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Hello fellow citizens of the internet! Andrew here. Welcome to today’s edition of Internet Insider.
It’s Thursday, which means it is time for our Politics Reporter Claire’s weekly “Dirty Delete” column. But besides that we’ve got some key reports from across the internet including deepfakes being used to apply for remote jobs, the new Elvis Presley biopic sparking debate on TikTok, and how a photo of frog frozen in a tub of ice cream has the internet disgusted… and calling it fake.
That’s a lot! So let’s get right to it.
DEEPFAKES: Cybercriminals are using deepfakes to apply for remote work jobs, the FBI recently warned. As our Tech Reporter Mikael details in report, the agency said it has received an “increase in complaints” reporting the use of deepfakes and stolen personally identifiable information to apply for remote work and work-from-home positions. You can check out the full report here.
CULTURE: In the wake of Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic hitting theaters, our Culture Reporter Michelle breaks down how TikTokers are highlighting the less savory aspects of the artist’s life. Read more about the discourse on TikTok here.
ROE V. WADE: While many people took to social media to offer refuge and services to those seeking abortions or needing to travel after the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, some people online are warning people against accepting these offers. In a viral thread on Twitter, a user noted that those public offers could now make them targets and that “geofence warrants” could be applied to those residences. Read more about the warnings here.
VIRAL: A Facebook post showing what appeared to be a frog frozen in a tub of ice cream went viral, sparking disgust and debate across the internet. Many people called “bullshit” on the viral photo claiming it was made for clout. But regardless of the authenticity of the image, it definitely had thousands of people sharing their disgust. (This story includes graphic content pertaining to animals).
Meet the far-right’s new favorite candidate
Extremists love Doug Mastriano.
The Republican gubernatorial candidate in Pennsylvania insists that he’s not an extremist himself. He’s also tried to distance himself from conspiracy theorists. His record proves otherwise.
Mastriano, a Pennsylvania state senator, tweeted QAnon hashtags more than 50 times and appeared on shows hosted by people who believe the conspiracy theory that the planet is controlled by Satan-worshippers who rape and eat children.
Though Mastriano has attempted to pull a sort of “don’t believe your lying eyes” defense by saying he “strongly condemns” it, QAnon followers aren’t buying it.
Cheers rang out in QAnon world when he won the Republican primary in May. Perhaps they were just going by Mastriano’s actions, like posting a video of QAnon hero Mike Flynn endorsing him on Facebook in April.
Far-right extremists also cheered his victory. And why not? They have every reason to view Mastriano as an ally.
In the event he becomes Pennsylvania’s governor, Mastriano plans to enact many policies that thrill right-wing extremists.
He’s proposed a “heartbeat bill” that would ban abortion at around six weeks, long before the embryo even has a heart, according to experts. (The “heartbeat” is just a cluster of cells that emit electrical signals).
Mastriano also plans to ban critical race theory, a fixation among extremists convinced that the law- and graduate school level theory that views American history through a lens that includes the impacts of slavery and racism is taught in primary schools. (It’s not).
And he’s got big plans to “restore confidence” in “election integrity.” It seems lost on him that the only reason people have doubt in election integrity is because people like his campaign’s new senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis told a bunch of lies that undermined their faith in elections.
Pennsylvania is a swing state whose governor has significant power over elections. If elected, Mastriano would appoint the Secretary of State, who runs its elections.
This theoretically means that a man who believed election lies enough to be at the Capitol riot could simply give Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes to whoever he wants.
He’d also pass a whole bunch of restrictions on reproductive freedom, public education, and more—while putting guns in the hands of anyone in Pennsylvania who wants one.
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👀 TODAY ONLINE
Here are some key dispatches from across the ‘net.
- A TikToker claims that she discovered a phone number on an ex’s phone that belonged to another woman, so she allegedly decided to use that number while shopping at an Ulta store to redeem all of the rewards points for herself.
- After picking up a passenger from a hospital, an Uber driver claims he asked him for help grocery shopping. The driver shared a bizarre comedy of errors that ensued in a viral video.
- A woman who works in tech says she was fired from her job because of her TikTok account.
- Don’t do this. A TikToker recently went viral after claiming that a man was escorted off her airplane after attempting to send picture of his penis to random passengers via AirDrop.
- Our team of reporters at Passionfruit, the Daily Dot’s weekly creator economy newsletter, were at VidCon. You can check out all their coverage here. If you want more stories like that, subscribe to the newsletter!
- With apparent staffing shortages hitting business around the United States, some customers have taken employees’ duties into their own hands.
- Two chefs walked into a kitchen with a meal kit from Home Chef…here’s what happened.*
- An apparent Starbucks employee’s video sharing some of the coffee chain’s alleged secrets has drawn a lot of interest online, with viewers learning new things about their most-loved beverages.
- 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.
👋 BEFORE YOU GO
A video showing a boss rating their workers’ outfits recently went viral on TikTok, sparking considerable debate. In the video, a TikTok user shows someone she claims is her boss writing scores for every person’s outfit on a whiteboard as they walk through the door. While the video is a joke, the dialogue surrounding the TikTok has been fierce.
Now Playing: 🎶“Start a Riot” by Durkwrth, Shaboozey🎶