Hey everyone! Andrew here. Welcome to the Thursday edition of Internet Insider.
Today, our politics reporter Claire shares with you her second “Dirty Delete” column where she digs deep into the social media history of Kari Lake. You may not have heard of her, but given her rapid rise in Arizona, perhaps now’s a good time to learn more about her.
Meanwhile, we have two great features you should check out that dive into TikTok creators and culture.
Let’s dive right into the essential internet culture news of the day.
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BREAK THE INTERNET
‘I’m here to give you the truth’: A 24-year-old TikToker has garnered almost half a million followers because of her “Fat or Cap” video series that calls out people who are suspected of lying about being interested in bigger-bodied women. Our IRL reporter Tricia spoke with Yiddiez, the creator of the video series. You can check our story here.
QAnon candidates: Texas held its fist-in-the-nation primary this week, and the state’s residents had a chance to weigh in on a late of candidates who support the QAnon conspiracy theory. The results were mixed.
TikTok anthem: So often a specific sound or song goes viral in specific niche corners of TikTok. Now, Peach PRC’s God is a freak has become a TikTok anthem for those rebelling against their religious upbringing. Viola, a contributing writer, dug into how the song has become so popular for those who grew up in communities with strict religious norms.
Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate’s internet history reveals her journey to radicalization
Before she shared the rally stage with former President Donald Trump in January, Kari Lake was the MAGA crowd’s sworn enemy: a member of the media.
Now, the longtime news anchor turned wannabe politician is a conspiracy theorist running to the right of the Republican gubernatorial field in Arizona.
She bolsters Trump’s lies that the 2020 election was “stolen,” spreads QAnon conspiracies, and routinely calls for the imprisonment of Dr. Anthony Fauci, journalists, and the Arizona secretary of state.
These hijinks have earned her support from the likes of Mike Flynn and Mike Lindell. In October, Ron Watkins posted a picture of them together.
Watkins, who’s running for congress in Arizona, said they’d just had dinner. All three men have spread lies and conspiracies about the 2020 election. Watkins is widely believed to have played the role of Q.
In spite—or perhaps because—of her extremism, Lake has a real shot at the GOP nomination, maybe even the governor’s mansion. Earlier this year, Salon reported that she’s favored more than two-to-one against the closest Republican contender.
Lake is everywhere online, from Twitter to Gettr and Gab. She uses these platforms to urge people to read articles by QAnon darling Flynn, claim ivermectin cures the common cold (and COVID-19, of course), and spread false claims about the Capitol riot.
Her social media presence wasn’t always a mashup of right-wing red meat and QAnon, however.
Archives show that in mid-2010s, Lake’s Twitter feed was prototypical news anchor: retweets of Grumpy cat selfies, tips on escaping hungry lions, and how much exercise it takes to burn off an Easter egg.
She was also more bipartisan in those days. In 2015, she tweeted about being “enthralled” with a speech by President Barack Obama. Those who know her online today might be surprised to learn she unironically included #BlackLivesMatter in this tweet.
But Lake’s journey to internet extremism began in earnest during the Trump administration.
Like many, COVID seems to have sent her down the rabbit hole.
By late 2020, Phoenix New Times reports that Lake had taken to amplifying election lies from Sidney Powell—the “Kraken” herself—and sharing false reports about a Vatican power outage that QAnon conspiracists believed was evidence the Pope was being arrested for child sex trafficking.
Now that she’s running for governor, Lake has abandoned all pretense of moderation.
The social media channels of the woman who could become Arizona’s next governor are a nonstop feed of disinformation and screeds.
For instance, yesterday she tweeted: “OUR ELECTIONS ARE Corrupt & Rigged.”
This begs the question of whether she’ll be willing to accept the outcome of her own race.
Haven’t you heard? Fresh squeezed is in, and that means so are juicers. We thought orange juicers were a bougie trope—but then we tried one.
Beyond the delicious taste, there are even bigger reasons why fresh-squeezed reigns supreme. Here’s what we found in our hunt to find the best orange juicers on the market.
MORE KEY STORIES
- Starbucks worker publicly embarrasses customer who mobile-ordered coffee with tons of customizations, sparking debate
In a viral video, a Starbucks worker reads aloud a mobile order with a ton of modifications to publicly embarrass the customer. People had a lot of thoughts.
A TikToker says that her vibrator, which she purchased from Spencer’s, caused her serious medical complications that put her into the hospital.
In Death on the Internet, the Daily Dot explores how the digital self can live on in the internet’s memory—even after the actual self has abandoned it. Check out the three stories here.
Get ready to go viral.*
*The Daily Dot may receive a commission in connection with purchases of products or services featured here.
BEFORE YOU GO
A DoorDash driver is exposing an alleged scam where other drivers will screenshot an order, cancel it, and pick up the food for themselves before the new driver can arrive at the restaurant.