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Hello fellow citizens of the internet! Andrew here. Welcome to today’s edition of Internet Insider.
Happy Friday! In preparation of the weekend, we’ve got some key reports from you about deepfakes, MCU fans, and an epic gaffe from former President George W. Bush.
Plus, our Culture Editor Tiffany Kelly delves into the backlash parodies of the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial are getting in her “This Week on the Internet” column. If you scroll down a bit, she also shares with you her favorite meme of the week.
Let’s dive into the news.
DEEPFAKES: Numerous concerns have been raised about deepfake technology, but now there’s another reason to be wary of it. Researchers have found that biometric tests used by banks and cryptocurrency exchanges to verify users’ identities can be fooled by deepfake technology.
FANDOM: Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are calling out the CGI in the new trailer for She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, which will be the eighth MCU show on Disney+. Our Culture Reporter Gavia dug in to the discourse online, from the debates over the bad CGI
‘FREUDIAN SLIP’: Former President George W. Bush had a massive “Freudian slip” that has the entire internet talking. It’s up there with his “fool me once” gaffe. During a speech, the former president said it was “the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq.” He meant Ukraine. The incident has inspired a number of jokes and memes.
Parodies about Heard-Depp face backlash as trial comes to a close
It seems nearly impossible to escape videos and commentary of the Amber Heard-Johnny Depp defamation trial online. Even if you’re not clicking on any of it.
As the Daily Dot’s Audra Schroeder wrote in April, “I’ve never interacted with any of the Depp-Heard trial content I’ve seen on TikTok, or sought out any info about it, and yet it has dominated my FYP—and many others’—for weeks.”
And the content has only gotten uglier, with many making parody videos and jokes about the trial, in which Depp is suing Heard, his ex-wife, for defamation after she wrote an op-ed in 2018 identifying as a domestic abuse victim. Depp was never named in the article, which was published in the Washington Post.
This week, NSYNC’s Lance Bass deleted a TikTok mocking Amber Heard’s testimony after it went viral on the app and sparked backlash. Duolingo, meanwhile, faced its own backlash for talking about the trial in the comments of TikTok videos. “On what planet does a brand—even @duolingo—think it’s cool to crack jokes about an alleged victim of domestic violence?” wrote Chris Harihar on Twitter.
Over the weekend, SNL’s cold open about the Heard-Depp trial was widely panned. The video of the sketch, which has been viewed more than 5 million times on YouTube, has more than 9,000 comments—many of those are from people saying it wasn’t funny. The sketch centers around an incident of feces found in the former couple’s bed. On Twitter, people criticized SNL for writing a sketch at all about a trial that involves alleged accounts of domestic abuse.
It certainly hasn’t helped that the trial is live-streamed daily, with TikTokers rushing to put out content offering commentary on facial expressions Heard makes, or the secret meaning behind her wardrobe. There is little room for nuance and context, and everyone is competing to add to the discourse.
“There seems…to be a broader misogynist frenzy at work, one characteristic of the deeply reactionary moment we’re living through,” wrote Michelle Goldberg in a New York Times column on Wednesday.
The trial is expected to end on May 27. No matter what happens, the story will likely stick around in the news cycle for a while. But I wonder how we’ll look back at this trial a year, or five years, from now.
Will we be even more disgusted than we are now with the number of memes and videos that are mocking alleged domestic abuse—or will people dismiss what happened?
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A man’s confidence doesn’t begin or end in the bedroom. That’s why Hims is now helping men conquer hair loss and skin care. You may be familiar with the prescription options, but this time, we took a look at their lesser-known over-the-counter options for skin care and hair loss treatment.
👀 TODAY ONLINE
Here are some key dispatches from across the ‘net.
🎯 A video has gone viral of a man searching for a job at Walmart while he was working at Target. “When you’re applying for new jobs, on the job,” the text of the video reads.
😷 A Tennessee ice cream store owner allegedly refused to serve a 10-year-old autistic boy and his mother because they were wearing face masks. The mother posted about it on Twitter to warn others about what happened.
🚗 Two women say they were talking about Roe v. Wade in their Lyft, only to have the driver put on Christian worship music.
✈️ A TikToker is sparking debate and discussion after posting a video of her husband working throughout an entire international flight. The responses? “If you think this is a flex you’re perfect for him.”
🦇 How did an email newsletter delivering Bram Stoker’s Dracula become a viral success? The creator seems just as surprised as everyone else.
💍 These bridesmaid proposal boxes are the perfect way to pop the question your besties are dying to hear: “will you hold my wedding dress when I have to pee?”*
🍽️ Two women of color said in a viral video that they went out to eat in Portland and weren’t served for hours while white patrons were.
📜 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.
*The Daily Dot may receive a commission in connection with purchases of products or services featured here.
📅 MEME OF THE WEEK
Cara Delevingne is just around every corner in this horror meme.
Now Playing: 🎶“Make A Plan To Love Me” by Bright Eyes🎶
Andrew Wyrich is the newsletter editor at the Daily Dot. He previously served as the deputy tech editor. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).