna noted that she had never received as many tags and reposts as she did with the faux Coachella post. Earlier in the video, she said that fellow YouTuber Nikita Dragun gained 100,000 followers after posting Coachella weekend — so even if Hanna faked it, she was still benefitting from the status symbol that is attending the festival.


    While it's admirable that influencers are using their massive platforms to call out the pressure for perfection on Instagram, hearing it from influencers feels a bit hypocritical. Even though the gag isn't as insensitive or dangerous as other YouTube pranks, like faking a pregnancy or walking around blindfolded, critiquing Instagram culture by faking a perfect trip is disingenuous because they're still portraying a perfect life.

    "I know a lot of people look at people on Instagram and social media and think, 'Wow their life is impossibly perfect," Hanna said in her Coachella video, acknowledging that she can't judge because she's also an influencer. "Looks and appearances are important when it comes to branding and your social presence ... just know that those things aren't always as attainable as they seem."

    You have to admit that the challenge is way more cost effective than actually traveling, though.

  • New photos of George, Charlotte, and Louis frolicking in a garden are an absolute delight

    New photos of George, Charlotte, and Louis frolicking in a garden are an absolute delight


    If you're heartbroken that Game of Thrones is over forever, well here's something to soothe your soul.

    Kensington Palace has released a series of new pics of the royal brood — AKA Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

    SEE ALSO: Princess Charlotte looks just like the Queen in these new photos

    In the photos, the royal kids are seen frolicking in a garden. Not just any old garden, mind. This garden was designed by the Duchess of Cambridge for the Royal Horticultural Society's (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show.


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


    The Back to Nature Garden is described(Opens in a new tab) in an Instagram post as "a woodland setting for families and communities to come together and connect with nature."

    "Her Royal Highness is a strong advocate for the proven benefits the outdoors has on physical and mental health, and the positive impact that nature and the environment can have on childhood development in particular," the post continues.

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

    Anyone for a game of Poohsticks?

  • You have to be extremely online to understand the threat America faces now

    You have to be extremely online to understand the threat America faces now

    Sometimes, as a reporter covering digital culture, I feel like I live in a world disparate from my friends and family. How do you, for instance, explain the vagaries and subsets of alt-TikTok to people who, at most, know TikTok as the app where the kids dance?


    Culture at large — things like music, film, news — reckoned with a digital invasion long ago. The Trump regime hastened that process for the staid world of politics. Was there ever — will there ever be — a more Online president than Donald Trump, who spent his days in office live-tweeting his every whim?

    It's obvious now: There is no distinction, not really, between the world online and the world offline. They bleed into and feed one another, now explicitly so when it comes to extremist political movements. You can't understand one without the other.

    For instance: If you don't, offhand, immediately understand the acronym WWG1WGA — pro-Trump conspiracy group QAnon's motto where we go one, we go all — it's difficult to truly comprehend the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, which was, in part, a real-life meet-up of desperate Q believers.

    The Jan. 6 insurrection is only the most obvious example of how this works. A witch's brew of right-wingers — Proud Boys, Q supporters, garden-variety Trumpers, militia groups, and others — transformed online organizing and conspiracy theorizing into real-life action. Lots of Q backers took literal oaths(Opens in a new tab) to be "digital soldiers" over the summer — is it any wonder they were willing to literally fight?

    "What they basically are saying [is] we're ready to fight on the information battlefields. So they're already taking an oath to fight somewhere," said Jack Bratich, a professor of media studies at Rutgers University who has researched conspiracies and QAnon. "And then you have, obviously something like Trump's campaign, which had this whole sector called the Army for Trump(Opens in a new tab)... So I think you have a convergence around November of these kinds of different levels of soldiers, in their minds. These people are ready for action."

    But if you weren't online — sorry, like, Online online — in the lead-up to the riots, you would've had no idea that it was possible. It's not that regular people, the un-Online, are at fault. Large swaths of media and news sources missed the chance to explain just how dangerous this all was. How deadly it could prove.

    And what about non-Q extremists? We could spend all day walking through the odds and ends of how memes infect real life — but suffice it to say groups like the Boogaloo Boys(Opens in a new tab) and Proud Boys(Opens in a new tab) have morphed online organizing and irony into IRL violence and action. To understand how these memes came into being requires at least a passing knowledge of 4Chan, a forum that has played a part in launching pretty much every recent rightwing movement.

    Talia Lavin(Opens in a new tab) — author of the book (Opens in a new tab)Culture Warlords(Opens in a new tab), which investigates and uncovers white supremacist spaces online via Lavin taking on invented online personas — said a central point of the book is that online extremism isn't new. Rather, the internet is convenient way of organizing that hate.

    "Overall, what I was trying to communicate was that the internet, with the complicity and aid of many tech companies, has essentially become the means of the metastasis of a pre-existing societal disease," Lavin said in a phone interview.

    There's an instinct to write-off online extremists as a kind of joke. Even after people died at the riots, one article(Opens in a new tab) called them a collection of "deadbeat dads, YouPorn enthusiasts, slow students, and MMA fans."

    It's an easy impulse to indulge. To make these people other. Laugh it off: Look there's some dude dressed up in a viking shaman outfit. There's the Boogaloo movement wearing silly Hawaiian shirts while toting assault weapons. But to separate the so-called LARPing from people who are Online(Opens in a new tab) from the real world is a fool's errand. The online world is the real world. When people talk about wanting a civil war online, many of them actually believe it.

    You'll miss it all if you're not Logged On. It's what people who monitored these spaces had been saying for ages, but it's tough for normal folks to surf through years of jargon, in-jokes, and layers of irony.

    "What's really happening is people are, are transforming themselves through these things — sometimes they're games, sometimes they're alternate reality performances, cosplay — even if they seem playful, they're not superficial or light," Bratich said. "They're actually serious business when it comes to ways of pushing action into the world... [People] think of it as a kind of entertainment part of the world, when actually it's culture. And culture is how people develop themselves and develop relationships to each other."

    Yes, there were some funny-looking extremists who raided the Capitol, but as Lavin noted(Opens in a new tab), there were also lawyers, police officers, soldiers, doctors, and people from pretty much any other profession. Your uncle who posts bonkers shit on Facebook? He's either posting even more bonkers stuff elsewhere, or his bonkers opinions have filtered to him through those places.

    "There's a really well established 4Chan to Fox News(Opens in a new tab) pipeline," Lavin said. "I mean QAnon sounds insane when you try to explain to someone who's never heard of it. And it was born in the fever swamps of 8Chan(Opens in a new tab)."

    But Q's tentacles, as an example, soon spread to boomers on Facebook, shitposters on Reddit, and pretty much everywhere else. You'd seen it winked at on Fox. Then you'd see it at Trump campaign rallies. Then you'd see it on Trump's own Twitter feed(Opens in a new tab). Then you'd see it in Congress(Opens in a new tab) and in positions of power(Opens in a new tab). Then finally you saw it tearing into the Capitol.

    Extremism online isn't silo'd off from you. It doesn't matter who you are. But if you rely on Sunday news shows, cable TV, or front-page stories for your info — maybe if you're of an older generation — you probably don't get that fact. Again, using QAnon as an example, the coverage of the cult-like movement leading up to the 2020 election mostly did not reflect the severity of what was taking place.

    "It was seen then as a curiosity, as an extreme and completely kooky belief system. And occasionally they would talk about it terms of a handful of electoral candidates who were flirting with QAnon," Bratich said. "But what [corporate media] wasn't examining is how rooted in culture and how rooted in everyday life [Q is] for some people. It's fringe in a way — for sure, in terms of numbers — but it's not marginal in the sense of its effects, or its meaningfulness to the people who are into it. The casual way that red flags were raised by corporate platforms...they don't take it as seriously as someone devoted to analysis."

    In short: Online extremism isn't an oddity. It's a pervasive force. The things some people wrote off as "edgy jokes" are real, at least sometimes. And the folks who devote their time to this sort of thing have been telling us that for years. We all might have to get a little bit more online, or at least be aware of what's happening online, to understand our IRL world.

    "It's not going away," Lavin said.

    A new president does not change what has come to be our new reality. Trump might've been an accelerant. His Twitter feed was a megaphone and millions heard his rallying cry. But now these groups are the real-life opposition, and they've got powerful people just itching for their support(Opens in a new tab).

    "It's really hard to make yourself see a dangerous, ugly, and sort of intractable reality," Lavin added. "I recognize there is a certain feeling of oxygen rushing back into a room after Donald Trump kind of sucked it all up for the past four years. We're all a little heavy. We all want to move on. But it's dangerous to slip back into complacency."

  • Hashtag about a world without Twitter is trending... on Twitter

    Hashtag about a world without Twitter is trending... on Twitter


    If we're being honest, tweeting about what the world would be like without Twitter is peak 2019. And, yet, here we are, with #InAWorldWithoutTwitter(Opens in a new tab) trending on an early Spring Saturday.

    The tweets are a mix of genuine and jokes yet most of them all hold a grain of truth in them and reveal the best and worst of Twitter as a platform.

    If nothing else, the tweets all get at the great dichotomy of Twitter in 2019: it can be a garbage place that allows garbage people to post their, well, garbage, no matter what Jack says. And it's gotten pretty bad at times. Like, really bad.

    SEE ALSO: Twitter says it will publish 'case studies' on banned accounts


    On the other hand, it has certainly revolutionized the way information and news is shared and how we communicate. Those come with caveats, of course, that prove the platform is far from perfect. News spreads much quicker than before but so do mistakes and communicating with strangers can be great or it can be a hellscape.

    The irony of using Twitter to talk about a world without Twitter and how it would actually be better, jokes or no, is also hilarious and indicative of the way we've all turned into one big shruggie. After all, if you really want a world without Twitter, all you have to do is delete the app from your phone or just stop visiting Twitter-dot-com.

    So here we are, tweeting and, with this article, writing about a world without Twitter and wondering, longingly, how much happier we'd be. If that's not the perfect way to sum up Twitter over 10 years after its debut, I don't know what else is.