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Kira Deshler


Posted on Feb 22, 2024   Updated on Feb 22, 2024, 1:12 pm CST

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Hello fellow web crawlers! Kira here. Welcome to today’s edition of web_crawlr.

Today’s top stories are about: users getting scared because ChatGPT was acting up, the wild conspiracy theory that Disney Channel star Bridgit Mendler is a time traveler, backlash over California’s new Ebony Alert system, and harrowing tales about the hazards workers face at Goodwill

After that, check out David’s ‘Deplatformed’ column and learn about the perils of Tesla ownership

See you tomorrow,

— K.D. 

⚡ Today’s top stories

‘Reading this at 2am is scary’: ChatGPT went off the rails—and people are freaking out

Users thought it was having a digital stroke.


‘The most insane career trajectory of any Disney Channel star’: Behind the TikTok conspiracy theory that Bridgit Mendler is a time traveler

“Bridgit Mendler is becoming Elon Musk for people who shower. She is here to save us,” one user wrote


California’s new Ebony Alerts receive backlash for racist undertones—despite advocates calling system ‘truly needed’

“Ebony Alert sounds too racist for me,” an X user tweeted.


Thrift store workers say they were exposed to biohazards on the job

‘My hands would be gray by the time I left, working there.’ a former Goodwill employee said. 


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🚉 Deplatformed

By David Covucci
Politics & Technology Editor

Donald Trump over space force flag
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Space Force Vindication

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.

🖼️ In a surprising twist, right-wingers are now accusing Gemini, Google’s AI-powered chatbot, of refusing to create images of white people

💵 A black employee asked her boss for a raise during Black History Month, and his response was uncalled for

🍟 A woman criticized her boyfriend for taking her to Shake Shack on a date, but TikTok viewers were on his side

📱 A push to blame ‘social media addiction’ for Brianna Ghey’s murder is facing backlash from the trans community. 

🔪 A Chef on TikTok said she would never cook for Michael Rapaport again, and viewers pointed out he once evicted Natasha Lyonne

🌐 X claims it doesn’t automate content moderation in Europe, but Alexei Navalny’s wife was still banned

🎒 Ryan Walters, Oklahoma’s top education official, has yet to acknowledge the death of a nonbinary student following an attack at school, and the internet is outraged

☣️ From the Daily Dot archive: Here are the viral marketing campaigns that helped shape the internet as we know it.

📝 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. 


To answer questions like this in the future, sign up for web_crawlr here.

👋 Before you go

A TikTok user known as @techbyantrell made a video about why regrets buying a Tesla. “Please do not get a Tesla,” he begins, immediately capturing the audience’s attention with a stark warning about the reality of owning one of the most sought-after EVs in the market.

Antrell’s frustration stems from a dire situation at a Los Angeles Tesla charging station, where he found himself, along with other Tesla owners, in a desperate battle for the few available chargers. With his car’s battery dwindling to a mere five miles, the scarcity of charging options became a tangible concern, highlighting a critical issue in the Tesla ownership experience.

He goes on to explain another issue, which is that charging stations are so scarce that EV drivers often sit there and fully charge their cars for 45 minutes, making the backlog even worse. In the comments section, users wondered why someone would buy a Tesla without a home charging station

Antrell’s story highlights the issues facing sustainable transportation and the need for a more robust charging network

Man says he regrets purchasing Tesla
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*First Published: Feb 22, 2024, 10:30 am CST