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Hello fellow citizens of the internet! Andrew here. Welcome to today’s edition of Internet Insider.
It is Monday, which means it’s time for our Tech Reporter Mikael to unpack the bizarre conspiracy theories online in his “One Dumb Conspiracy” column. This week he looks at how people are getting angry over a fake screenshot about Rice Krispies Treats.
Obviously, we’ve also got all kinds of internet culture news for you. So let’s get right to it.
ANTITRUST: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s probe into Amazon’s potentially anti-competitive business practices is picking up steam, now that the agency is (finally) fully staffed following months of a 2-2 partisan deadlock. Our Contributing Reporter Connor Bulgrin dives into how the FTC can now pursue Chair Lina Khan’s ambitious antitrust agenda without Republican support.
CONSPIRACY: Our Politics Reporter Claire dug deep into how conspiracy theories on the r/conspiracy community on Reddit about the Uvalde, Texas mass shooting are spreading to other places online. You can check out her full report here.
STREAMING: Just in time for Pride Month, Stranger Things actor Noah Schnapp has reignited an ongoing controversy over the show’s attitude to queer representation. Specifically, whether or not his character is gay and if so, why does the show keep dropping hints instead of making his sexuality more textually clear?
Conspiracy theorists are outraged over Rice Krispies new transgender mascot—yet it isn’t true
Conspiracy theorists are outraged after a Twitter user claimed that a mascot for Rice Krispies had recently come out as transgender—but the claim appears to be nothing more than a troll designed to stir outrage among conservatives.
The image, which appeared on numerous social media outlets, purported to show a screenshot of an article from CNN announcing the decision from the cereal maker Kellogg’s.
“Kellog’s spokesperson announces Rice Krispie mascot ‘Pop’ is now a trans woman,” the headline reads.
A Twitter user, who appears to have been in on the joke, quipped that the “woke mob” had struck again and received hundreds of retweets in the process.
But the apparent troll wasn’t obvious to everyone. Countless users began sharing the tweet while complaining about the cereal brand.
One user even urged his followers to begin boycotting the cereal company
“Sooooo easy to not buy and eat shit from a giant woke corp,” they wrote.
But many were skeptical—rightfully so—over the legitimacy of the screenshot.
“Bruh I almost thought this was real,” one user tweeted.
Even some members of the LGBTQ community were confused and viewed the claim as pandering.
The image, however, is not real. A search for the headline on CNN as well as its social media profiles reveals no results.
The fake screenshot received enough attention that Kellogg’s ultimately released a statement to Reuters denying that the claim was true.
“We have made no changes to the Rice Krispies mascots, Snap Crackle and Pop,” the spokesperson said.
Despite viral claims that Kellogg’s changed the gender identity of Pop to serve some sort of “globalist” agenda, the allegation was never true.
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👀 TODAY ONLINE
Here are some key dispatches from across the ‘net.
🍗 A Popeyes manager was reportedly arrested after hitting a teen employee who reportedly wanted to clock out of work. A video of the incident was shared online and quickly went viral.
⛵ A five-second video showing a woman on a boat while “remotely working” has sparked some discussion online about remote work and play amongst its viewers.
💰 Going out to dinner with friends and getting a large bill is something we can all relate to. One TikToker’s video showing her group of friends arguing at the restaurant after they received a $2,500 tab is going viral, with more than 4 million views.
🧾 An extensive order by a customer inspired a TikToker to create the incredibly detailed demands into a slam poem. It’s a hit with viewers.
📒 Feeling anxious? Try these therapy journals to cope with your anxiety and improve mindfulness through writing.*
🥤 Is inflation the cause for the demise of dollar drinks at McDonalds? Well, at least one viral video seems to think so.
🗣️ A TikToker went viral this week after calling out resale chain Goodwill for its alleged business practices.
🌐 Is there a First Amendment right to assemble in the metaverse? Our story on this topic, part of a package on Web3, examines digital protests.
*The Daily Dot may receive a commission in connection with purchases of products or services featured here.
👋 BEFORE YOU GO
Don’t do this. A restaurant worker on TikTok said a customer’s “insecure girlfriend” tried to take away her tip after he tipped her $100. The couple allegedly tipped her after they stayed at the restaurant for three or four hours.
Now Playing: 🎶“Don’t Look Back In Anger” by Oasis🎶
*First Published: Jun 6, 2022, 12:00 pm CDT
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).
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.