Frog Hunt: The War For Pepe

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First Matt Furie killed his troubled meme-hijacked creation, Pepe the Frog. Then he crowdfunded the cartoon amphibian’s resurrection. Now he’s sending an army of lawyers to clean Pepe’s image and remove unauthorized versions of him off the internet. Will these latest legal efforts end the saga of Pepe as an “alt-right” icon once and for all? Or will this all result in just another case of the Streisand Effect?

Lawyers representing Furie have sent cease-and-desist letters to a number of prominent far right figures and groups—including Mike Cernovich, Richard Spencer, and the Donald Trump subreddit—as well as Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown requests to Amazon regarding the sale of certain products containing the Pepe image.

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The Internet Canonization Of Karin Catherine Waldegrave

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On April 14 2010, an apparent human by the name of Karin Catherine Waldegrave (Von Berg Habsburg) discovered Facebook. Like to many people who first use the social media platform, it was a bit like getting a new toy. She started off with the basics: filling out her Hometown, Looking For and Interested In fields; uploading some family photos; adding a few people as friends.

By June of 2010 Waldegrave began to post long, rambling messages on Facebook. Some of these started out seemingly benign and even witty—”Looking for a Waldorf (a good salad, not a boutique school)?”—but would quickly branch out into sprawling, massive messages to which she (and seemingly, often, she alone) answered with even more sprawling messages. Sometimes, as much as 200+ responses, by Waldegrave, would follow a post.

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Somebody Said The Wrong Thing On The Internet

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Somebody recently misspoke on the internet: using an incorrect term, making a problematic joke, expressing an opinion that did not fit in closely enough with official societal norms.

Perhaps it was an off-hand comment impulsively tweeted without close scrutiny of the political implications, or perhaps the person in question meant well, but did not have a full enough understanding of the issue at hand.

Maybe they meant every word they said and are unrepentant.

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Online Reality IS A Reality (It’s Just Not “Reality”)

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I’m reading with interest the saga of “Nicole Mincey”—the namesake of a self-described “black conservative” pro-Trump Twitter account that the President recently thanked. The avatar on the account turned out to be a stock photo. The person attached to the account was tracked down and was verified to indeed be “a” Nicole Mincey (with a slightly different name)…but almost everything else about the account was fake—all apparently part of a “bot” scheme.

As the Twitter “friends” of the ersatz Nicole Mincey were examined…many turned out to be fakes and stock photos as well.

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Jumanji 2.0: Are Our Avatars Realer Than We Are?

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If you haven’t seen the 1995 movie Jumanji, you probably should. I can describe it best as a true “children’s horror movie,” despite the fantasy elements. Basically, a child gets sucked into a jungle-based game, disappears off the face of the Earth and lives in another dimension for like a long time, and then returns as a haggard traumatized adult. Meanwhile, all the scary stuff from the game—mostly animals, but also a crazy game hunter—enter “our” world through the portal (and that’s exactly what it is, a portal) of the game board itself.

Now that I’ve described the original Jumanji to you, let’s move on to the upcoming (reboot?) Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle.

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Fun With Facebook

I’m so bad with stuff like Facebook that I signed up for FB Messenger and I don’t even understand it. Right after I signed up they sort of congratulated me for having like 102 Instagram followers and I didn’t even sign up for Instagram and I was like:

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All I wanted was to check my FB messages on my phone. That’s it. Telling me I have 30, 60 people ready to talk to me RIGHT NOW!!!! is like:

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Revenge Of The “Nerds” And The Shaming Of Shia LaBeouf

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I’m going to tell you a tale about fight radar, and performance art, and frogs, and the President of the United States, and somebody who used to run around with these robots that turned into trucks, and like the future of humankind.

Once upon a time, there were these movies called The Transformers. They were made by a gentleman named Michael Bay and they starred the hottest young actor (so we were told by the media) at the time, Shia LaBeouf. They were supposed to be about how this “geek” (who was actually really really cool) befriended the most popular toy line from the 1980s, and got smokin’ hot babes. Plus: Optimus Prime.

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