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Newsletter: An Elon Musk deepfake wants to scam you

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Andrew Wyrich


Mikael Thalen


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

I hope your Memorial Day weekend was fun! I went to a wedding and spent some time with the family. But with the weekend over, it’s time to dive back into the news

Today’s top stories include an Elon Musk deepfake trying to scam you, a deep dive into how an old conspiracy theory is being embraced on TikTok, and a “That One Sound” column from our Senior Culture Reporter Audra. 

Also, as I promised yesterday, we’ve got Mikael’s weekly “One Dumb Conspiracy” column down below. 

Let’s get to it! 


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DEEPFAKES: A new deepfake of Tesla CEO Elon Musk has appeared online… and it is trying to scam you with fake cryptocurrency. The deepfake, which appeared on YouTube last week, shows a digitally altered Musk introducing the crypto platform known as BitVex. But as our Tech Reporter Mikael notes, the deepfake is directing people to a scam

THAT ONE SOUND: This week’s “That One Sound” column from our Senior Culture Reporter Audra focused on a specific audio on TikTok that has seen a surge in use at the beginning of what has been an absolutely grim May. Specifically, she digs into the origins and use of a woman saying “OK. Well, that’s you. But on the other hand, me? Oh, I’m finna turn up.” The audio has been used in nearly 400,000 TikToks since early April. 

CONSPIRACY THEORY: Our Contributing Reporter and conspiracy theory expert Mike Rothschild dives deep into how TikTokers’ new conspiratorial obsession with elites being reptiles has a long, sordid past. Mike reports on how the conspiracy theory is old, but it is being embraced by social media influencers on TikTok. 

In Body Image
A Water town in Uvalde, Texas

Conspiracy theorists falsely accuse ABC News of trying to make Uvalde gunman white

Conspiracy theorists are claiming online that media outlets altered a photograph of 18-year-old Salvador Ramos in an attempt to make the school shooter appear white.

The claim began circulating this week after law enforcement officials released a photo of Ramos, whose been accused of killing 19 children and 2 adults during a shooting rampage at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

As the picture began spreading across social media, some users began to claim that ABC News had altered the image in an effort to make Ramos’ skin appear lighter.

In a now-deleted tweet, one Twitter user showed a screenshot of what she claimed was the altered photo alongside the one released by police.

“ABC News altered Salvador Ramos’s photo to appear more Caucasian,” the user alleged. “Real photo of the Uvalde Texas shooter (right) vs photo posted by @abcnews @GMA (left).”

The claim is similar to others that were spread in the wake of the shooting that attempts were being made to hide the fact that Ramos, who died at the scene of the shooting, was actually an “illegal alien.” Ramos was in fact born in North Dakota

Yet the altered image is not real. A search for the alleged tweet in questions shows that ABC News never shared such an image.

The fake image appears to have been edited into a screenshot of an actual tweet from ABC News after the real photograph was released.

Still, that hasn’t stopped the false claim from continuing to spread mainly among conservative users.

“The Mainstream media is an operating arm for the socialist agenda coming from the current administration,” another Twitter user wrote. “Of course they are going to make this Mexican look more white to fit their narrative. Disgusting…”

Many users even angrily tweeted at ABC News over the fabricated claim.

In a statement to numerous media outlets, ABC News confirmed that the altered image in question was never published to any of their social media platforms.

The conspiracy theory is just one of many that have surfaced since the tragic shooting took place. False claims that the shooting was a “false flag” by the government have also been prevalent, just as is the case after nearly every major tragic incident

Mikael Thalen

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Here are some key dispatches from across the ‘net. 

💄 A TikToker has gone viral after using the points system at Ulta to reduce her nearly $700 tab to just 34 cents

🏠 A video of an Airbnb host showing the massive damage left from a guest who stayed at her apartment for six months has gone viral. Some of the damage? A massive blood stain on the wall. 

📦 The popular e-commerce app Depop has come under fire after a TikToker claimed she never received multiple orders that she purchased. 

☎️ A T-Mobile customer’s multiple letters of complaints to the telecom company have gone viral after he shared a read-out of the text on TikTok. 

🥝 Creators in Pakistan say the country’s social media bans have stifled their growth. If you want to see more coverage like this, sign up for Passionfruit, the Daily Dot’s weekly creator economy newsletter

🎭 Actor Ray Liotta is being remembered for a meme legacy and his plethora of roles after he death. Michelle, our culture reporter, breaks down the tributes that have come from around the world. 

🎵 Ready to get into vinyl? These beginner record players will spin you right round, baby.*

💸 A celebrity skincare expert has gone viral after alleging that Kanye West never paid her for a facial

🔍 To mark the fourth anniversary of the first QAnon drop on 4chan, the Daily Dot tells stories about Q that haven’t been looked at. 

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


A TikToker has shared a DoorDash experience where she accidentally ordered food from a strip club on a company credit card. Her story has quickly gone viral, racking up more than 1 million views in just a few days. 

blonde woman happily yelling (l) doordash logo (c) blonde woman looking confused (r)

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