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Hello fellow citizens of the internet! Andrew here. Welcome to today’s edition of Internet Insider.
Quick programming note: You’ll notice a few small changes here and there in today’s newsletter. Let us know what you think!
Anyway, today’s top stories include the seizure of a notorious hacking forum and a sharp analysis of the Killing Eve finale. Plus, we’ve got our weekly “Now Streaming” column about HBO Max’s hidden comfort watch.
But enough from me, let’s dive into the news.
HACKING: The FBI and several international law enforcement agencies have seized a notorious online hacking forum. The homepage for RaidForums, a prominent website for sharing hacked and stolen data, was overtaken on Tuesday. You can read more about the seizure in our report here.
QANON: QAnon conspiracy theorists are warning their followers… not to believe conspiracy theories. Our Politics Reporter Claire breaks down how various factions of QAnon influencers are warning people not to believe claims from other contingents of conspiracy theory influencers. Check out Claire’s report here.
REVIEW: The final season of Killing Eve “ended on a sour note” because it deployed a tired trope and one of TV’s most controversial clichés. We can’t get into it more without spoiling things, so be sure to check out our Culture Reporter Michelle’s analysis of the finale.
The return of HBO Max’s under-the-radar comfort watch
Even in a time where there’s too much TV in any given week for one person to reasonably keep up with, there is way too much TV.
The next couple of weeks will see the return of Better Call Saul, Barry, Russian Doll, Ozark, and Made For Love alongside new contenders such as Under the Banner of Heaven, The Offer, Gaslit, A Very British Scandal, The First Lady, and a new Hulu show from the Kardashians, just to name a few.
I’m looking forward to a lot of them for a variety of reasons, but I’m also keen for the return of one of TV’s quieter hidden gems: British export The Great Pottery Throw Down.
Each season, a group of amateur potters travel to the English city of Stoke-on-Trent—which has a vast history of pottery dating back centuries—to complete a series of tasks, which often take several days to complete, before a winner is crowned at the end of the season. The stress factor arrives not in backstabbing or alliances or judges being nasty but rather in the work itself.
If TGPTD sounds like it’s basically The Great British Bake Off + pottery, you’d be right.
Both shows were created by the same production company and it hits many of the same beats; the main difference is the specificity of skill on display (baking vs. pottery) and number of challenges contestants have to complete each week (three vs. two).
TGPTD might not have become the phenomenon that GBBO has abroad—Americans now only have to wait three days to watch episodes that just aired in the U.K.—but it also didn’t arrive until much later: The series debuted in 2015, but it didn’t stream in the U.S. until HBO Max acquired the distribution rights and dropped the first three seasons in September 2020. Since then, one new season arrived in 2021 with a second coming out later this week.
As someone who knew basically nothing about pottery, not even the fact that “throwing” is what we probably think pottery is (aka shaping wet clay on a spinning wheel), before watching, it’s mesmerizing and educational.
There’s real drama in watching contestants spending days trying to perfect dishes or a giant vase or even a working toilet or bathroom set only for it to crack when it’s heated up in the kiln.
TGPTD has had multiple hosts and judges over its run, but one of its constants is judge Keith Brymer Jones, whose pottery knowledge is vast and is unafraid of showing emotions when he’s moved by one of the contestant’s pieces. He does it often enough that the contestants know it’s a thing, but he’s never shamed for it and TGPTD never makes fun of him for it. Like the art itself, it’s just allowed to be.
We might be in the middle of scammer spring and a lot of the new shows are guaranteed to bring on bouts of anxiety, but there’s something nice about knowing there’s also a show you can slowly let wash over you.
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👀 TODAY ONLINE
Here are some key dispatches from across the ‘net.
💰 Tipping culture is always a divisive topic on TikTok, and a recent viral video showing a pile of orders supposedly being ignored by DoorDash drivers because the customers didn’t include a tip was no different.
🐠 A fisherman is being applauded by people online for sharing a video where he encountered a male “Karen” while fishing and handling the situation “like a champion.”
🦕 Don’t act like this guy did on a dating app. He asked a Bumble match: “If you had to fuck a dinosaur, which dinosaur would you fuck?”
🥝 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.
📜 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.
🌱 What does ‘eco-friendly’ really mean? Here’s what to look for when shopping for eco-friendly products.*
📱 A viral TikTok comparing a Ukrainian office before and after Russia’s invasion of the country has gone viral. The video shows a before-and-after of a destroyed conference room.
🎸 A video has gone viral that shows one user’s ex-partner sitting on their bed and singing an original song to break up with them. It’s cringey.
*The Daily Dot may receive a commission in connection with purchases of products or services featured here.
👋 BEFORE YOU GO
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