It's always magicians
Read to the end for a very haunted TikTok account
Another Weird Facebook Video Has Gone Viral On Twitter Again
This video has gone seriously viral this week. It has over 50,000 retweets in three days and I am currently writing this sentence before I start digging into where it came from. So, let’s play a game, shall we? What do you think the odds are that this came from a content network of magicians?
The text at the beginning of the video reads, “watch this delivery woman…” So I started there. If you search that on Facebook, you will find a bunch of freebooted versions of this video, but you’ll also get a ton of pretty graphic videos of women giving birth. So, you know, proceed with caution, I guess.
All of the freebooted versions of the delivery video have low view counts, except for one, which was posted by a page called Cv.kpm, which is based in West Java, Indonesia. I’m pretty positive this video wasn’t filmed in Indonesia, but the version of the video that Cv.kpm shared has a watermark on it that reads, “PS Team Sontay,” which, interestingly enough, didn’t return anything on Google. Because the video involves a Playstation 5, I assume the “PS” in “PS Team” stands for Playstation, but, unfortunately, all of that ended up being a dead end.
Though, while searching different variations of the on-screen text on Facebook, I did come across a bunch of Mickey Mouse-themed videos from a creator named Jibrizy, who is a Facebook video magician. In my experience, a lot of Facebook creators tend to use the same props and costumes across their own and each other’s videos. You watch enough of these videos and you start to see the same army outfits, recipes, Amazon costumes, prosthetics, fake breasts, and, even, more recently, grounded planes for filming in. So at this point my initial hunch that this video came from a magician was starting to feel pretty correct.
And sure enough, the original video did end up being connected to Jibrizy, but I found it in a totally different way. I stumbled across a freebooted version of the video shared on a page called Shelley's Helping Hands and then I just started scrolling through related videos beneath it. What’s interesting about Facebook’s video ecosystem is there’s so much content theft happening that you can usually find the original copy of a video in the recommendations of a stolen version. After a few minutes of scrolling through truly terrible video content, I came cross the original. It was posted to a page called The Jibrizy Show in 2021 and it has 121 million views.
So who is Jibrizy? His full name is Jibrizy Taylor, he’s from Chicago, and he describes himself as a “hip hop illusionist”. I actually came across a pretty catty post on a magician message board that claims he had, at one point, a student-mentor relationship with Facebook magician content king Rick Lax. And Lax has featured Taylor’s videos on his own pages before, though the links aren’t currently working.
So there you go. Another viral video made by a magician taken off Facebook and posted to Twitter out of context. What does this all mean? Well, every time I’ve done an investigation like this, I’ve usually written that it’s a damning indictment of how awful Facebook’s algorithmic incentives are for their creators. I spend a few sentences waxing about how only the most basic content imaginable does well on a platform as philosophically bankrupt as Facebook. But this time I going to go a different direction. This is like the tenth Facebook video from a magician to go viral on Twitter in the last six months. Some of these videos go viral in a “wtf is this” kind of way, but others, like this one, just go genuinely viral. So maybe it’s not just Facebook that has an algorithm trained to surface the worst, most cynical internet content imaginable. Perhaps this is becoming equally true for Twitter, as well.
Anyways, while we’re talking about internet magicians, a reader this week pointed me to a great Mel Magazine profile of the iBeer app creator. Remember that? It let you like pretend that you were drinking a beer out of your phone? Well, the guy behind it was — wait for it — a magician named Steve Sheraton! Which makes me wonder if the real takeaway here is that the true definitive art form of the digital age is stage magic.
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Libra Finally Dies
As the world waits to see if today’s slight bounce in the crypto markets indicates an end to the current bear market or the beginning of a long and terrible crypto winter, Facebook has taken the opportunity to completely shelve their own cryptocurrency plans, which were at one point focused around a stablecoin called Libra. Last night, Bloomberg dropped the scoop that the Diem Association, which was Meta, née Facebook’s consortium tasked with building the stablecoin the company could use to power their metaverse projects, was in talks to sell its assets. On Monday, I wrote that the news that Facebook was exploring NFTs said “a lot about the absolute state of their crypto coin and wallet project.” So, once again, a big tech giant has been taken to task by the great and powerful might of the Garbage Day newsletter.
Though, the buzz around Meta’s crypto woes did cause a clip from the first advertisement for their actually-still-happening metaverse platform, Horizon, to go viral again. And it was ratioed into oblivion on Twitter, with almost 4,000 overwhelmly negative quote tweets.
I want to be clear. This is a nightmare. This is a sexless, cartoon dystopia rendered in cheery knock-off Pixar graphics by a corporation run by a group of people who, if allowed, will destroy all forms of art and human expression. Also, according to The Gamer, it also just sucks.
Fortune senior writer David Meyer made an excellent point about Horizon, writing, “Your occasional reminder that Facebook/Meta, the supposed architect of the VR metaverse, has never managed to build anything of consequence apart from its social network.”
Speaking of emotionally bankrupt glimpses at a soulless and empty future in which society’s richest continue to seek more and more absurd ways to spend their inhuman amounts of personal wealth…
Here’s Paris Hilton And Jimmy Fallon Shilling Ape JPGs
Look, I continue to try — as hard as I can, I swear — to keep an open mind about the world of crypto. I desperately want to figure out ways for blockchain-based technology to make our lives better and more interesting. Whatever possibilities remain undiscovered, I am fairly certain this conversation between Paris Hilton and Jimmy Fallon about their Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs is a net negative for the human race. And, I’m going to guess, it’s something we’ll probably look back on as the exact moment whatever kind of bubble we’re in popped.
Speaking of crypto, there is still a big debate about whether or not Bitcoin is an inflation hedge. Once I figure out what inflation is and whether or not it’s happening, I will start to untangle whether or not Bitcoin is good or bad for it. Meanwhile, Hermes is suing an artist for turning their handbag into an NFT. Turkey wants to organize a “metaverse forum”. And, actually, I was wrong. Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton was not the top of the NFT bubble. This is:
Neil Young Vs. Joe Rogan
Neil Young is yanking his music off Spotify in protest of the platform’s continued exclusive deal with Joe Rogan, and specifically Rogan’s near-constant vaccine misinformation. Awesome!
Though, here are two good takes on this whole debacle to consider. First, as Steve Sladkowski, the guitartist for the band PUP, who are great, tweeted, “It rocks that Neil can take his music off S*****y but the fact remains that the vast majority of us can’t afford to do that because the (very meagre) royalties are one of the few ways to cobble together any semblance of a living.”
This has nothing to do with anything, but I saw PUP in the back of a pub in London like four years ago and they were the loudest band I’ve ever heard.
And anti-Spotify activist and musician Evan Greer tweeted, “the Neil Young / Spotify thing is interesting. on one hand, fuck Joe Rogan, Neil rules & i dig the righteous leveraging of celebrity to pressure a company to do better. On the other, i'm not sure i want a world where artists with the most streams get to demand others get the boot.”
As it’s pointed out in Greer’s replies, it’s probably Joe Rogan in this situation who makes more money for Spotify, though Young has more irl clout. But it’s overall a decent question to ask. Should famous users pressure platforms to make content moderation decisions? Probably not. But should users boycott or go on strike to protest content moderation conditions? Probably, yes. Which makes this whole thing a bit more complex than it seems at first glance.
Meet The Blockedchain
Artist and technologist Brian Moore has a new project! It’s called Blockedchain. I’ve covered a few of his other projects before, most notably his hypetags. The Blockedchain allows you to integrate your Twitter with an NFT platform and then, if you’re been blocked by accounts such as Marc Andreessen, Elon Musk, or the CIA (lol), it’ll let you mint an NFT. Might have to swing by and mint my official “I’ve been blocked by Marc Andreessen NFT.”
A Sorta Happy Ending To Toei-gate
The YouTuber Totally Not Mark posted an update today announcing he’s come to a conclusion of sorts with anime publisher Toei. If you missed this whole thing, the company copyright-striked hundreds of his videos and, as of December, it seemed as if there was very little that could have been done.
According to Totally Not Mark’s newest video, he claims a high-level contact at YouTube reached out to him at the end of December via Discord and apologized for not helping him through all of this. Totally Not Mark’s contact, once again, according to him, told him that Toei’s copyright-striking campaign was initially much more aggressive and they wanted the platform to delete his content outright. Toei then broke YouTube’s policy and instead of working with the platform to go through the proper processes to copyright-stike Totally Not Mark’s videos, used their own tools to do it without YouTube knowing. This then made Toei’s claims null and void.
You should watch Totally Not Mark’s entire video because it’s a fascinating look at how complex and bizarre copyright works on an international level in the digital age, but this entire episode seems to be ending with an uneasy stalemate. Totally Not Mark’s channel is effectively being blocked in Japan now and he’ll be able to reupload all his old content. But Toei could still copyright-stike him again. Though, to do so, they’d have to argue that his content violates not just the very unique Japanese concept of fair use (which essentially they don’t have), but fair use standings in other countries, as well.
Another Good Tweet
Some Stray Links
BONUS GARBAGE: The sketchy emo concert continues being sketchy
I’m experimenting with Substack’s new paywall line to put bonus content in Garbage Day issues once or twice a week (it’s going pretty well I think!). If I didn’t do this right I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m trying to delete it, etc.
Earlier this week, Cristina Amaya, the vice chair for the International Game Developers Association, posted an absolutely wild thread about her attempts to cancel her tickets to the When We Were Young festival. If you haven’t been following this, When We Were Young is a massive emo concert scheduled for later next year in Las Vegas organized by the same company behind Astroworld.
I don’t want to be clickbaity, so I’ll tell you right away, that Amaya told me she’s pretty sure that it wasn’t anyone associated with the festival who ended up calling her a bitch and emailing her dick pics, but if I do a have a few more details about the whole bizarre incident below for paying subscribers…