Read to the end for a video that activated my fight or flight response

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Quite Possibly The Worst Food Video I’ve Ever Seen

There is a tremendous amount to hate about what’s happening in this video. I’ve been struggling to pick my least favorite thing, but I think it’s the wet smushing sound her hands make when she digs into the wet pile of cheese and meat towards the end.

I found the original post. It was uploaded to a page called “The Adley Show,” which is one of those weird Facebook pages that has seemingly been running forever and has millions of followers and makes videos that are being watched tens of millions of times but I have literally never heard of it ever and don’t know anyone who has. Adley Stump is apparently a country music singer and her Facebook Watch page has 1.2 million followers. One of the videos pinned to the top of it right now is her boyfriend putting a shock collar for dogs on her and then shocking her with it while she begs him to stop. The video has 39 million views. I love country music.

What’s even weirder is that all of the recent videos on Stump’s page feature a clickbait title and then several words later a bizarre disclaimer warning people that nothing in the video is real:

The “ULTIMATE NACHO HACK” video, though, doesn’t appear to have originated on Stump’s page. From what I can tell, it was created by a woman named Taylor Watson. Watson is also a musician? But like Stump, Watson is also regularly posting a bunch of “prank” videos on Facebook.

I’m always fascinated when I stumble across a bizarrely huge Facebook network like this. I haven’t genuinely interacted with the platform in several years. I don’t even use it to post basic life updates anymore. Some time around 2018, I realized it was weird that I was constantly updating my old high school teachers and friends of my parents on everything I was doing and just let my profile atrophy.

So the biggest surprise for me when I do log on and use the site every once in a while is how shitty the interface is. There’s stuff happening all over the page — notifications, autoplaying videos, reminders, event invites. But there’s no context for anything. This morning it say there was a red “9+” above the Watch tab. What does that even mean? Nine videos that Facebook thought I needed to see? I clicked into it and the top video was from “The ACE Family” and it was, you guessed it, a prank video.

The ACE Family are one of those weird internet families that mildly terrorize each other in a completely bare McMansion for internet traffic. As a little experiment, I tried to figure out who they were and why Facebook was so desperate for me to see them. The top of their page had a trailer featuring slow-mo footage of the family at an amusement park, but that didn’t really tell me anything about them. So I clicked on their about page. Their bio read, “HEY ACE FAM-ILYYYY- This is our official FB page!” Once again, no explanation of who these people are. The contact info linked to a page called Shop Ace Family, so I clicked that. The shop page has a bunch of nice looking sweatshirts on it, but no coherent explanation of who they were. The site had an FAQ section, but it only had information listed about some kind of monthly subscription they offer. After a bunch of clicking around, I finally figured out that they’re just YouTubers. They have 19 million subscribers on YouTube and they just do the same stuff over there — vlogs, pranks, viral challenges.

None of this is nefarious, it’s just fascinating how little Facebook cares about explaining anything you’re seeing. On YouTube, I can easily figure out who someone is. But on Facebook, navigating these pages is virtually impossible. Especially if you’re on mobile. In Stump’s case, there is an Adley Stump page and a page for the Adley Stump’s Watch show. Both are called The Adley Show. Those pages share the same videos and also share videos from other pages like Watson’s. I think these people are Stump’s friends or people who have appeared in her videos, but honestly, they could also just as easily be paying her for placement. Maybe both?! Stump shares videos from this couple a lot, who are Vegas magicians. But in most of their videos, they’re just making weird fucked up DIY videos and, of course, pranking each other.

The content rats nest that people are able to build on Facebook are unimaginably popular and, yet, no one is really genuinely engaging with them. They’re just creating audio and visual stimulus to feed Facebook’s never-ending feed of content. It flattens everything you do into inputs for users to react to and share. Much like the disgusting slurry of meat and cheese in the nacho video!

Here’s My Favorite Weeknd Super Bowl Meme

Hank Green Whacks A Hornets Nest

The John Green Tumblr post is one of those foundational texts for internet culture, like loss.jpg, but, also like loss.jpg, it’s too messy to really engage with it seriously. But, thanks to a recent TikTok from Hank Green, I suppose it’s time we go over it.

Three days ago, Hank Green made a video asking if anyone was going to do a TikTok series about old Tumblr memes. There’s been a big trend of people revisiting Tumblr culture lately. I’ve actually done a few episodes about this on my podcast. A recent VICE piece hangs the Tumblr resurgence on a Gen Z nostalgia for 2014, but I don’t think that’s quite right actually. Yes, TikTok is an endless nostalgia machine, where Gen Z users can dissect different aesthetics perpetually. But I think the larger resurgence of Tumblr culture is actually part of a desire among lots of extremely online people (myself included) to return to a better, more open internet.

Anyways, Green mentioning old Tumblr memes was probably a bad idea! You see, his brother, John Green, the author of Fault In Our Stars, played a very important role in the development of what we now think of as “Tumblr culture” — because he was bullied off the site.

John Green used to have a very popular blog on Tumblr called fishingboatproceeds. He cultivated this sorta cringe “Tumblr dad” vibe, but in the early 2010s, he was pretty popular. All that shifted in 2013, when Your Fave Is Problematic made a big callout post for Green. That kind of blew open the door for dunking on Green, which evolved into a growing annoyance at Green’s presence on the site. It all came to a head in 2015, when a Tumblr user named katara took advantage of Tumblr’s reblog editing feature. Back in those days, if you reblogged a post, you could literally edit the raw text of the original post.

Green’s post, which was addressing some of the drama surrounded him and originally titled, “On Discourse,” was edited and replaced with an EXTREMELY graphic bit of homoerotic copypasta that was going viral on Tumblr at the time. And due to platforms’s wonky archive system, the really graphic copypasta is still attributed to Green. Users even edited his reply as well and changed that into more homoerotic copypasta.

Green didn’t stick around much longer after that. There’s a good Fan Lore page on the incident if you want to go through all the details. Things got really nasty. There was a lot to take Green to task for — he was connected to a bunch of really problematic YouTubers and his writing could be pretty sexist at times — but this was the height of post-Dashcon Tumblr toxicity and users accused Green of being a pedophile and worse. A rumor also got started that Green asked Tumblr to remove the editing feature for reblogs, though he later denied he ever spoke anyone at the site.

Looking back on it, I’m not sure Green’s internet presence ever really recovered. And even Hank Green sort of fell out of popular culture for a while until he resurfaced on TikTok last year. Which is sort of sad. The Green brothers, by all accounts, are pretty well-meaning guys who seem to get that a weird internet is worth protecting. The whole John Green post is weird to revisit because the world feels so different since 2015, but, also, the #RipChrisPratt hashtag started trending last week after a Marvel stan who hates Chris Pratt photoshopped a bunch of tweets to make it look like Pratt said the n-word. So if we really are seeing a resurgence of an earnest and strange “Tumblr culture,” maybe it’s a chance to learn from all of this and avoid repeating the really dark sides of it, but I sorta doubt it!

Cursed Engagement Ring For Sale On Facebook

I’ve never purchased any kind of jewelry before, but based on a basic Google search I just did, $1000 for a .66 carat ring is pretty good!

A Very Tender Moment Between A Woman And An Ostrich

China Blocks Clubhouse

Clubhouse, the bad version of Discord for rich people and LinkedIn hustle goblins, had a short, but exciting life in China before it was banned this morning.

I was recently invited to Clubhouse by a very nice Garbage Day reader and my initial reaction was just a genuine surprise at how janky the app looked. But, you know, sometimes things that are expensive are worse, etc. The whole app has extremely radioactive Google Wave vibes to it if you ask me. But that hasn’t stopped it from becoming extremely influential very quickly.

As for what Chinese Clubhouse was like before it got the ban, New York Times reporter Paul Mozur, embedded above, has a really good thread about it if you click through. He suspects there will be dozens of Chinese clubhouse clones that start appearing in China. Bloomberg’s Isabella Steger has an interesting thread about a Cantonese clubhouse room, as well.

But this tweet and the thread beneath it if you click through hit me the hardest.

It’s hard not to get a little emotional thinking about the open communication that Clubhouse allowed for a brief moment. And it’s times like this that you start to really feel the strange weight of the fact that 18% of the planet isn’t able to use the same internet as the rest of us.

A New Random Thing Is Suddenly Everywhere

Last week, a bunch of those accounts on Twitter that look like normal people but bizarrely only have viral tweets on their feeds started pushing something called “Hive app”. Apparently, this was all because Hive paid a TikToker named @thickblackthot to promote their app. The TikTok was watched over 600,000 times. But things really took off when @thickblackthot’s video was noticed by a One Direction psychic account on Twitter and tweeted by them as well.

Which is how we ended up with everyone’s feeds last week looking like this:

There’s a lot of weird stuff happening around this story, to be honest. But I guess the biggest takeaway is that an influencer with 63,000 TikTok followers and a random One Direction Twitter account are powerful enough to move a totally obscure social network to the top of the app store downloads.

Even weirder is that Hive disclosed that they paid @thickblackthot for the promo.

As for the app, I haven’t tried it. According to Fast Company, the app is sort of like a hybrid of Myspace and an old version of Instagram.

But it may have become a bit too popular too fast. All of the recent reviews on the Apple app Store say it’s extremely buggy.

A VTuber Pulls The Curtain Back

It’s felt like we’ve been on the cusp of a “virtual influencer” explosion for a few years now. Advertising firms and hip content studios have tried to make things like Lil Miquela catch on, but, obviously it was always going to be weird anime fans who were going figure out a way to turn virtual internet personalities into an actual industry. The video above is one of the first times I’ve seen a really clear look the person behind one of these avatars. Dystopian? Yes. Cool? Honestly, yes. The future? Maybe! But more importantly, who’s going to help me design anthropomorphic garbage bag avatar to stream with??

Interesting Super Bowl Spread

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

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