A Minecraft YouTuber stan stole grave dirt for a Twitter hex
Read to the end for a good tweet about Twitter
Consider subscribing to Garbage Day. It’s $5 a month or $30 a year and you’ll get fun extra interviews. Tomorrow’s Extra Garbage Day for paying readers is with Ryan North, the creator of Dinosaur Comics. We had a lovely conversation about the future of online content, avoiding burnout, and the golden age of web comics. Hit the button below if you’re interested!
Subreddits Go Private
All across Reddit at the moment, different subreddits are going private and locking themselves down. The reasons why are complicated. The private subreddits are a direct response to the hiring of a very controversial community moderator, but indirectly connected to a larger anti-trans movement taking over the social network at the moment.
It all started when a moderator from r/ukpolitics shared an article from the British outlet The Spectator. The article was titled, “The Green party’s woman problem”. The piece is a very good example of a very specific kind of anti-trans rhetoric that’s popular in the UK right now. “Having put up with crazy, anti-women transgender ideology for years, a significant number of other women are set to leave the party,” the article reads. “The only question that remains is why they have stayed so long.”
Members of r/ukpolitics noticed that the moderator that posted The Spectator article was permanently suspended for sharing it. The piece mentioned Aimee Challenor, a former Green Party candidate and British transgender activist. After some experimentation, users realized that posting content featuring the name of “Aimee Challenor” was what was triggering suspensions.
Challenor is a controversial figure in UK politics, to say the least, and, also, a very useful figure for the country’s TERFs to demonize. She hired her father to work on her Green Party campaign without telling her colleagues that he had been charged with the rape and torture of a 10-year-old girl in 2016, among other sex crimes. Challenor was suspended by the Green Party and joined the Liberal Democrats, but was then suspended from them, as well. In 2019, Challenor’s husband, Nathaniel Knight, was targeted by Mumsnet, a British message board for moms that has radicalized into an anti-trans rats nest over the last decade. Users found her husband’s erotic fan fiction that featured minors, along with a slew of other inappropriate online fetish content. Knight’s Twitter account is now suspended, but an archived version of his response is here. He admits to having deeply disturbing sexual fantasies, though, he says he’s never acted on them.
It seems like Challenor started working on Reddit’s official community team at the end of last year. As news of Challenor’s hiring spread across British subreddits and anti-trans subreddits, users began organizing a harassment campaign against her. According to a statement released by Reddit last night, it seems as though that harassment campaign was what led the company to auto-block any mention of her name:
Earlier this month, a Reddit employee was the target of harassment and doxxing (sharing of personal or confidential information). Reddit activated standard processes to protect the employee from such harassment, including initiating an automated moderation rule to prevent personal information from being shared. The moderation rule was too broad, and this week it incorrectly suspended a moderator who posted content that included personal information.
As of this morning, hundreds of subreddits have gone private out of protest. You can see a full list here, but they include some pretty random ones:
As I said, this is a really complicated story. And this entire fiasco has become more ammo for the growing contingent of centrist liberal anti-trans or trans-skeptical writers becoming more vocal in the US and the UK. Also, Reddit also has a history of kicking the wasp nest it wants to remove.
The site’s handling of criticism against Challenor — accidentally amplifying it while trying to remove it and, thus, turning into a thing — is not unlike their handling of both Gamergate and the harassment of former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao. As one user in r/SubredditDrama wrote about Challenor yesterday: “As expected, had never heard about this person or cared until I read about the subreddit being banned or why. Really smart strategy.”
A TikTok That Chilled Me To My Core
This was sent to me by my friend Karl. I hate it. The music, the way she moves, her voice. It’s all too much.
A Minecraft YouTuber Stan Stole Dirt From A Graveyard To Cast A Twitter Hex
So, I assume after reading the headline, you probably have some questions. Allow me to walk you through this because, gang, it’s a doozy. Let’s get into it, shall we?
One of the most popular influencers on the internet right now is Dream, a Minecraft streamer. He has almost 20 million subscribers on YouTube and his fandom is wild. The fans engage in what’s called real people fiction, a controversial form of shipping fanfic where you write about actual people getting together romantically.
A Twitter user named @dykednf, who has since deleted both of their accounts, tweeted the following:
I was trying to figure out what it was that lead to @dykednf casting a spell in support of Dream with graveyard dirt. From what I can tell it was because some people just don’t like Dream, I guess? For any Dream witches reading this, please don’t curse me. I got hexed by a Good Place Twitter stan about six months ago and I feel like the bad energy around me is finally dissipating.
Many users are, rightfully, pointing out that this is pretty similar to the incident in 2015, where a Tumblr witch stole bones from a graveyard. The whole controversy was nicknamed #Boneghazi, obviously. The fact a Twitter user in 2021 stole graveyard dirt to cast a spell also lines up with a long-running joke that Twitter is currently going through the same Dashcon-era cringe cycle as Tumblr did five years ago.
As one Tumblr user wrote, “This is amazing. Twitter is finally catching up with season 3 of Tumblr with the ‘graverobbing witches’ arc.”
It’s All Kicking Off At The Suez Canal
I assume you may have already heard, but a massive ship is stuck in the Suez Canal. It is blocking traffic to one of the busiest waterways in the world, responsible for about 10% of the global trade, according to the Associated Press. Incredible stuff. Even better, as of Tuesday, it isn’t quite clear what caused the ship to get stuck. When I put this on the docket for Garbage Day today I assumed that there would be more to talk about, but it’s still stuck! So if you would like to follow the ship’s journey to, uh, nowhere, you can head over to VesselFinder.
Here’s a good Suez Canal blockage meme.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shrimp Gate
I want to shout out Garbage Day reader Paul who was on this story from the very beginning. He DM’d me right when it was starting. Like the Suez Canal thing, I assume most of you have heard about all of this, but just in case, here’s the TL;DR:
On March 22, writer, artist, and podcaster Jensen Karp tweeted that he had found shrimp tails in his Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
About an hour later, Cinnamon Toast Crunch responded, saying they would like more details to create an incident report and offered to replace the box of cereal.
Shortly afterwards, Karp responded, saying he didn’t really want another box of cereal.
Then, about 30 minutes after that, Cinnamon Toast Crunch responded again, promising to get to the bottom of what happened.
Karp then tweeted that he had DM’d them and then made a joke that he had turned into a shrimp.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch responded, claiming that Karp didn’t actually have shrimp tails in his cereal, but it was actually “an accumulation of the cinnamon sugar.” <— This is the moment things go off the rails.
Karp then posted close up photos of what are very clearly cinnamon toasted shrimp tails.
The entire back-and-forth started going viral.
Then it went even more viral when everyone found out that Jensen Karp is married to Danielle Fishel Karp, who played Topanga on Boy Meets World. It was not lost on anyone that the Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shrimp guy’s wife’s name is Danielle FISHel KARP.
Anyways, that was all prologue to this. Here’s a video of a guy actually making Cinnamon Toast Crunch shrimp. Looks like it would taste pretty good!
A Chilean Otaku Runs For President
Longtime readers know that I’m a big fan of a certain genre of news story — anime fans becoming embroiled in an international news cycle. The very first Garbage Day (I think) was about a anti-trans MP in Scotland holding up a “shut up TERF” anime meme in parliament. I’ve written about the country of Australia trying to ban hentai. And I’ve also written about the Evangelion cosplayer that ran for office in Taiwan.
Well, I’ve got a new one for you. Meet Pam Jiles, she’s currently one of the most popular possible presidential candidates in Chile. Here’s a video of her Naruto running in parliament.
So what’s the deal with Jiles? She’s a left-wing populist and former journalist who has made her love of anime a big part of her platform. She’s referred to as the “Chilean Hokage” on local social media. (A Hokage is an honorific from the anime Naruto.)
According to Americas Quarterly, she was part of a left-wing guerrilla group during the Pinochet dictatorship, worked as an investigative reporter, and represents Santiago’s poorer communities in Congress. The election is next November, which is when we’ll find out if Jiles is the strongest shinobi in Chile, worthy of the title of Kage of Konohagakure.
A Uighur Lofi Hip Hop YouTube Stream
This YouTube video of “Uighur lofi hip hop chill music” was created by Instagram user @_marsiana. I was listening to it this morning and it’s really delightful!
This was dropped in the Garbage Day Discord by my friend Mitch. I love this band. I think I saw them open for Glocca Morra at Suburbia in 2013.
Inside China’s Nisu Subculture
A few different readers sent this my way this week. Chaoyang Trap House is a great new newsletter about Chinese internet culture. This article, specifically, by Chaoyang Trap House about Nisu written by Ting Lin blew my mind.
Nisu is basically a form of fan fiction where users imagine male celebrities as female. They typically assign family roles to them, as well. This is how Henry Cavill won an online poll titled, “2020 Stepmom Competition,” held on the Chinese social platform Douban.
Unreal. According to Choayang Trap House, Cavill, reimagined as a stepmom, won over 45% of votes, beating other actors like Adrien Brody and Al Pacino. Please, I beg you, go read this whole article. It’s so good.
One More Good Tomato Town Thing
This was dropped in the Garbage Day Discord by Potch. It’s very awful.
Last Call For The First Round Of Garbage Day Merch
Thank you everyone who has bought a shirt. I really did not know what to expect. I am closing down orders (for now) at the end of the day today because I want to get these shirts to the printer and in the mail to you lovely people. So if you’re interested in grabbing one, head over to this Google form. They’re $25 and I accept most payment apps. This was a super fun experiment and I think a Garbage Store is absolutely on the horizon 👀
P.S. here’s a good tweet about Twitter.
***Any typos in this email are on purpose actually***