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Newsletter: Elmo quickly found out we all aren’t doing well

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Andrew Wyrich

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Posted on Feb 1, 2024   Updated on Feb 2, 2024, 10:05 am CST

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We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.

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

Our top stories today are about: The X account for the muppet Elmo asking how everyone was doing (spoiler alert: not well), an Airbnb customer finding a secret door in their rental, Trumpers trying to use a ballot quirk to crush Nikki Haley’s hope for a symbolic win the Nevada primary, and a man going viral for explaining why Google’s Incognito mode doesn’t really hide what you are doing

After that, our Politics and Technology Editor David Covucci has a “Deplatformed” column for you. 

See you tomorrow! 

— A.W. 


⚡ Today’s top stories

👀 VIRAL
Elmo asked how everybody is doing on X—and instantly got much more than his muppet heart bargained for

Elmo decided to take to X to ask his 450k+ followers a simple question: how is everybody doing? Elmo quickly became inundated with all kinds of hilarious-but-honest responses

READ MORE

🚪 WTF
‘Girl did u rent an escape room?’: Airbnb customer finds a secret door and clue in rental

Finding a secret door can be a great adventure if you’re playing Dungeons & Dragons or booking an escape room with friends—but finding one in your vacation rental is a little too close to a horror movie vibe.

READ MORE

🗳️ POLITICS
Trumpers are using a ballot quirk to try to crush Nikki Haley’s hope for a symbolic win in the Nevada primary

Nevada is the only state where voters can refuse to choose any of the listed candidates on a ballot by voting for “none of these candidates”—and former President Donald Trump’s supporters are pushing this ballot irregularity to try and tank former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

READ MORE

💻 TECH
‘Least shocking reveal of all time’: Man explains why Google Incognito doesn’t really hide what you’re doing

You might think that Google Incognito gives you cover in your online search, but as a man discussing a recent lawsuit noted, “In the least shocking reveal of all time, it was proven that it’s really not that private. They’re still tracking you and selling your data.”

READ MORE


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🚉 Deplatformed

By David Covucci
Politics & Technology Editor

Border wall cracked in half with caution tape over it
Chess Ocampo/Shutterstock alphaspirit.it/Shutterstock (Licensed) Linzi Silverman

Deplatformed: Critical immigration theory

Deplatformed is a weekly column that looks into the nether reaches of the internet—outside the big few that everyone already covers—to tell you the political discourse online. It runs on Thursdays in the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter. If you want to get this column a day before we publish it, subscribe to web_crawlr, where you’ll get the daily scoop of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox.


🕸️ Crawling the web

Here is what else is happening across the ‘net.

🥚 What lengths will people go to in order to entice viewers to their live streams? In the case of one creator, it’s the promise of eating raw eggs and then the delivery of that promise.

🌮 A woman’s disappointing Taco Bell order from the brand’s revived Cravings menu has sparked a conversation on quality inconsistency from location to location.

🍊 If you like a nice bottle of orange juice to wash down your breakfast, here’s one Hardee’s you should avoid—at least, that’s what this viral TikTok would have us believe.

📱 A user on TikTok has gone viral after alleging that someone fraudulently bought several phones on her Verizon account—and Verizon initially refused to refund her the full amount.

🥨 This Walmart shopper who buys frozen pretzels only to sell them individually for a profit has viewers of his video concerned

⌚ A server is calling out the hypocrisy of a hiring manager after he stressed the importance of punctuality after being 15 minutes late to an interview himself.

🍲 For $200, couples could get $1,560 worth of food with Applebee’s Date Night Pass. It almost sounds too good to be true. One man who tried to secure one of these passes thinks it is.


📝 Question of the Day

Everyone’s got opinions, and we want to know yours. Just click a button below to answer the question, and tomorrow we will let you know how fellow web crawlers like you answered. 

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👋 Before you go

There’s one woman on TikTok (@theonlysevahc) who found a way to make free purchases while on an airplane using her iPhone’s Apple Pay feature.

She says that after locking her credit card, she’s still able to use the application on whatever POS systems the flight attendants are using and that the charges won’t go through while she’s up in the air.

In the viral clip that’s accrued over 2.4 million views on the popular social media application, she pantomimes “tapping” the phone several times, which is soon followed by the familiar ding of the Apple Pay sound.

She added in a caption for the video: “Life hack AND KEEP THAT CARD LOCKED.”

It seems like other TikTok users were already privy to this type of in-air trickery, like one person who penned: “Now why u gone tell our secrets.”

Woman(l+r), Apple pay on phone(c)
Alex photohub/Shutterstock @theonlysevahc/Tiktok (Licensed)
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*First Published: Feb 1, 2024, 10:30 am CST