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Newsletter: Is your FYP flooded with pro-Johnny Depp content?

Subscribe to ‘Internet Insider’ to get the daily scoop on internet culture.


Andrew Wyrich


Claire Goforth

Internet Culture

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

Today’s newsletter is jam-packed. We’ve got top stories about a swarm of pro-Johnny Depp content on TikTok, a doctored video involving the Ukrainian president and Elon Musk, and an NFL player endorsing anti-critical race theory candidates. Down below we’ve got a classic “Karen” story also. 

Plus, our Politics Reporter Claire focuses on Rep. Madison Cawthorn in her weekly “Dirty Delete” column. 

Let’s dive into the news. 

— A.W. 

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TIKTOK: Our Senior Culture Reporter Audra digs into why so many people are seeing pro-Johnny Depp content on TikTok, despite (in some instances) users explicitly saying they were not interested in seeing those videos on their FYP. Check out her deep dive into the issue here

FAKE: A doctored video is making the rounds online that purports to show Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelenskyy with a white powder on his desk while speaking with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. But as our Tech Reporter Mikael notes, despite claims that the power is cocaine, the video has undeniably been altered.  You can read his full report on the fake video here

NFL: Cleveland Browns Quarterback Baker Mayfield is catching heat online after he endorsed a slate of school board candidates who are supported by a political action committee that has shifted its attention from opposing mask mandates to critical race theory being taught in schools. Check out our full report here

In Body Image
In Body Image

Madison Cawthorn is a master of pretending

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) really, really likes to call himself a weapon. Most people seem to think he’s more of a tool.

Even among politicians, Cawthorn stands out for his loose relationship with the truth.

Cawthorn has been accused of lying about getting into the Naval Academy and training for the Paralympics, and wildly embellishing details about the car crash that paralyzed him.

During his campaign, Cawthorn reportedly falsely claimed that his friend left him to die in the fiery wreckage (the friend says he actually pulled the unconscious Cawthorn to safety) and said he was “declared dead”—the accident report says he was actually “incapacitated,” which is serious enough but definitely not the same thing as being dead.

Winning a seat in Congress doesn’t appear to have inspired Cawthorn to become a more honest version of himself. He lied so much about fraud in the 2020 election that former President Donald Trump gave him an attaboy. It seems not to have occurred to Cawthorn that he won his race in that same election; hence if the votes were illegitimate, he would be out of a job.

After the Capitol riot, Cawthorn falsely said that the would-be insurrectionists were “paid by the Democratic machine.”

The only time anyone seems to take Cawthorn at his word is when he says that Republican members of Congress invited him to orgies and snorted cocaine in front of him. I guess that’s more believable than a D student who did one semester of college getting into the Naval Academy.

Although he proudly and controversially touted that he “built his staff around comms rather than legislation,” Cawthorn isn’t exactly a communications all-star. He’s more like the kind of representative that people love to ratio.

Online, you can find him on Twitter, Facebook, Gettr, Instagram, and Telegram. His campaign website is so up-to-date that it touts his plans to help Trump drain the swamp when he gets to Congress.

There are also unverified Gab and Parler accounts with the same handles he uses on Twitter that he or an imposter with the same communications style posts on.

Though he’s the youngest member of Congress, thus arguably more tech-savvy than his peers, Cawthorn is known to step in it online. He routinely attracts hate clicks by posting about his “bucket list” trip to Hitler’s house, fighting a tree, denying he was horny on Pinterest, and having images surface of him in lacy lingerie after months of attacking transgender people.

Other times people just laugh, like when he said that Twitter was censoring his attempt to write a slobbery tweet praising Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott (R) … in a tweet praising Abbott.

He also may want to lay off on the tweets quoting historical figures, or at least consult Wikiquote first.

Then again, if you just make everything up, it doesn’t really matter if it’s true.

Claire Goforth

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In Body Image

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Here are some key dispatches from across the ‘net. 

👮 This gas station employee says that he gets a kick out of carding police officers whenever they come in to buy cigarettes or chewing tobacco. He says the officers typically are miffed that they have to show their ID

🗣️ A woman is going viral for calling out the “toxic,” “manipulative,” and “abusive” practices of Victoria’s Secret

💼 Talk about a bad work environment. A worker says that after four people were fired from her team at work, she was asked to work 16 hours of overtime during a weekend. 

🏠 TikTok is abuzz after a user noted a particular fee for renting a property online. While the listed price per night was only $48, the addition of a “property fee” had many people confused

🥝 Would you watch an 8-hour recap of Victorious on YouTube? 3.6 million people already have. Find out why by signing up for Passionfruit, the Daily Dot’s weekly creator economy newsletter.

🧇 A Waffle House employee sparked a discussion after posting a video showing how much she allegedly makes as a server at the restaurant chain. 

🐦 People on both sides of the aisle have a lot of theories after right-wing and left-wing Twitter users have noticed dramatic shifts in their follower counts in the wake of Elon Musk buying the company. 

🌎 Living more sustainably is surprisingly easy with these eco-friendly alternatives for things you use every day.* 

📜 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 woman on TikTok shared her definition of the somewhat controversial term “fuckboy,” and that definition has viewers divided

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


Well, that’s one way to deal with a “Karen.” A TikToker clapped back at her neighbor who recently set up a security camera that pointed directly into their home by getting “a bigger camera to point at hers.” 

Large black camera outside with caption 'The Karen neighbor put a camera in her bigger camera to point at hers' (l) tiny camera in window (r)

Now Playing: 🎶Policy of Truth” by Depeche Mode🎶

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