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Hello fellow citizens of the internet! Andrew here. Welcome to today’s edition of Internet Insider. I will refrain from making an April Fools joke here.
Today’s top stories include a deep dive into how Russian propaganda continues to seep through the cracks online, a look into how Moon Knight raises questions about Disney’s queer representation, and how the Federal Trade Commission got one step closer to finally being at full strength.
Our Culture Editor Tiffany Kelly also breaks down the most dominant internet discourse this week in her “This Week On The Internet” column… and you can probably guess what it is about.
Let’s dive into the news.
BREAK THE INTERNET
PROPAGANDA: Our Politics Reporter Claire has a deep dive into how Russian propaganda in the wake of the country’s invasion of Ukraine has been seeping through the dragnet created by social media platforms in an effort to restrict it. She found a lot of examples and consulted with some experts about it, so be sure to check it out here.
MOON KNIGHT: The latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Moon Knight, was recently released on Disney+. But as our Culture Reporter Gavia notes, the series has reduced the character’s gay sidekick Frenchie Duchamp to a small reference. That decision, she notes, raises questions over Disney’s track record with queer representation. Check out her full report here.
FTC: Eagle-eyed readers of Internet Insider know that the process for both the FTC and FCC to be filled out with Biden’s nominees has taken forever. Well, the president’s FTC pick Alvaro Bedoya got one step closer to getting confirmed after a Senate vote this week. Read more about it here.
The Slap that sparked nonstop discourse
There was only one discourse this week. Or rather, one discourse that branched off into several related discourses. I’m talking of course about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars on Sunday night, after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s buzzed hair.
The incident has become known as “the Slap”, and no one can seem to stop talking about it, especially as celebrities are continually asked for their opinion on it.
And as we move from almost a week out from the Slap, people are trying to offer up explanations, seriously or jokingly, on why it happened.
The Slap, and other incidents from the past week, are being attributed to Aries season by some on Twitter. Others suggested that everyone has lost their minds after two years in a pandemic. But why did the incident dominate news and social media all week? As the New York Times’ Wesley Morris wrote: “That’s one thing about the last two years. We’ve been made privy to all kinds of behavior we’d rather not see, witnesses of people’s worst moments. Now we’ve been made privy to one of Smith’s.”
Everyone had access to the video of the incident, which has now been endlessly edited and memed. That definitely helped it stay in the public conversation.
Meanwhile, incidents with other celebrities, like The Flash star Ezra Miller being arrested on Sunday night in a bar in Hawaii for disorderly conduct, didn’t receive as much attention as the Oscars incident. Nick Lachey also had an altercation this week with a celebrity photographer, which he addressed on Twitter: “I clearly overreacted.” Yet those stories didn’t turn the discourse away from the Oscars.
Today is April Fools’ Day, generally an annoying day on the internet. Perhaps it can be an opportunity for everyone to focus on dissecting another topic?
One can only hope.
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🔑 KEY STORIES
One TikToker recently posted a particularly unnatural dish, claiming that their father cooked a chicken and “found an egg still inside its butthole.”
A man on TikTok share his “polite” way of telling a Hinge match he’s no longer interested in them. The message sparked debate among viewers.
From family favorites to the most bitchin’ witches in Spain.*
When you think of the early days of the internet, what does that look like to you? In “The Lost History of the Internet” the Daily Dot explores the online communities and events that shaped us.
MEME OF THE WEEK
Angus Cloud from Euphoria saying “no thanks” when asked to elaborate his answer to a question on the red carpet is iconic.
Now Playing: 🎶“You Oughta Know” by Duomo & Tomás Peire-Serrate🎶