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Newsletter: John Mulaney outrage, monkeypox conspiracies, and more

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Tiffany Kelly


Andrew Wyrich


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Hi! Tiffany here. I’m filling in for Andrew, who is out a few days this week. I’ll try not to shake things up too much. Welcome to today’s edition of Internet Insider.

Our top stories today include a conspiracy about the current outbreak of monkeypox, outrage at John Mulaney for inviting Dave Chappelle to open for his shows, and a review of the new A24 horror movie Men from our staff writer Michelle.

Scroll down for Andrew’s tech column about digital privacy enforcement, and don’t miss our list of other must-reads.

There’s a lot going on! But we’re here to guide you through the news.


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CONSPIRACY: We’ve seen a lot of conspiracies tied to Covid-19 over the past two years. Now there’s a conspiracy about a different virus being tied to Covid-19. You may have heard that there’s currently an outbreak of monkeypox, which causes a rash and flu-like symptoms. At least two cases have been confirmed in the U.S. But there’s no need to panic. Check out Claire’s report here.

FAIL: Fans of comedian John Mulaney showed up to his recent show in Ohio and were met with a surprise guest: Dave Chappelle—who attendees say told transphobic and homophobic jokes. This wasn’t the first time that Mulaney invited Chappelle to open for him. But the decision sparked outrage on Twitter. “Celebrities who like to portray an image of a nice, politically conscious, cool-and-feminist guy almost always nope out when it gets inconvenient,” one user wrote.

REVIEW: Our staff writer Michelle reviewed Alex Garland’s divisive new horror film, Men. The film starts off with a familiar setting: A woman books a stay at a house in the English countryside. It seems like a perfect place to unwind, until her interactions with several men—all played by the same actor—prove otherwise. Read the review here.

In Body Image
A smartphone showing the Facebook app in between stacks of $50 bills.

Digital privacy enforcement is finally seeing some tangible results

Late last week, Meta—the parent company of FacebookInstagramWhatsApp, and others—began sending out $397 checks to users as part of a massive settlement that ended a facial recognition lawsuit against the tech giant. 

In January 2020, Facebook agreed to pay $550 million after it was sued by Illinois residents for allegedly violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act by using facial recognition technology to suggest people to be tagged in photos. The company then agreed to up that amount by another $100 million after a California judge ruled that the initial agreement wasn’t high enough. That made the total settlement $650 million.

The law requires that third parties need to get consent from state residents before gathering biometric information, like face prints. 

The law firm behind the suit set up a website where Illinois Facebook users could fill out a claim. The firm estimated that people who were eligible could receive between $200 and $400 depending on the number of valid claims that were filed. 

Now users have begun receiving checks from Facebook, as NBC News reports. Many users online have also said they got checks. 

“I just got mine last night. $397. Fuck Facebook, but thanks for the monies,” one user on Reddit said.

“My partner got theirs mid last week but I haven’t gotten mine. And we did the forms back to back at the same time,” another person wrote in the same thread

“Getting that Facebook settlement check deadass brought a tear to my eye,” a user on Twitter wrote

While Facebook said it would stop using facial recognition technology (but didn’t rule out using it in future projects), it still faces even more lawsuits. Earlier this year, Texas filed a lawsuit against Meta for allegedly collecting biometric data without first obtaining consent. 

As for Illinois’ data privacy law, it has also been at the heart of another facial recognition settlement, this time with controversial startup Clearview AI, who settled after the ACLU sued it for violating the law

While the federal government continues to waffle on a nationwide data privacy law, it’s nice to see a strong state-level law making somewhat of a difference for users. 

— Andrew Wyrich 


In Body Image

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Here are some key dispatches from across the ‘net.

🚫 An investigation shows that the Daily Wire spent thousands of dollars on social media ads that discredit actress Amber Heard.

🗣️ Reporter Brian Feldman did a deep dive to uncover the identities of the people behind the popular gossip account Deuxmoi.

🍼 A viral TikTok shows a woman questioning another woman for filling a whole cart at Target with baby formula during a nationwide shortage.

🏠 A 25% rent increase? Unfortunately, that is the reality for some—and they aren’t given much time to figure out alternative housing.

💰 In related news…an apartment complex tried to publicly shame residents who didn’t make rent.

🐱 WTF: Multiple kittens were found in a garbage can. Luckily, a worker was able to save them.

🤑 You can get Hulu for only $1 a month—even if you’re a returning customer—with this limited-time offer.*

👨🏻‍🦰 ‘I literally never thought this day would come’: Fans react to Riverdale finally ending after seven seasons.

🪧 Is there a First Amendment right to assemble in the metaverse? Our story on this topic, part of a package on Web3, examines digital protests.

*The Daily Dot may receive a commission in connection with purchases of products or services featured here.


labor lawyer is warning his TikTok followers of a “classic HR trap”: insisting on a phone call or face-to-face meeting to remove a paper trail when reporting a complaint. His advice? Send emails that recap what happened in the meeting. 

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