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MrBeast Screwed Up Elon's Pyramid Scheme

Read to the end for a really good cat video

MrBeast Broke X

The MrBeast X video saga (not a porn thing) has ended in the funniest way possible. He decided to reveal this week how much money he made after posting one of his videos to the platform and, in the process, created a price-per-view metric that’s now being agonized over by the site’s thousands of desperate scammer-influencers.

This all began last week, when Gen Z’s favorite Al Borland cosplayer uploaded a full-length video to X, just in time for the site’s CEO, Elon Musk, to declare that the platform was now a “video-first” app. Because Musk’s new gimmick is to reframe his tremendous failure at the helm of X as the growing pains of a platform that’s transitioning into a scrappy upstart competitor to YouTube and TikTok, rather than the obvious outcome of a website being stripped for parts by a delusional, mega-divorced vulture capitalist.

The video was titled, “$1 vs $100,000,000 Car,” and it originally premiered on MrBeast’s YouTube channel back in September, where it’s racked up 212 million views since. On X, the post that contains the video has 166.4 million views as of today. There is no public count for how many people watched the video. We’ll get to why that distinction matters in a sec.

On Monday, right after Garbage Day went out, annoyingly, MrBeast screenshot his earnings payout. According to him, he was paid $263,655 for 156,685,975 impressions. Though, there’s a massive, massive asterisk here.


As I wrote previously, MrBeast’s video was given extra promotion on X as an ad throughout the weekend. This is the “facade” that he refers to in the screenshot above. MrBeast’s post was not labeled as an ad, but it contained a pre-roll ad from Shopify inside the video. Also, probably worth mentioning here that MrBeast and Shopify have a long-standing relationship. MrBeast branded a mountain in Antarctica with a Shopify flag last year. Very cool. I love content.

Anyways, an X employee told me last week that they currently don’t put an ad label on posts that contain videos that have pre-roll ads because the post is not technically an ad, it just contains one. Which, it turns out, X has been doing for quite a while.

Digital advertising watchdog Check My Ads noticed this sneaky little pre-roll ad non-disclosure trick last fall and filed an FTC complaint about it. The official name X gave to this program is “Amplify,” and per their own about page, “Amplify Pre-roll allows advertisers to select the content categories of the videos that their video ad will be served on from 15+ categories.” As Check My Ads noted in a followup post this week, if Shopify, a frequent business partner of MrBeast, can pay to boost his video, just think what political bad actors could do this year as the election heats up. Instead of dwelling on how horrifying that might be for democracy, however, let’s focus on the bright side here.

The right-wing mole people living off toxic content runoff in the digital sewer system that is X, the ones dutifully holding up Musk’s pyramid scheme by paying him monthly fees to gain access to lucrative payouts from his incredible ad network, now realize how rigged this all is. The QAnon shamans, the “wow, this is crazy” video guys, the OnlyFans spammers, the sovereign citizen men’s right podcasters — they’re all complaining that they haven’t made nearly as much as MrBeast has. Well, maybe the OnlyFans spammers have. Oh well, maybe they should have posted content advertisers liked better!

Musk’s X Premium scam relies on conning the last remaining people on the web who still believe the false promise of the 2010s internet: Anyone can be a creator! Your hobby could be your job! Everyone will have a voice! Don’t build your own audience, though. Instead, live like a parasite on a big platform, grinding out low-effort content to make its empty feed look more interesting to new users. It was never real, it’s not real now, and certainly isn’t real now on X. And it shouldn’t be surprising that the only people who are willing to pay Musk for the privilege of being his gig worker are people without the skills, taste, or ethics to post elsewhere. And, of course, when MrBeast, someone who doesn’t need to X, posts there, the whole “facade,” as he put it, instantly falls apart.

I don’t think X Premium subscribers will really internalize any of this — because large language models aren’t capable of sentient thought. But the “DEFCON-1 level crab mentality event” that’s kicking off on X right now, as Business Insider’s Walt Hickey described it, is, at least, a good bit of schadenfreude for the rest of us.

Some Final Moving Updates

There’s an RSS feed for Garbage Day now (again). You sickos can access that here. My bad, I didn’t realize I had to turn it on lol.

Also, a few folks have asked why I went with Beehiiv over Ghost. The primary reason was that Ghost seemed like too much website for me. I have less than 100,000 readers still and I wanted to keep working within an existing network of some kind. I, also, like Beehiiv’s focus on growth and it’s already been really helpful for getting a better sense of my audience (it refused to import about 1,000 inactive subs when I migrated).

Also, I’m going to try something new with my ads. I wanted to make sure my open rates were solid after the move before I did this, but they are, so here goes. For the next six months, I’m going to fix my ad prices to flat rate: One ad in Garbage Day is $300 and if you buy more than one upfront it’s $250 each.

Reply to this email or shoot me a message at [email protected] if you’re interested!

You can also just buy a sub to support Garbage Day. You’ll get the Friday paid issues, as well as Discord access. It’s $5 a month or $45 a year. Hit the green button below to find out more.

Tyra Banks Went To The Barclays Center With Two Furries Last Night

I have not done any research on why this happened because I would like to preserve some magic in the world for just slightly longer.

Tucker Carlson Embraces The Visible Microphone


Tucker Carlson recently interviewed Catturd. The episode is extremely boring and bad, but Catturd did wear a big hat, which I appreciate.

Interestingly though, as I circled above, Carlson now has two Shure SM7B microphones sitting on his desk. Which felt like a new development. And after scrolling back through a few of his videos, it turns out that, yes, it is.

At some point between his January 13th interview with actor Dennis Quaid about solar storms destroying the earth’s magnetic fields and this video he put out on January 15th about “the mRNA COVID vax” inserting “foreign DNA” into your cells, his producers/interns decided to give him a little podcast microphone. Fun!

Carlson’s transition from, you know, serious person in the world to obscure internet crank, is, I think, a very useful yardstick for determining the line between TV show and internet content. And I suspect that if he continues distributing his show on X it will keep devolving into something that feels less and less like TV. But, at least right now, he’s existing in a fascinatingly awkward nether-realm between the two.

In related visible podcast microphone news, monsieurjaz in the Garbage Day Discord sent me this very fascinating ad for a meal prep company is that is a completely fake podcast — actors and everything.

Netflix Is Evolving

Netflix and chill? More like ra—

This week, Netflix announced that WWE RAW will be streaming live on the platform. Makes sense, Netflix has become very committed to anime over the last few years, and WWE is the most popular anime in America.

Netflix stock is also way up after it reported its best subscriber growth since the pandemic. Bloomberg credits the company’s password crackdown and introduction of a cheaper ad-filled tier as big drivers of growth. But I’d also toss in there that the company has, seemingly, gotten a lot shrewder about finding intellectual property with existing fandoms and also creating intellectual property that can support them. Wednesday seems like a perfect Venn diagram of the two strategies.

Studios are also, finally, getting comfortable with licensing their IP to Netflix again, after a semi-disastrous half decade of every single distributor in the world thinking they could beat Netflix as a streamer.

All of this — the live “sports,” the ad-supported tier, the mix of niche fandoms and licensed outside properties — has begun to make Netflix feel extremely AMC-y or FX-y, pre-2015. Which is not a bad thing, 2015 was the year Mad Men and, in retrospect, television as a coherent concept, both ended.

The Verge has a great piece about the cable-fication of Netflix, concluding, “Eventually, this strategy of Netflix’s — to rely on its size, content bought from other streamers, and a graveyard of prematurely canceled originals — could struggle. If it continues to be the priciest platform with fewer exclusives, people may just move elsewhere.”

But my larger takeaway is that the entire streaming era side quest that pop culture went on over the last decade has only amounted to one real insight: People like to watch a lot of TV and they’d prefer to (usually) watch it whenever they feel like, rather than in linear schedules. Just feels like Hollywood — and Silicon Valley — spent a hell of a lot of money to end up with On Demand cable again.

The Clean Girl Tried To Clean A Burger King Bathroom


I Cleaned Burger king’s Barhroom For Free 🥰 #scrubdaddy #scrubdaddypartner

I’ve seen a bunch of these videos — and videos like them — lately and I’ve been curious about, one, who this “Clean Girl” is and, two, who is watching these videos.

Also, for the record, this woman is the woman who was thrown out of a Walmart for cleaning their bathroom, but she is NOT the woman who went and stocked shelves at a Target. That’s a different unwell internet person acting out a very different compulsion/fetish.

So, to answer my first question. The Clean Girl is a cleaning influencer who makes extreme cleaning videos. She has about 640,000 TikTok followers and almost two million on YouTube. Two years ago, she was making content about cleaning up public parks and street corners in Puerto Rico. Last September, she pivoted to cleaning up fast food restaurants and Walmarts and she also makes some very bizarre videos about finding “dying dogs” in trash dumps. idk man.

To answer the second question, her audience is mostly compromised of people begging her to wear gloves, which she does not. Ever.

What Was The News?

When I was a kid, the news primarily lived in newspapers, regional and national. Then, if a story was interesting, people would talk about it on the radio, which was like Spotify, but it traveled over the air and was free to listen to, and television, which was like TikTok with longer videos, and it also traveled over the air. Sometimes bigger stories would come from magazines.

Then the internet and, more crucially, social media arrived and for a while stories could come from newspapers, TV channels, radio stations, magazines, and, also, different websites. Or sometimes even just random people on social networks. And up until, once again, the 2015 series finale of Mad Men, give or take, all of this sort of worked and was, actually, pretty fun and interesting, but no one was really happy about it.

Things got worse for a while until COVID happened and suddenly everything got slightly better, at least in terms of having things to read and watch and being able to follow the local and national conversations you cared about. But, once again, no one was really happy about that or even admitted it and it was also only temporary. And now the news doesn’t really exist anymore.

I don’t have the space to list all of the media outlets that have shrunk or completely vanished since 2020, but here’s a link that lists some of them. It also appears that not even a Trump presidential campaign is enough to bring back the world we once had. And I’m not totally sure even the tech companies that pushed the media off a cliff over the last decade really understand what a country without news looks or feels like. We are losing the ability to understand our own lives and no one seems to care.

This Is The Only One Of These I Liked

P.S. here’s a really good cat video.

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


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