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Hello fellow citizens of the internet! Andrew here. Welcome to today’s edition of Internet Insider.
Our top stories today include backlash Starbucks is facing, a viral video where a server details her “worst table ever,” a deep dive into the new Q posts, and more.
Plus, our Senior Culture Reporter Audra writes about Peacock’s promotion strategy in her weekly “Now Streaming” column.
Let’s get into the news.
BACKLASH: In the wake of the Roe v. Wade reversal, Starbucks joined many other companies and recently announced a new abortion policy to help employees seek out healthcare—unless they are part of a unionized store. That carveout for union shops was not met well online. Check out our full report on the backlash online here.
‘WORST TABLE EVER’: A TikToker’s series of videos chronicling her “worst table ever” as a server has garnered more than 1.5 million views. In the videos, she details her experience with a family that insisted on purchasing alcohol for her daughter, who forgot her ID. Of course, the family didn’t leave a tip.
CONSPIRACY: The person claiming to be “Q,” the mysterious person at the center of the QAnon conspiracy theory returned with a series of “drops” this weekend, the first communications that have been posted on 8kun in a year-and-a-half. Our conspiracy theory expert and contributing writer Mike Rothschild breaks it all down here.
WRECKED: Imagine getting owned by a lake. The president of a right-wing activist group doesn’t have to imagine: Tom Fitton, of Judicial Watch, recently experienced first hand what it’s like to lose a war of words with a body of water, or more specifically the Lake Superior Twitter account.
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✏️ REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK
As you know, we’re calling the next few months at the Daily Dot the “Summer of Scoops” as we dig around the internet for the most pressing stories. As part of that, I thought it would be fun to give you a peek into the reporting process.
Over the weekend, the Passionfruit team attended VidCon and saw the inside scoop into the creator space, from businesses to influencers to fans. Below, Passionfruit Editor Daysia Tolentino details some of the wackiest things that happened:
VidCon—where to begin? I’ve never been before this year, but from what I gather, it’s always a little bit chaotic. Perhaps, then, it was unsurprising when that on the first day of events a fire alarm caused the convention center to briefly evacuate amid some ongoing panels. There was a rumor that the fans of the infamous Dream SMP had pulled it for the meme, but that doesn’t appear to be true.
Another bizarre moment from the weekend? The presence of James Charles, the beauty influencer who has been accused of “grooming” in recent years. While he did not appear at the official events, he was at the fun after parties including the Instagram Night Out and Amazon Prime ones. So… what does cancel culture actually do again?
Finally, while it was nice to feel a bit normal after such isolating times—most people were not wearing masks and it was nice to see faces for once—attendees were reminded that the pandemic is not quite over, as VidCon co-founder Hank Green had to cancel his Sunday engagements due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Luckily, he seems OK aside from a few symptoms. He’s not the only one who got sick though, as drama YouTuber KeemStar reported the event was a super spreader.
Peacock is making some great comedy—if you can find it
Is Peacock’s promotional strategy for original shows just to let the people tweet?
There’s been some discourse about whether the NBC streamer is doing enough to promote its shows, and while I get emails about upcoming titles, I have found myself watching Peacock shows almost solely because of Twitter word of mouth.
Would It Kill You to Laugh?, the new hour special from Kate Berlant and John Early, is an example of the kind of comedy Peacock and other streamers need more of.
Hulu apparently passed on an earlier pilot Berlant and Early pitched because it was too weird, though the success of Netflix’s I Think You Should Leave (which Berlant and Early both appear in) opened up what “weird” comedy can be and who it’s for.
The special debuted on Friday; the official Peacock Twitter account made no mention of it. It tweeted about the new Downton Abbey film instead.
Like writer and director April Wolfe, I did not know until this weekend that Peacock’s Killing It is about Burmese python hunters in the Florida Everglades and stars Craig Robinson, as well as many other great comedic performers.
I blew through season 1 and it’s now one of my favorite shows of 2022. Girls5Eva is another Peacock original that didn’t get much promo but certainly has a vocal fanbase. Peacock did promote Joe vs. Carole, a show that didn’t need to exist, and that no one is talking about now.
The Office was Peacock’s big carrot to dangle when it launched in 2020, and it has anchor shows like SNL. But you can find plenty of people tweeting at Peacock to promote or un-cancel its original shows, and its lack of promotion has become a meme.
To be fair, people have also called out Netflix for underpromoting shows.
Peacock clocked 13 million paid subscribers at the beginning of 2022, and 28 million active accounts, a noticeable increase from the end of 2021.
That’s not great, compared to Netflix or Disney+, but then Netflix is not doing so well. Unfortunately, Peacock seems to be following its spending strategy.
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👀 TODAY ONLINE
Here are some key dispatches from across the ‘net.
➤ A woman shared her experience renting an Airbnb that allegedly had no windows, calling it a “lesson learned” in a viral video.
➤ A woman recently went viral after claiming that her insurance company refused to speak to her without first speaking to her husband, despite the fact that she was the primary insured.
➤ ‘Another reason why I got a second job,” one teacher commented in a video where she opened up about disappointing pay after getting her Master’s Degree.
➤ A worker accidentally accepted a fake $20 bill that said “in copy we trust” and “copy money” on it. In a video, the worker speculated whether or not they would be fired for accepting it.
➤ 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.
➤ A TikToker says the Heritage Farms chicken breasts that she purchased was two pounds less than what was labeled—and what she paid for.
➤ Get your fix for all things wizardry with the best magic movies that aren’t Fantastic Beasts.*
➤ An Instacart driver sparked a debate on TikTok after saying she was “so mad at” herself for accepting an order with no tip.
➤ 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!
*The Daily Dot may receive a commission in connection with purchases of products or services featured here.
👋 BEFORE YOU GO
In a viral video, a TikToker showed her computer screen at work that was playing a fake Windows update screen on YouTube for an hour. The video has more than 700,000 views, with many people asking her what prompted her to do that.
Now Playing: 🎶“Wheelie” by Latto🎶