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Newsletter: TikTok-fueled gasoline conspiracy

In today's Internet Insider newsletter we have today's top stories plus our 'This Week On The Internet' column.


Andrew Wyrich


Tiffany Kelly


Posted on Apr 15, 2022   Updated on Apr 18, 2022, 9:56 am CDT

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Hello fellow citizens of the internet! Andrew here. Welcome to today’s edition of Internet Insider.

Happy Friday! Our top stories include some reactions to the latest Elon Musk/Twitter drama. Plus, our Culture Editor Tiffany Kelly unpacks the most dominant online discourse of the week in her “This Week on the Internet” column. 

Also, be sure to check Tiffany’s favorite meme of the week


A globe with meridian emoji with the words 'Break The Internet' and 'Today's Top Stories.' The font is the Daily Dot newsletter logo font.

ELON MUSK & TWITTER: The Elon Musk / Twitter drama continues. The billionaire offered to buy the social media platform, setting off a firestorm of reactions. Our Politics Reporter Claire breaks down how conservatives online love the idea of a Musk-led Twitter while liberals felt the opposite. You can check out her full report here

TIKTOK CONSPIRACY: A viral TikTok of a man claiming that his car runs on water has reignited a classic conspiracy theory that there has been a secret invention that allows for cars to run on water instead of gasoline. While the TikTok seems like it was intended to be a casual joke, the comments were filled with references to conspiracy theories

LAWSUIT OR PRANK?: A creator who has become famous for his replica of Lightning McQueen from the Disney Pixar movie Cars claims that he’s being sued by Disney. But his viral video about the lawsuit was posted on April 1 (April Fools Day) leaving people unsure whether his claims are real or just a prank. Read more about the situation here

In Body Image
A group of people sitting around a table for dinner on the Netflix show The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On

The wild premise of ‘The Ultimatum’ is bringing people together on Twitter

When Netflix’s new reality show, The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On, premiered last week, I watched the first episode with morbid curiosity.

Then I quickly turned it off because it made me deeply, deeply uncomfortable.

The series, which is hosted by Vanessa and Nick Lachey, follows six couples—half of whom have issued an “ultimatum” to the other to get married. The chaotic premise tasks each person to pick another cast member to “date” before moving back in with their original partner. The goal is to push couples to take the next step—or decide to start seeing other people.

The wildest part? Everyone goes on dates in front of their original partners. Truly a premise straight from hell

On Twitter, the reactions around The Ultimatum mainly centered around the fact that most of the cast members are in their 20s. “I honestly can not imagine actively wanting to be a wife and mother at 23 years old,” wrote user @agirlandthecity. “I think ‘The Ultimatum’ really missed their target audience. I know a ton of older people 35+ that have been in relationships for over a decade with no commitment or marriage in [sight]. Why couldn’t they find them??” wrote @BriLimitless

There were also several “create an environment that is so toxic” memes about the show. It seemed like everyone was watching The Ultimatum—which dropped its finale on April 13—at some point over the last week. 

The Ultimatum was clearly designed to be picked apart on social media. Other dating shows with unusual premises, like 90 Day Fiancé, FBoy Island, and Love is Blind, sparked live tweets and plenty of discourse when they aired. 

The standard single-people-find love plot has been seemingly discarded in favor of shock value. And we’re likely to get more of these kinds of shows; The Ultimatum is currently in the top spot of Netflix’s top 10 TV shows list. As writer Chris Black said on Twitter, the show amounts to “just drunk young people with awful ideas.”

Naturally, it’s a hit.

I ended up watching The Ultimatum finale after skipping most of the middle episodes. I wanted to know how it worked out for everyone. But mostly, I wanted to understand all the tweets on my timeline about it

Tiffany Kelly

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Here are some key dispatches from across the ‘net. 

🍴 Food service workers on TikTok are agreeing that customers who show up to their workplaces right after attending church are the “worst type of customer.” 

🎯 A woman recounted in a viral video how the man she met on Hinge took her to Target on their first date. Some commenters thought the date wasn’t special, while others called it a “green flag.” 

🚧 A TikToker has gone viral for accusing Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) of intentionally blocking trade at the Mexican border. He believes it is part of a plot by Republicans to hurt Democrats in the midterms by increasing inflation. 

🎥 Staying in this weekend? These are the best movies help you turn your movie night into a party on your couch.*

👮 A TikToker claims that Nickelodeon called the cops on her over a Jojo Siwa tweet. Yes, seriously

☕ An alleged former Starbucks employee is claiming that they lost their job after reporting workplace discrimination

⚰️ In “Death on the Internet,” the Daily Dot explores how this digital self can live on in the internet’s memory—even after the actual self has abandoned it.

🥝 Former TikTok employees are speaking out against the company’s grueling work culture. Want more stories like this? Sign up for Passionfruit, the Daily Dot’s weekly creator economy newsletter, for more coverage.

😮 TikTokers were shocked after a user shared a rude text message she received from a man telling her that she is “too overweight” for him. 


Oakland A’s Catcher Sean Murphy hitting a baseball with his butt became a big meme this week, as people edited the video with various sounds. (Just take a look at all the replies to this tweet to see some of them.)

Now Playing: 🎶Being In Love” by Wet Leg🎶

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*First Published: Apr 15, 2022, 12:00 pm CDT