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It's all kicking off in the fragrance fandom
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I am super excited for tomorrow’s Extra Garbage Day. It’s an interview with Rusty Foster, the writer of Today In Tabs. Foster’s newsletter was a huge inspiration for Garbage Day and I have SO MUCH internet drama to ask him about. If you’re interested, hit the subscribe button! It’s $5 a month or $30 a year.
It’s Time To Talk About Jeremy Fragrance
Look, I’ve been dying to talk about Jeremy Fragrance on Garbage Day (pretty sure I haven’t before lol). After coming across a video this week that he posted from Munich back in February, I’ve decided that now is the time. The video is quite possibly one of the wildest things I’ve watched in a very long time. Here’s a Tumblr mirror for any readers in countries that can’t access TikTok.
If you've never encountered this guy’s videos before, he’s a German perfume maniac who basically answers the question of, “what if Patrick Bateman was a lifestyle influencer.” Jeremy Fragrance’s posts are almost performance art. He has 2.8 million followers on TikTok, 379,000 followers on Instagram, and 1.4 subscribers on YouTube.
I was trying to find out more about Jeremy Fragrance, like, for instance, what his real name is, and inadvertently fell down a very deep rabbit hole. Apparently, Reddit users have been trying to figure out what this dude’s deal is for a while now. He’s been discussed on both the r/fragrance subreddit and an r/fragrancecirclejerk subreddit. r/fragrance is just for perfume enthusiasts, meanwhile, r/fragrancecirclejerk is “a place for the #fragrancearmy to exchange their #power. Hail Jeremy Fragrance and hail Creed Aventus.” Creed Aventus, by the way, is a perfume brand and his video about it is genuinely mind-blowing.
Reddit users have compiled some Pastebin documents about who they think Jeremy Fragrance actually is and there are some unsavory unverified allegations against him floating around, as well. There’s also a ton of drama around whether or not he’s a “legit” fragrance expert. One Reddit user in a thread from two years ago wrote, “The problem is that the ‘fragcomm’ <ugh> genuinely upholds him as some sort of expert authority on fragrances.” I mean, how could think that this dude doesn’t know his stuff?
This is actually how I write most issues of Garbage Day.
Anyways, I, too, got curious about Jeremy Fragrance and decided to do some digging. Here’s what I’ve got for you. The Jeremy Fragrance name is copyrighted. It’s owned by a Daniel Schütz who also owns the copyright to Jeremy Fragrance’s fragrance brand, Fragrance.One. (I apologize for how many times I have used the word “fragrance” this.)
After googling “Daniel Schütz” for a little bit, I came across this German article published by omr.com that lays out the whole story. Schütz became Jeremy Fragrance after trying for years to become a dancer on YouTube. His YouTube videos helped him join a German boyband called Part Six, and adopted the stage name Jeremy Williams for it because, according to OMR, there was “a level 60 paladin named Jeremiah” from World Of Warcraft that Schütz liked. His dance career ultimately didn’t work out, but he started making decent money from Amazon’s affiliate program, vlogging about perfumes, so he created the character Jeremy Fragrance and went all-in on it.
So there you go. From YouTube dancer, to boy band, to perfume influencer. The typical millennial success story.
The Pokémon Intro Redone With Stock Footage
While we’re talking about Pokémon, fun fact: Pokémon Go made $1.92 billion last year. It made more money than League Of Legends and Fortnite. The game introduced a bunch of mechanics that allowed players to keep playing from home, which probably helped. That said, I actually got back into it during lockdown because it was one of the easiest ways to go outside and do something that didn’t involve other people.
The New Era Of Pornhub Moderation
This was flagged up to me by a reader named Rowan. Over the weekend, Pornhub released its first ever Transparency Report. A few caveats: Pornhub is an extremely dodgy company owned by an even dodgier company. But their data and community stuff that I’ve seen in my time reporting on the company over the last decade has been, at the very least, interesting. So I was curious as to what their transparency report would look like. It comes after the company was pressured into removing millions of pieces of exploitative and unverified content. Input Mag has a great rundown, but here’s some stuff that really stuck out to me:
All uploaded videos are scanned for child sexual abuse by four different programs and then run through a cyber “fingerprinting” software to make sure they aren’t reuploads BEFORE they’re published.
They’re cracking down on incest content.
In 2020, they received 1,081 legal requests, the majority of which were made in the USA, and removed 544,021 pieces of content for copyright violations.
And they’ve completely overhauled their Trust And Safety system, combining AI flagging with human moderation and a “trusted flagger program,” which involves 44 members from international non-profits that help various government agencies instantly remove content without Pornhub even being involved.
Is it perfect? No way. But it seems like a decent start. Ok, you’re next, every other platform on the internet.
Lil Nas X Goes Metal
So this video has a fun story attached to it. The guitar part was created by a TikToker called @rickyjab. His chug riffs were then dueted by a drummer on TikTok called @sageyweebs. Lil Nas X ended up sharing their version on Twitter, writing “Hard.” And then following it up with another tweet “let’s do it @Corpse_Husband.” And Corpse then responded, writing, “YESSSSS.” This could just be a bunch of social media theater or it could mean we might actually get a metal cover of “Montero”.
The Interesting Case Of YG’s “Meet The Flockers”
Last week, Bloomberg reported that YouTube employees were using Google’s internal community platform to attack the platform’s decision to not take down a song called “Meet The Flockers” by the rapper YG.
“Meet The Flockers” is about breaking into a Chinese family’s home and robbing them. And while it’s not overtly fascist or white nationalist like much of the content that gets removed from YouTube, the song kicked off an internal battle at YouTube about what the platform does about racist content. Employees had petitioned YouTube’s Trust & Safety team to remove the song, but the request was ultimately denied.
“While we debated this decision at length amongst our policy experts, we made the difficult decision to leave the video up to enforce our policy consistently and avoid setting a precedent that may lead to us having to remove a lot of other music on YouTube,” read an email obtained by Bloomberg from YouTube’s Trust & Safety.
That seemed to be it, until, over the weekend, “Meet The Flockers” and the entire album it was featured in, My Krazy Life, were pulled down from streaming platforms like YouTube and Spotify. A few viral tweets had made it seem like it was YouTube that finally stepped in, except that doesn’t seem to be the case. It seems it was Universal Music Group, the parent company of Def Jam, because yesterday, according to Pitchfork, the album reappeared with a now-censored version of “Meet The Flockers,” which no longer includes the opening line about breaking into a Chinese family’s house.
The whole story is one of those perfect encapsulations of how messy moderating a platform like YouTube is. Even when their own employees are advocating for offensive material to be pulled down, they didn’t actually intervene, waiting instead for another massive company to decide it was worth getting involved, which sort of speaks to the completely broken way the internet is built right now: Different giant companies all waiting to see which other companies will act first.
Is This The Best Video Game Ever?
I really cannot recommend enough clicking through and going through the thread of people sharing their favorite clips from the game. I tracked down the name of the app. It’s called Super Fight M. One Twitter user wrote, “I don't recommend downloading” and said that the app constantly asks permission to make phone calls for you lol.
Possible malware or not, sadly, it seems like the game was removed from the Android Play Store in January 2021. Here’s a YouTube play-through of the game though if you’re curious.
Discord Is Still Very Much Radicalized
I’m a big Discord fan. I use it pretty much all day now. But I also spent several years hiding out in neo-nazi Discord servers reporting on radicalized users. So I’m aware of its problems. I think Discord has done a lot to combat their post-Gamergate reputation of “Slack for violent extremist gamers,” but it seems like there’s still a long way to go. The company released a transparency report last week for the second half of 2020. Between July and December of last year 132,000 users were reported for harassment. And, according to NPR, 2,212 extremist communities were taken down, 1,500 of which were noticed by their community team first. Which definitely adds a bit more context to the incident back in January when the r/WallStreetBets server was shutdown by Discord amid the GameStop pump for being extremely racist.
In less serious news, I also recently learned about “anime couples” servers, which have shaken me to my core.
A Good Tweet
A Very Important Twitch Channel
One More Good Tweet
P.S. here’s a good video.
***Any typos in this email are on purpose actually***