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A new way to measure X’s current level of decay

Read to the end for a “live Skibidi Toilet performance”

MrBeast Uploaded A Full Video To X

On Monday, MrBeast uploaded a video to X titled, “$1 vs $100,000,000 Car,” which is, of course, exactly what it sounds like.

The upload comes weeks after Musk started pathetically begging MrBeast to post his videos to X. Also, last week, declared that X was a “video-first platform”. So he’s now spinning MrBeast’s first full-length upload as a big win to celebrate. MrBeast had previously said he wasn’t going to post anything to X because his videos are too expensive to waste them there. (My words, not his lol.)

Neither Musk or MrBeast, however, have acknowledged that this wasn’t an exclusive video for X, nor is it even a new video. It premiered on his YouTube channel back in September. But the fact MrBeast has finally soft-embraced X, the everything app that is also now a video-first app, is useful for measuring X’s current level of decay.

As of this morning, the original upload of “$1 vs $100,000,000 Car,” on YouTube has 212 million views. After about two days on X, it has 78 million. Which seems pretty good until you realize those are views for the X post the video is embedded in. It seems like not an accident that we can no longer see views on X videos anymore. The post has 29,000 shares, which means it’s getting about an average of 2,600 passive views every time someone shares it. Though, I’m sure a bulk of those views come from Musk’s followers. And, unlike when you watch it on YouTube, there weren’t any ads that played ahead of it when I watched it. There is a sponsored segment towards the end of the video, which may be why they used this one. And there were a few (disclosed) ads in the replies beneath it.

“I’m super curious how much the ad revenue will make,” MrBeast posted. Musk didn’t respond to that, but separately replied, “It’s a great time to be a content creator on 𝕏.” My guess is it will not make nearly as much as it made on YouTube. Based on rough estimates, the original video probably made around $1 million when it was originally uploaded.

It’s also worth noting here that a huge chunk of the replies underneath the video are from transphobes raging over MrBeast’s long-time friend and collaborator Kris Tyson, a trans woman, who appears in the video. And as journalist Rachel Gilmore pointed out on Threads, the fact that MrBeast primarily makes videos for children and is now generating headlines by bringing those videos to X, almost certainly means at least some of his audience is going to see the absolute hell that are X replies. Though, I’m pretty sure most children are seeing just as much hate speech in YouTube comments these days. Also, before it gets lost in the shuffle here, I think MrBeast being unflinchingly normal about Tyson’s transition is a truly radical act considering the size of his platform and he does deserve credit for that.

The most interesting thing about all of this, though, is how differently MrBeast and Musk approach the internet. For folks who only know MrBeast as the comic sans thumbnail man, you might not realize he’s optimizing his videos for maximum views on each platform he posts on, with specific videos and edits for TikTok, Instagram, and even Facebook. While Musk has an almost opposite philosophy, if you can even call it that, where he just assume the internet — and reality — will bend to whatever insane whim he comes up with. To point where he thinks MrBeast, someone who exclusively makes all-ages content aimed at tweens, should be publishing on an app that, at this point, has degraded into a platform almost entirely populated by neo-Nazis, OnlyFans models, and uncensored videos of horrific violence. I mean, the other day I saw an ad on the site for a gator park in Florida, which, you know, seemed cool, I guess, but it’s not really in the same league as the ads playing on MrBeast videos on YouTube.

But, also, this entire “X isn’t actually a failing social network, but the beginning of a video app that can beat YouTube” narrative from Musk is just a mad scramble to keep investors from repossessing the site. It’s the start of a new pyramid scheme to invest in. And it’s especially ironic to try and convince MrBeast to get involved when the only thing he has ever done throughout his entire career is convert internet traffic into ad revenue by obsessing measuring how different platforms print money.

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Will The Chat GPT Store Change Anything?

Over the years, some readers have rankled a bit at how I have covered things like cryptocurrency, the metaverse, and, more recently, generative AI. But I basically use the same methodology for everything, which I think straddles a line I’m comfortable with between outright doomerism and unhinged optimism. And it basically goes like this:

Whenever there’s a new thing, I try and play with it and use it to look for some fun culture angles. Then, as I learn more about it, I try and assess if there’s any real long-term juice to it. If there is, I start turning up the heat a bit and asking bigger questions. If there isn’t, like, say, with the live audio fad, I typically go scorched earth and move on.

But the reason I try to keep an open mind (try) is because there have been countless things in the world of tech over the years that I thought were pretty stupid and wrote off entirely, only to be very wrong. The iPhone, Spotify, and TikTok were all things I assumed, uh, would pass. Whoops! So now, I try not to do that, if only so I don’t have to play catch up later.

But it’s 2024 and generative AI has had a few years to figure itself out and now I think is the right time to really ask where all of this is going. So… where is this all going?

Well, OpenAI has a new GPT store, which is sort of like an app store, but for ChatGPT wrappers. I wrote a piece about the concept back in November, but it’s finally live. Journalist Scott Nover recently wrote a great piece about trying to find some use for it. He had mixed results.

“When I engaged with the hiking chatbot, I wondered why it needed to be a chatbot,” Nover wrote. “Wouldn’t a map do better? I navigated to the AllTrails website and found a very engaging experience with maps, weather data, user-generated reviews, a warning about mosquitos, and directions. Isn’t this a better experience than a chatbot?”

Which is basically, more often than not, my feeling on the entire generative AI movement now. None of it seems to be making anything better, just a different kind of annoying.

Unfortunately, You Have To Stan The Colombian Woman Who Falsely Claimed She Personally Animated 28% Of The Boy and the Heron

This story is wild. An illustrator from Colombia named Geraldine Fernández told both her followers on social media, as well as local newspapers, that she personally animated thousands of frames in the recent Studio Ghibli film, The Boy and the Heron. The story started to go viral, because if true, that would be pretty shocking, and was quickly debunked by users in both Latin America, as well as Japan.

As one user put it, she was claiming she, once again, personally animated 35 minutes of the movie, while working as a freelancer who sells planners and notebooks on Instagram.

El Heraldo, the local newspaper that profiled her, deleted their original story and has posted two updates. The first just simply apologizes for falling for the hoax. The second is an interview with Fernández, where she says that she was given an uncredited “freelance contract” by Ghibli for specific spot illustrations on different frames. She says she exaggerated her role on the film and it spun out of control. Though, she also couldn’t provide El Heraldo with any proof that this was true, either, saying that she lost her contract because she got a new computer lol.

Anyways, Cartoon Brew spoke to GKIDS, the American distributor for The Boy and the Heron, who confirmed that there is zero proof that Fernández was involved in the film in any way.

Furries Continue To Beat Mark Zuckerberg To The Metaverse

A furry named Rantis figured out how to move his avatar’s ears using brain waves. You can watch a demo of it here. In a follow up post, he wrote, “The hardware and software is reading off my brains alpha, beta, delta, theta, and gamma waves and using that to move my ears through OSC. How this managed to work out on my end is me sitting in front of a mirror and thinking of moving my ears, I got better at it with practice.”

“Facebook has spent billions of dollars on ‘metaverse’ stuff and can’t get legs working right,” one user wrote. “Furries have jury-rigged EEG setups into their home computers to control their fursona’s EARS as hobbyists out of their homes.”

You simply love to see it.

A Redditor Discovers The UK’s Extreme Porn Laws

A post in r/LegalAdviceUK went real viral this week. To give you a relatively SFW summary, a woman in England modded her version of Skyrim so that different kinds of non-human enemies could “non-consensually mate” with the player. Basically, an omegaverse mod.

A man who hit on her at a party and was turned down, then reported her to British law enforcement as revenge, according to the Reddit post. What many Americans did not realize until this went viral this week is that this kind of Skyrim mod could actually be illegal in the UK.

First off, the UK doesn’t have the first amendment. And, second, back in the late 2000s, the country passed a law against what it classifies as “extreme pornography,” which largely pertains to depictions of bestiality, but other kinds of content fall into this category, as well. The illegality of “extreme pornography” largely depends on how realistically its rendered.

I first learned about all of this back in late 2014, when there was a big extreme pornography case that played out right around when I was moving to London, which centered around tiger porn.

Hasan Asked The Yemini Pirate If He Knows What One Piece Is

Leftist Twitch streamer Hasan Piker interviewed the 19-year-old Yemeni pirate that recently went viral on TikTok for being handsome. (What a world, etc.) The pirate goes by Rashid al-Haddad, but has been nicknamed “Timhouthi Chalamet”. His account was swiftly removed by TikTok after it went viral.

During the interview, Piker asked al-Haddad if he had ever watched the anime One Piece (it’s about pirates). And al-Haddad said yes, he’s been watching it since he was a kid. Here’s a timestamp.

The interview has pissed off liberals and conservatives for being too sympathetic and pissed off leftists because Piker didn’t donate any money to the Houthis at the end. Which was probably a good move, considering the Houthis were designated a terrorist group by the US this morning. But I’d say the interview is worth watching, if only because of how well it illustrates the absolute lunacy of our current media environment.

Anyways, the Menswear Guy has yet to comment on al-Haddad’s fit.

A Dog Just Did A Speedrun

The dog’s name is Peanut Butter and he played a game called Gyromite using a custom controller with big buttons. Kotaku has a bunch more details about Peanut Button’s incredible run and you can watch a clip of it here.

Planet Of The Bass Guy Vs. The Terrible Emo TikTok Guy

Kyle Gordon, the creator of last summer’s viral hit, “Planet Of The Bass,” is releasing a bad-on-purpose emo song called “My Life (is the Worst Life Ever)” and I noticed a very interesting detail in the video.

Gordon is wearing a very similar outfit worn pretty regularly by another very, very terrible TikTok emo act. Also, Gordon’s song is actually pretty good? As one user on X wrote, “This guy understands what fundamentally makes third-wave emo work better than most modern ‘emo’ artists just cashing in on the trend...and this is a SATIRICAL song.”

Some Stray Links

P.S. here’s a “live Skibidi Toilet performance

***Any typos in this email are on purpose actually***

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