Welcome to the Friday edition of Internet Insider, where we dissect the week online. Today:
- Are these men real?
- TikTokers are recreating the deadly games from Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’
- YouTube reinstates classic YouTube video after public outcry
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BREAK THE INTERNET
Are these ‘Bachelorette’ men real?
Earlier this week, the Bachelorette’s Instagram page previewed the men who will be on the upcoming season of the series, which is led by Bachelor runner-up Michelle Young. “Head to our Stories to get to know the men on Michelle’s season,” read an earnest post. The show’s Instagram Stories became memes, as people roasted the fake-sounding contestants. One guy, named Alec, claims he is “not a fan of bowling dates,” while a “Pizzapreneur” (yes, apparently that’s a real word) from Florida is “not a fan of libraries.”
The screenshots of the Stories, which included a man’s photo, age, as well as odd likes and dislikes, quickly inspired parodies. They also reminded people of the recent “Would You Date Him” memes that have been floating around the internet. Did Bachelorette’s social media manager know they were creating a version of a popular meme template? Probably. And it’s already working: People keep sharing the photos of the contestants on Twitter. The series premieres on Oct. 19.
In recent years, the Bachelor franchise has gained a big online following. There are meme accounts, podcasts, and shows dedicated to analyzing each episode. Somehow, I managed to avoid watching any show in the franchise for more than a decade, save for a couple of episodes. But the pandemic pulled me back into the absurdity of the Bachelor; I watched Bachelor in Paradise for the first time this season. I enjoy how the reality series makes my head feel completely empty. There are few insights to gleam from watching any of these shows; instead, they act as a brain reset. So, yes, I will be watching the new Bachelorette show, if only to find out how far the guy who is “afraid of dancing” and disgusted by onions makes it.
—Tiffany Kelly, culture editor
The court of public opinion still has Sha’Carri Richardson’s back
This was supposed to be Sha’Carri Richardson’s summer. After failing a drug test for marijuana use, Sha’Carri found solidarity across social media. But after coming in last at a 100m race in Oregon, Richardson felt the sting of hate from these same platforms. In this article, we unpack what it’s like to be a Black woman in sports, and the unfair scrutiny many of these athletes face.
TikTokers are recreating the deadly games from Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’
The Korean Netflix show Squid Game is all over TikTok right now, for reasons that are very easy to understand. Set in contemporary Korea, the show is a cliffhanger-filled survival thriller that combines cool imagery with gory violence and anti-capitalist commentary. It involves a deadly contest where 456 strangers are recruited to play simple children’s games.
Fans on TikTok inevitably started experimenting with their own versions of Squid Game‘s contests—ironically, a less dangerous idea than some other TikTok crazes. The tasks are based on traditional Korean playground games, some of which are familiar to Western viewers, while others are primarily Korean. “Red light, green light” (also known as “statues” or “grandma’s footsteps”) is really taking off, with one group of fans hosting an amazing IRL game with costumes and armed “guards.”
Read the full story here.
—Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, staff writer
YouTube reinstates classic video after public outcry
YouTube reinstated a 14-year-old viral video (and source of a famous internet meme) that it initially said violated its policy on violent or graphic content after the man behind the video highlighted his struggles to get the video back online.
The video, which was uploaded in July 2007 by Paul Weedon (who was 16 when it was filmed), is only 11 seconds long. Weedon is talking directly to the camera for several seconds before he’s punched in the face by someone off-screen. Without missing a beat, Weedon—or changing the tone of his voice—immediately replied, “Aw fuck, I can’t believe you’ve done this.”
Weedon appealed the decision, and YouTube found that it still violated YouTube policy. A couple of people compared YouTube removing “I can’t believe you’ve done this” to the Louvre removing the Mona Lisa.
On Thursday, one of YouTube’s official Twitter accounts replied to Weedon’s initial post about the video takedown. About two hours later, the video was reinstated, and YouTube noted that “this was a mistake on our end and your video is back up.”
—Michelle Jaworski, staff writer
MEME OF THE WEEK
Ben Platt in Dear Evan Hansen just gave us the newest crying meme.
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