The Most Online War Of All Time Until The Next One
This week, we're talking about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Obviously, this is a fast-moving situation. We recorded this mid-day on Thursday, February 24, 2022. We're looking at the torrent of content around the invasion and trying to wrap our heads around whether or not, when the boots hit the ground, if memes or online content matters at all. SHOW NOTES https://twitter.com/rizviuzair/status/1496761944006668292?s=21 https://twitter.com/KyivIndependent/status/1496876397595353094 https://twitter.com/paradoomer/status/1496855640718950410 https://twitter.com/Ukraine/status/1496767831182041089 https://twitter.com/scholars_stage/status/1496134760074301442?s=21 https://scholars-stage.org/about-the-author/ https://www.garbageday.email/p/zoombombing-the-italian-senate?utm_source=url https://www.garbageday.email/p/the-attention-economy-is-a-war-zone?utm_source=url https://twitter.com/IAMannalynnemcc/status/1496877541772062727 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yV0YFqUWcjo https://twitter.com/PatrickCoffee/status/1496846157473067016 https://twitter.com/barstoolWSD/status/1496872249600581635 https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/biden-presented-options-massive-cyberattacks-russia-rcna17558
February 24, 2022
Facebook Is Doomed If It Can't Track You
This week we are, once again, talking about another real bad week for Facebook, a company that appears to be having more bad weeks at a higher frequency than ever before. We also peer into the metaverse which is even dumber than we ever could have imagined. Is being a "metamate" the future? SHOW NOTES https://www.theverge.com/2022/2/14/22932824/hmrc-nft-seizure-fraud-investigation https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/the-backrooms https://twitter.com/kentbye/status/1493092806222516224 https://uploadvr.com/foo-fighters-quest-vr-livestream-issues/ https://www.theinformation.com/articles/why-static-video-memes-are-all-over-instagram https://getchapter.app/@broderick/memes
February 17, 2022
Why Is Netflix Launching A News Site?
Netflix is the biggest streamer in the whole world. They are, effectively, the streaming entertainment standard. So why are they launching a news site and poaching journalists from places like Condé Nast? In 2022, why would you want to run a digital media website? We speculate wildly about why that might be!
February 10, 2022
The Joe Rogan Dilemma
This week we're journeying into the dark heart of American masculinity... again. We're talking about Joe Rogan. Why do people like him? Should Spotify keep disturbing his show? Does it even matter? Should we smoke DMT and meet the techno elves that run our Earth simulation? These are all questions we may or may not address this week! SHOW NOTES: https://twitter.com/KateMerrill/status/1487406724076253188 https://twitter.com/k8tmac/status/1487537430240677889
February 03, 2022
West Elm Caleb And The TikTok Stampede
We're diving deep into the philosophical issues at the core of TikTok, namely, why users on the app keep threatening to kill each other. What is it about TikTok's algorithm and user incentives that causes so many moral panics that end in networked abuse. Is it human nature or is it something the app is actively doing to us? Warning: this episode contains a lot of metaphors.
January 27, 2022
The Weird Kinda Dark Truth About "Primitive Living" YouTube Videos
We went down the rabbit hole on the "primitive living" YouTube genre. We haven't solved every question we had but we did learn a few things. A Bunch of the pages seem to be run by the same person, a bunch more are sharing each other's videos, many of them are running their Facebook pages out of Thailand or Singapore, and based on some drone footage we came across it seems like they're all filming in the same section of the Cambodian wilderness. This episode is real dense this week! SHOW NOTES: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAL3JXZSzSm8AlZyD3nQdBA/videos https://www.youtube.com/c/MrHeangUpdate/videos https://www.youtube.com/c/JungleSurvival/videos https://www.youtube.com/c/PrimitiveSurvivalTool/videos https://www.youtube.com/c/TubeUniqueWilderness/videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyU144TGCUk https://www.youtube.com/c/PrimitiveCreative/videos https://www.youtube.com/c/PrimitiveSkillsnet/videos https://www.youtube.com/c/SurvivalWilds/videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwG9iz7WBNaDNGrw4wZG60w/videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCyLWhPnq1M https://www.facebook.com/primitivesurvivaltools/about_contact_and_basic_info https://www.facebook.com/TubeUniqueWilderness777/?ref=page_internal&_rdc=1&_rdr https://www.facebook.com/primitiveskills.net/ https://www.facebook.com/TubeUniqueWilderness777/?ref=page_internal&_rdc=1&_rdr https://opinion.guidesify.com/cambodian-youtuber-mr-heang-update-making-jungle-survival-great-again/ https://www.messynessychic.com/2021/05/14/the-curious-youtube-genre-of-building-fantasy-pools-and-secret-temples-by-hand/ https://coconuts.co/bangkok/features/primitive-technology-youtube-pulls-plug-on-kid-vids-after-coconuts-expose-we-visit-a-shoot-in-cambodia-part-2/
January 20, 2022
These Sketchy Sports NFT Companies Might Not Exist
This week we dig into the weird possibly entirely fictitious companies that sports teams around the world are partnering with to build NFT and metaverse products. Fake CEOs, weird non-office storefronts, shady international rights management services, and bizarre Chinese masterclass education platforms — this episode's got it all! SHOW NOTES: https://twitter.com/waxpancake/status/1480990948972658689 https://www.theguardian.com/games/2022/jan/11/wordle-creator-overwhelmed-by-global-success-of-hit-puzzle https://www.youtube.com/c/thisisashville/videos https://defector.com/what-the-hell-is-this-company-the-76ers-just-partnered-with/ https://twitter.com/dhm/status/1472958413009268738? https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/color-star-technology-co-ltd-nasdaq-cscw-announces-ceo-handover-to-lead-company-into-technology-era-301445266.html https://www.color-star.cn/ https://colorstarinternational.com/ https://www.fun88.co.uk/ https://cryptopotato.com/fc-barcelona-to-launch-iconic-historical-moments-as-nfts/ https://www.sportspromedia.com/news/barcelona-ownix-nft-partnership-cancelled-digital-collectibles-moshe-hogeg/ https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-10372971/Manchester-City-end-partnership-mysterious-crypto-firm-3Key-Technologies.html https://3key.com/#c401dc5d https://www.socios.com/ https://twitter.com/uglygame/status/1453671235330707464 https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/color-star-technology-announces-strategic-partnership-with-bole-information-technology-to-further-empower-the-color-world-platform-301078432.html http://redphoenixentertainment.com/about/ https://www.thegamer.com/john-terry-chelsea-fc-monkey-nft/
January 13, 2022
The Rise And Fall Of @PoliticsForAlI
This week we're talking about one of the UK's buzziest Twitter accounts, @PoliticsForALI, which was suspended by the platform this week. It was run by a 19-year-old college student and it was kind of a mess, but also totally useful, sort of. A creature born from all of Twitter's best and worst features. Also, this week, Ryan learns some shocking information about Tintin.
January 06, 2022
Our Biggest Predictions For 2022
It's (probably) our last episode of the year! We're talking about what we think will be the big trends of next year. Basically, we think every company will operate like a Gamestop pump and TikTok will cause a diplomatic incident that kicks off WW3. It's all very optimistic stuff! Also, Luke and Ryan compare notes on what country is the worst to get an antigen test in (it's Portugal). See you next year (probably).
December 09, 2021
Inside The Biggest Tumblr Trends Of 2021
We're digging deep into Tumblr's 201 Year In Review. We're looking at the top trends, ships, aesthetics, memes, and communities. What does it all mean? How is Minecraft YouTube so big? Why are teens into emo again? Do people really just want to be little goblins living in a small house in some kind of bog? We have a lot of questions! SHOW NOTES: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2021/nov/30/squid-game-no-threat-to-traditional-british-tv-hits-finds-barb https://twitter.com/TechEmails/status/1465802215927558154 https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/29/twitter-ceo-jack-dorsey-is-expected-to-step-down-sources-say.html https://fandom.tumblr.com/ https://fandom.tumblr.com/post/669380176976773120/2021-top-21-of-2021 https://fandom.tumblr.com/post/669380161647591424/2021-ships https://fandom.tumblr.com/post/669319855921676288/2021-memes https://fandom.tumblr.com/post/669320242234867712/2021-tumblr-communities
December 02, 2021
Masculinity Is A Pyramid Scheme
This week we're talking about the noxious vortex of international bodybuilders, pick up artists, and cryptocurrency evangelists. The dream of all bad internet seems to be some kind of money laundering scheme based in Dubai. Also, we go super long this week on Twitter Spaces. SHOW NOTES: https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-59386855 https://twitter.com/fox13/status/1463200080282873857 https://twitter.com/SolBrah/status/1461348636663509000 https://twitter.com/Moneybaglives/status/1462817457245151234 https://www.instagram.com/p/CQ3offjnJyv/ https://www.instagram.com/p/CAz9rbnBEJB/ https://twitter.com/PUA_DATING_TIPS/status/1456018496257728514 https://twitter.com/jack_vening/status/1462924526207918084 https://cointelegraph.com/press-releases/dubai-pushes-its-vision-of-becoming-blockchain-capital-at-wbsdubai https://www.cobratate.com/ https://twitter.com/SolBrah/status/1461348636663509000 https://linktr.ee/solbrah https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/sep/07/disastrous-voyage-satoshi-cryptocurrency-cruise-ship-seassteading
November 25, 2021
Inside Thinkarete Lifestyle, The Most Viral Page On Facebook
In Facebook's Q3 content report, they revealed that a page called Thinkarete Lifestyle was responsible for some of the most viral content on the platform last summer. But the question is... who or what is Thinkarete Lifestyle? Well, after some pretty hardcore investigating, we think we've figured it out. SHOW NOTES: https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/brass-against-singer-apologizes-peeing-012740464.html https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/it-s-hard-not-to-pity-ghislaine-maxwell https://twitter.com/danawhite/status/1459238150350405632 https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/11/bari-weisss-university-hitting-speed-bumps https://top10.netflix.com/ https://transparency.fb.com/en-gb/data/widely-viewed-content-report/ https://www.facebook.com/Thinkarete/posts/4044844008964262 https://allfood.recipes/ https://www.instagram.com/p/CRj5BXBJrEH/ https://lyndaskitchen.com/ https://www.facebook.com/allfoodrecipesinc/?ref=page_internal https://www.facebook.com/Thinkarete/posts/4162149513900377 https://twitter.com/BenNicholsonNW/status/1449068270762532865 https://tastykitchen.com/
November 18, 2021
LIVE FROM LONDON: Play Your NFTs Right
This week we're live from London! Thank you all who came out for our live show this week. Live on stage we made Guardian reporter Alex Hern guess the prices of various NFTs and, wow, things did not go the way we expected... Considering I (Ryan) recorded all of this via a simple line out and we were doing powerpoint slides I'd say this doesn't sound half bad! Even if it doesn't sound good, this is our first attempt a live show and we did it all ourselves in a basement, please be nice.
November 13, 2021
The Central Problem Here Is That Facebook Sucks
Ryan recorded this crouched in the corner at Web Summit. It was deeply mortifying for him. Luke recorded this from the comfort of his own home. We're talking the Facebook whistleblower, the metaverse, and Ryan finally saw the movie "Old," about the beach that makes you get old.
November 04, 2021
Why Don't Netflix Audience Numbers Make Any Sense?
This week we're diving into the very confusing metrics that streaming services like Netflix use. How many people watched Squid Game? A lot? Maybe? Less than you think? Probably! We also spend some time having a prolonged therapy session about the Facebook papers. SHOW NOTES: https://www.protocol.com/facebook-papers https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QYqmJsifBjf_xA23Ea7AdeMFyjGWaF_dvhi5EZdNUf4/edit https://twitter.com/FacebooksTop10?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor https://twitter.com/graemedouglas/status/1452661320227168263 https://digital-i.com/insights/ https://twitter.com/imbadatlife/status/1450775804745601029 https://twitter.com/loudmouthjulia/status/1450551677870907393 https://twitter.com/xpangler/status/1450484543874535425 https://twitter.com/samba_tv/status/1450207537740058628 https://twitter.com/samba_tv/status/1452720868044455937 https://pando.com/2015/06/04/disgruntled-former-editorial-boss-nick-denton-is-a-coward-here-are-gawkers-financials/ https://twitter.com/ParrotAnalytics/status/1450245122810122244 https://twitter.com/loudmouthjulia/status/1451572266471464962 https://twitter.com/graemedouglas/status/1452661320227168263
October 29, 2021
We're Not Ready For TikTok To Be This Popular
We're going deep on TikTok this week. We're talking about Alabama rush week, Couch Guy, LamboGate, and the Puncher Of W 4th Street. If you don't know what any of that means, don't worry, we'll walk you through it all. Our central thesis is this: TikTok is on track to become the biggest social media platform in America and as it gets bigger, things are going to start spinning out of control very fast. SHOW NOTES: https://uk.style.yahoo.com/salt-baes-london-restaurant-faces-114700748.html https://www.vice.com/en/article/z3b3x5/salt-baes-meat-empire-is-rife-with-labor-problems https://www.curbed.com/2021/10/tiktok-west-4th-street-station-puncher-nyc.html https://jalopnik.com/lambo-owner-has-patience-of-a-saint-after-getting-rear-1847795574 https://www.al.com/news/2021/08/the-irresistible-allure-of-tiktok-bamarush-and-mocking-southern-accents.html https://www.technologyreview.com/2010/07/14/202026/did-whites-flee-the-digital-ghetto-of-myspace/
October 21, 2021
A Facebook Page About Cats Is Outperforming Ben Shapiro
Our dive into the murky waters of Facebook gets even weirder and stranger this week. Right now, there are a handful of seemingly random, most-likely automated Facebook pages about animals that are outperforming some of the biggest publishers on the platform. But the big question is… why? SHOW NOTES: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DwjwCMtTn0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ob-LfkwSWg https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/saudi-newcastle-soccer-takeover-prompts-sportswashing-concerns-rcna2845 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ob-LfkwSWg https://twitter.com/brendanllm/status/1446468714375917570?s=21 https://twitter.com/FacebooksTop10/status/1448310727702290436 https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/04/technology/facebook-files.html https://www.facebook.com/dailypawsmag/ https://www.facebook.com/ILovePawsUS/ https://olipmedia.com/ https://methodizemedia.com/ https://www.facebook.com/puppersdoggos https://www.facebook.com/top13.net/posts/2000955450054377 https://www.facebook.com/top13.net/posts/2000951543388101
October 14, 2021
What If We Can't Break Up Facebook?
This week was a very bad week for Facebook. In fact, it was so bad that at one point it just simply didn't even exist anymore. It seems like the whole world right is wondering how to deal with the site. And now, thanks to a trove of leaked documents, we have the best picture we've ever had at how rotten the company is on the inside. But here's a troubling question: What if we've already missed our chance to untangle ourselves from the platform? SHOW NOTES: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk4xxzoabio https://www.refinery29.com/en-ca/2021/06/10502644/dumping-someone-reddit-relationship-advice https://xenosagaepisodeone.tumblr.com/post/657600561016963072 https://twitter.com/ianwnm/status/1445122743427637251 https://twitter.com/blameaspartame/status/1445511248968183821 https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10113961365418581 https://twitter.com/miniondeathcult/status/1445148650263367687?s=21 https://twitter.com/joeosborne/status/1445445662867288069/photo/1 https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-facebook-files-11631713039 https://www.cbsnews.com/video/facebook-whistleblower-frances-haugen-misinformation-public-60-minutes-video-2021-10-03/#x https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-instagram-kids-tweens-attract-11632849667 https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-instagram-kids-tweens-attract-11632849667https://pitchfork.com/features/lists-and-guides/pitchfork-reviews-rescored/ https://twitter.com/snopes/status/1445832685134307329 https://www.inputmag.com/features/facebook-public-relations-andy-stone-twitter-whistleblower-controversy https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/h-and-m-hires-the-29-year-old-facebook-whistleblower-to-mine-its-data-20190201-p50uz0.html
October 07, 2021
We Went Through Years Of OZY's Social Analytics And It Was Weirder Than We Could Have Ever Imagined
This week's episode is a trip down a very strange rabbit hole. OZY is a wildly sketchy media company that is now being accused of fraud. So Luke and Ryan sat down and went through five years worth of the company's social analytics, across Comscore, CrowdTangle, and SocialBlade. What they discovered was stranger and more confusing than they ever imagined. But they also came very close to getting a full picture of what OZY appears to have been doing for the last few years and why.
September 30, 2021
The Algorithmic Feedback Loop Of The Gabby Petito Disappearance
This week's big story is about the disappearance of Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old who went missing last month and whose remains were found earlier this week. Her boyfriend is currently missing, after returning from vacation without her. And her social accounts have exploded in activity, becoming one of the biggest trending topics in the country. We're examining the parasocial dimensions to True Crime and how algorithms seize on this kind of content, pushing it to uncomfortable and grim extremes. It's a heavy episode, but it's a good one.
September 23, 2021
We Went Through Seven Years Worth Of Facebook Analytics
Today we have an extra big episode. It's a project that Luke has been wanting to dive into for a long time. We went through seven years worth of blog posts from the social analytics website Newswhip, which rank the top publishers and content on Facebook. What we discovered was actually far darker than we expected. This is the story of how the modern internet was created and it doesn't have a happy ending. Head over to our Patreon for a full list of the Newswhip blog posts referenced in this episode.
September 09, 2021
I Think The Horse Pill Stuff Has Broken Me
Geronimo the alpaca has been destroyed. There are green lines on Twitter that tell you if you're proud or ashamed of your genitals. And everyone's eating horse pills. The whole world has gone mad and everyone's too busy looking at internet content to care. This week's episode is about the Ivermectin fiasco happening on Facebook right now, but it's also about ~everything~ else.
September 02, 2021
How Do We Build A Better Internet For Sex Workers?
First, sorry for the sound issues in this week's episode. We both recorded this amid some pretty hardcore heat waves and our computers were not happy! This week we're talking about CIA conspiracy theories, weird Facebook videos, and, most importantly, the absolute shit show that happened at OnlyFans last week. We're trying to figure out how to build a better internet for NSFW content and sex work. It turns out it's seriously complicated!
August 26, 2021
The Hyper-Reality Of The Fall Of Afghanistan
Not going to lie, this week is a little heavy. We're talking about Afghanistan and the strange and uncomfortable feeling of watching via Twitter as the Taliban took back the country. We talk about the visual aesthetics of the War on Terror and Ryan grapples with 9/11's legacy on how we consume information now. But it's not all serious this week. We also go deep on the TikTok bone drama, as well as Facebook's very dumb content report.
August 19, 2021
What If The Metaverse Looked Like The Minecraft YouTuber Fandom?
We've got a lot of big topics in this week's show: the metaverse, Web3, the Penis SMP, ARGs. It's all very complicated! And Luke really doesn't like most of it — or at least thinks it's dumb as hell. But we're trying to imagine a non-corporate internet that is as immersive as a video game. That's basically what we're talking about. Also, we spend A WHILE this week talking about the impending death of an alpaca in England.
August 12, 2021
The Origins Of The "No Bed Frame Guy"
This week we're talking about bed frames and also talking about what we're talking about when we talk about bed frames. Confused? Yeah, us to. We're looking at one of the longer-running jokes on the internet: that men in their 30s don't know how to buy a bed frame. Luke thinks the whole things smacks of class, Ryan thinks it's legit because all men are maniacs. We also talk about the Olympics!
August 05, 2021
Outside Only Exists To Stage My Viral Content In
We're looking at prank videos. Specifically, we're talking about how it feels weird to be outside now and it feels like irl is now just one big arena to make viral content in. Ryan also is grouchy about the Olympics and Luke explains how people find and read websites in 2021.
July 29, 2021
The Future Of Everything Is Automated Landlordism
We've entered the age of the hustle bro. Whether it's a bunch of horrible guys on Clubhouse or the current president of El Salvador, the world's financial structures are warping under the weight of the internet and things are getting real strange. Yes, this is another episode where we agonize over how the internet can be used to make money without being trapped inside some kind of pyramid scheme. Also, we have some NSFW updates for you!
July 22, 2021
Our Impending NSFW Content Apocalypse
Luke and Ryan both think that something bad is coming. There's been a lot of evidence that something very NSFW is going to trend in a big way. Manic COVID energy, the popularity of short form video apps, failing trending topic algorithms, and a desperate and extremely online need for cringe — there is a very good chance that we are looking at another US Airways plane tweet very soon. Also, Luke gets sort of emotional about football, which is fine, but let's make sure he doesn't make a habit of it.
July 15, 2021
What If Everyone Online Is Actually Earnest?
This week we have a revolutionary idea to float your way: What if everyone on the internet actually means what they're saying? What if all those insane columns and bad takes that float past your feed aren't actually bait, but genuine opinions being expressed by people who legitimately believe them. I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but hear us out. Also, we have a rousing discussion about cauliflower and British Halloween.
July 08, 2021
Facebook Bulletin Proves No One Knows What Facebook Is Anymore, Including Facebook
This week we're talking about Facebook's weird blog/newsletter thing. It's hilariously bad and very confusing and, honestly, speaks to a weirder bigger issue with Facebook which is that no one really seems to know what it is anymore. Also, we talk about how Luke doesn't like how Gen Z dresses anymore and, yes, we touch on the Oli London thing. It's a big episode!
July 01, 2021
The Critical Race Theory Katamari Of Online Rage
WARNING: In the first segment of this episode, we do discuss the some details about John McAfee's reported suicide. Skip to 13:00 if you have trouble listening to that kind of content. American Republicans have a new favorite phase for everything they don't like: Critical race theory. This week, we're digging into where the term comes from, what it actually means, and why banning it is a ridiculous and insane idea that is almost impossible. We also talk about John McAfee's whale tweets and Luke talks about football (soccer).
June 24, 2021
The Passive Income Grifters Of TikTok
This week we're talking about a bunch of different stuff. We go over the recent Chrissy Teigen drama. We talk about hustle culture. We check out some truly evil TikToks from British landlords. And Luke ranks The Avengers on how well they are at giving oral sex. A truly jam-packed episode. Also a note: During the recording and editing of this episode, we were unaware that Courtney Stodden had come out as non-binary and now uses they/them pronouns. Ryan made the same mistake in his newsletter this week. There are two quick instances in this episode where Stodden is misgendered and it is absolutely not on purpose. It's our fault for not catching it during recording and we apologize for the error.
June 17, 2021
Every Internet Video Now Is Just An Impression Of Someone Saying Stuff
One more summer grab bag episode! We're talking about COVID-19 timelines, an incredibly cursed food video, the Yashar profile, and how every video on the internet now is basically just someone imagining a person and then saying stuff that they think they would say. You know what I mean? Is that confusing? Also, more broadly, we're talking about the differences between Twitter videos and TikTok videos.
June 10, 2021
Is There Actually Any Benefit To Being Yourself Online?
This week we're talking about a bunch of stuff — Trump's blog, Instagram stan accounts, crypto stuff, and how identity works online. This makes this episode sound kind of serious, but actually this week is a bit of a fun run. Summer's here, both Luke and Ryan are vaxxed. We're letting loose and having a chill hang this week.
June 03, 2021
"Geriatric Millennials" And The Digital Media Content Toilet
Does it feel like suddenly there's one story splashed across every feed? Do these stories sort of make you angry for no particular reason? Is it hard to tell which news outlets are writing about it? Does it just create this weird inescapable exhaustion? Welcome to the Digital Media Content Toilet. It's where we all live now. We pick apart how "Geriatric Millennials" became a thing and what it says about how the internet works now.
May 27, 2021
The Algorithm Craves Mall Goths
This week we're talking about something that Ryan has been dying to go long on for a while: Why Myspace-style Hot Topic culture is so popular with TikTokers. What if it wasn't totally driven by nostalgia, but that were was some kind of larger algorithmic reason for its resurgence? Also, we talk about teen finance TikTok.
May 20, 2021
There's One Magician Responsible For Most Of The Gross Viral Food Videos On Facebook
This week we're talking about a big story that Ryan's been working on for the last few weeks. Every so often a video goes viral featuring a white lady making something truly unholy in her kitchen. Turns out most of these videos are made by the same network of Facebook creators. Even stranger, the network is run by a Vegas magician. This episode also answers a bunch of questions Ryan and Luke had a few months ago during our Facebook Watch episode. Also, we talk about the movie Tenet.
May 13, 2021
Generation Z's Post-Post-Irony TikTok Occultism
It's time for our first Gen Z Quarterly Review! We haven't checked in on zoomers in a while and it seems like now's as good a time as any. We're talking about TikTok magic, Wojack memes, post-radicalized irony poisoning, and DIY one-man clickbait farms. It's a brave new world, folks, and it's cheugy as hell. Also, we talk about a very very cursed photo of a house for a while.
May 06, 2021
Everyone's Mad About Things That Aren't Happening
It's called "cancel culture" but that's not quite right. What's happening, instead, is a large-scale weaponization of outrage bait. It's happening predominantly on the right, but also can happen on the left! As Luke in this episode sums it up: "Everyone's mad about things that aren't happening." We're focusing on the Kamala Harris book story, the Biden banning meat thing, and one shocking development that happened on TikTok last week. What's even crazier, though, is that just because a lot of this stuff is not happening doesn't mean it doesn't matter. Also, we talk about the Oscars!
April 29, 2021
The Hypercapitalist Influencer Nightmare Monopoly Of Professional Soccer
We're talking about sports this week! Specifically, the rise and fall of the European Super League — a disastrous attempt to at a football monopoly. Luke promises this isn't ACTUALLY about football, but actually a larger metaphor for the internet at large. We'll see! Also, we talk about the London mayoral election and old dudes who are good at rapping.
April 22, 2021
How Do We Fix Online Advertising?
We've made it this far into the show without talking about ads. But this week we're finally diving in. Luke explains this week why online advertising is bad and how we can fix it. TL;DR — ending targeted ads. Also, we talk a lot about Prince Philip. Also also, Ryan has a lovely story about Pokémon. But, mainly, we're talking about ads.
April 15, 2021
Yahoo! Answers And The Legacy We Leave Behind Online
This week's episode is DENSE. And it takes some TURNS. What we're talking about is the end of Yahoo! Answers. And yes, we do just read a bunch of good ones. But also, we're talking about what the internet means over time. What happens when a company just deletes the things we've posted? Do we lose something? But also, don't we save the best stuff just by screenshotting it? Also, how was babby formed? Also also, Luke debuts his new theory of content. Like I said, big episode!
April 08, 2021
Lil Nas X And The Suez Canal Theory Of Total Internet
Look, we're aware that title sounds like a whole bunch of nonsense, but trust us. It will make sense. This week we're talking about Lil Nas X, but we're also talking about Facebook's new algorithmic attitude, but we're also talking about fights about who is the sexiest bald man in the world, but we're also talking about the Suez Canal. It's all connected!
April 01, 2021
The Snyder Cut And The Grimdark Stupid-Fun Mega-Long Future Of Content
We did it. We're here. We've watched the Snyder Cut and we're ready to talk about it. We liked it! It was stupid. It was long. But it's also a piece of content that sits somewhere between a traditional blockbuster film and a bingeable TV series. The online fandom surrounding the film is out of control. Oh, also, we talk about The Tweet.
March 25, 2021
We're Living In The Girlboss-Gatekeep-Gaslight Era Now
This week is all about the very weird "new normal" of life under the Biden Administration. Some weirdo is running a Twitter account for his dogs. Reporters are writing stories about the official amount of days he's been in office. People are posting Love, Actually memes again. It's a mess! Also, Luke saw the new Adam Curtis documentary and his brain is literal mush.
March 18, 2021
The Royal Family Is WWE For Rich Old White People, But With Very Real Consequences
This week we have BuzzFeed News reporter Ellie Hall on the show. She's an incredible reporter and understands the world of British tabloids and the double speak and warped point of view of the royal press better than anyone. We talk about how royal news cycles work and what the papers are really saying when they're breathlessly covering Meghan and Harry. We also explore why, this week, that all blew up. It's a big episode!
March 11, 2021
How Your Fave Is Problematic Changed The Internet Forever
We're finally doing it, folks. We're talking about Your Fave Is Problematic, one of the most important Tumblr blogs of our time. That means we're going to be talking about John Green and Tumblr drama and cancel culture and all the other stuff that, honestly, we should have just left in 2013. We also talk about WandaVision and agonize over skinny jeans. It's a big episode.
March 04, 2021
Unfortunately, We're Going To Talk About Blockchain Now
We're talking bout crypto this week. Sorry! There's a lot going on in that world right now and Luke and Ryan have finally decided to jump in. This episode is a little technical, but don't worry, we also spend a lot of time talking about Spider-Man so it evens out. Basically, we're trying to answer a fairly simple question — is crypto good or bad? Also, we talk about pubs a bunch.
February 25, 2021
Slate Star Codex And The Inescapable Blackhole Of Blog Drama
This week we have a guest! Tom Chivers, the author of The Rationalist's Guide to the Galaxy. It's a really fantastic look at how a small AI-obsessed internet community has grown out into both a modern techno-fascist movement AND an extremely dense blog that everyone in Silicon Valley is obsessed with. Why are we talking about this? Because of a very controversial New York Times piece that dropped this week. It's all very confusing, but we promise it's interesting! Also, this week, Ryan and Luke talk about the Joker for a little while.
February 18, 2021
The Fandom Content Sweatshops
You know those sites that raced to recap every new Game Of Thrones episodes? Those weird blogs dropping "leaks" from the set of Spider-Man 3? Those news outlets repackaging The Mandalorian fan theories you saw on some random subreddit? Luke and Ryan have both done that work before. And they have A LOT of thoughts about it. This episode towards the end does have some brief spoilers for WandaVision.
February 11, 2021
Elon Musk Doesn't "Get" Memes, He's Just George Takei For Redditors
We're talking about Elon Musk this week. Ryan thinks he's just a meme thief who doesn't actually understand anything about the internet. Luke think he uses dumb tweets to puff up the value for Tesla stock. Maybe both of these things are true. Basically, Elon Musk makes more sense if you think of him as a digital media company first, billionaire second. It's all just content for him.
February 04, 2021
The Big GameStop Episode
We're talking about r/WallStreetBets! It's technically our second episode about the subreddit. We break down what exactly is happening, why it's happening, and try and figure out if this is good or bad. TL;DR maybe? We also talk about influencers hiding out in Dubai, the Robinhood stock app, and Ryan admits his shameful secret — that he's learning to trade crypto. It's a jam-packed episode!
January 28, 2021
Content Hell, Part 3: "I Have A Void Inside Of Me And I Need To Fill It With As Much Facebook Nonsense As Possible"
Alright, this is it. Joe Biden is President. Trump has been banished to Florida. And the QAnon wizards are all going back to their yoga studios. America is a worse place. The internet is worse place. But at least now we're finally free to rebuild. This is the third and final in our insurrection/impeachment/inauguration miniseries, "Content Hell". Very excited to finally be able to talk about other things for once!!! Oh, also, we talk about Macklemore in this episode.
January 21, 2021
Content Hell, Part 2: When Exactly Should We Have Banned Trump?
We realized it would completely impossible to not take about the coup. We're one week away from the inauguration and it's unclear what will happen next. So while the world waits to find out exactly what will happen when Joe Biden becomes president, we wanted to take a moment to look at exactly when Donald Trump should have lost his Twitter account? When was the moment a platform like Twitter could have stopped this? Also, Luke tells a very interesting story about a British man running an illegal Japanese restaurant out of his home. Stay tuned for next week's hopefully final episode of our Content Hell miniseries.
January 14, 2021
Welcome To Content Hell
We had an idea for the show this week. For reasons that should be obvious, we threw that out. We're talking about the coup. The internet opened up a portal in reality and crawled through and attempted to take over the federal government yesterday. This episode, as you can imagine, is a little heavier than our normal episodes. It is a complicated and confusing time. But everything is content, even an insurrection, and we're going to try and figure out exactly how this all works and where it's going.
January 08, 2021
[SPECIAL VACATION EPISODE] Post Post Credit Scene - Shazam
Ryan and Luke are on vacation! They're resting and relaxing after a long year of mindlessly slogging away making content. In the meantime, if you're after your regular Content Mines fix, check out this episode they recorded for The Content Mines' Patreon. Ryan and Luke spent weeks marathoning horrible DCEU movies. But they actually really like Shazam. So this is kind of a fun one. If you're interested in hearing the whole series, definitely check out the Patreon. See you next week, everyone!
December 31, 2020
[SPECIAL VACATION EPISODE] Post Post Credit Scene - Justice League
Ryan and Luke are on vacation! They're resting and relaxing after a long year of mindlessly slogging away making content. In the meantime, if you're after your regular Content Mines fix, check out this episode they recorded for The Content Mines' Patreon. Ryan and Luke spent weeks marathoning horrible DCEU movies, working their way to this, the mother(box) of terrible superhero movies. If you're interested in hearing the whole series, definitely check out the Patreon. See you next year, everyone!
December 24, 2020
A Unified Theory Of 2020's Real Bad Posts
It's our last episode of the 2020! We brought back our first-ever guest, podcaster and journalist Hussein Kesvani, a bad post aficionado, to help us come up with a unified theory of Bad 2020 Content. We also talk about cannibalism, the class politics around necrophilia, verified Twitter brain damage, Disney's terrifying streaming monopoly, and how genitalia works in "Cyberpunk 2077". It's a jam-packed episode!
December 17, 2020
Luke Hates The Monoliths
This week Luke tries to convince Ryan that the monoliths popping up all over the world are actually bad and annoying and dumb. Ryan thinks it's a cool meme like the Area 51 raids. Also, it feels like the world is running out of content. What happens if that happens???
December 10, 2020
Men Love Declaring Themselves Sovereign Citizens And Then Wandering Into The Woods To Die
This week we're talking about the sovereign citizen conspiracy theory. Why is it back? How does it relate to QAnon? How does it connect to scotch eggs. Luke and Ryan get to the bottom of all of these questions. And more!
December 03, 2020
How The Dumb And Horrible Finale Of "Supernatural" Blew Up The Internet
This week Luke and Ryan brought in an expert, Tumblr's Cates Holderness, to help them navigate the very confusing and extremely funny fallout from the final 15th season of the CW show Supernatural. They talk about queerbaiting, shipping, Tumblr culture, and the metaphysics of how a car could go to heaven. It's a perfect Thanksgiving episode!
November 26, 2020
...Alright, Let's Talk About Newsletters
WARNING: The episode contains a lot of dumb media talk. This week Ryan and Luke do their best to explain why everyone cares about newsletters all of a sudden. Does the fact a bunch of annoying White Guys In Media started newsletters mean the entire thing is bad now? (The answer is no.) Also, Luke explains why all of the UK was fighting about a photo of spaghetti earlier this week.
November 19, 2020
The Big US Election Social Platform Report Card
This week, like The Avengers, we arise from the wreckage of the U.S. president election and take stock of which platforms screwed up the least bad. Facebook seemed to be alright for a day or two. Twitter has been pretty diligent too. YouTube? Not so much! Also, Ryan forces Luke to talk about that Joe Biden Endgame video.
November 12, 2020
The Low-Trust Voter And The Twitch Theory Of Politics
It's a bit of a crazy episode this week. Luke is in full work mode and Ryan is still on the road. But they promised you an election episode and by god, they're going to give you. Luke shares his theory that Facebook has created a brand new voting bloc — the low-trust voter. And Ryan shares his theory that most people in America actually want better minimum wage and healthcare, but they also just want to root for a bombastic personality to inflict political cruelty on people they don't like. It's a cheery episode!
November 05, 2020
*Gold Digger Prank* You'll Never Believe What Happens At The End. The Girls Go Wild. [Milk Prank]
This week, Ryan and Luke were asked to solve a mystery for one of their listeners: Why is my Facebook feed full of weird "prank" videos and stupid street magic? They also talk about British 4chan users and the dream of being an incredibly basic man working in sales who lives in the suburbs.
October 29, 2020
The Million Dollar Industry Behind A.I.-Powered Anime Girl Streamers
VTubers are suddenly everywhere. They're AI-powered cartoon anime avatars that stream for hours on platforms like YouTube and Twitch. Luke, before this week, didn't know anything about them. But unfortunately for him, Ryan did a big deep dive into the bizarre companies that own these avatars and now we've got to talk about it. It's weird. It's extremely popular. It's not going away. It also recently almost kicked off an international crisis with China.
October 22, 2020
Mark Zuckerberg's Algorithm Vs. Alexander Hamilton's Algorithm
It's the episode maybe some of you have been waiting for! We're talking about Facebook. It controls the whole world and makes everyone totally miserable. This week, Luke shares the question he's had since 2018: Is the algorithm that powers Facebook stronger and more effective than the algorithm that runs America, i.e. the constitution. This all sounds very high-concept and that's because it is, but don't worry, Ryan does eventually figure out a way to talk about furries.
October 15, 2020
Let's Figure Out What The Worst Fandom On The Internet Is!
This week we have a GIANT-SIZED episode for you. Luke and Ryan came up with a list of the 13 most toxic fandoms on the internet and then they attempted to pick just one that is more toxic than all the others. It wasn't easy. There is a lot happening in this episode. Luke yells about books. Ryan has a meltdown about Star Wars. It's a real emotional journey. Join us, won't you?
October 08, 2020
When Did The Internet Become A Giant Pyramid Scheme?
Fake influencers. Weird marketing companies. Fake Instagram backdrops. Multi-level-marketing TikTok companies. Nothing online feels real anymore but also feels more important than ever. It wasn't always like this! But now everyone acts like it's normal. Why? When did this change? And does it matter? Also, Luke and Ryan have an extremely long conversation about whether or not Europeans know what ice cubes are.
October 01, 2020
I Have Successfully Infiltrated The Private Facebook Group Making My Home Town Insane
This week Luke and Ryan are talking about small towns! Specifically, what has been happening to small towns on Facebook. Weird conspiracy theories. Toxic fighting. Weird drama. In a world where your local community probably doesn't have a newspaper anymore but definitely has a bunch of deranged Facebook Groups, things can get pretty damn confusing. Also, Ryan opens up about the weird pandemic game he's been playing where he tries to guess whether or not certain actors on TV are Canadian.
September 24, 2020
Please, For The Love Of God, Don't Make Us Pokémon Go Back To The Polls
It's an election episode! Luke and Ryan have basically ignored the election for the last few months, but this week they're finally getting into it. Ryan shares his theory that Hillary Clinton saying Pokémon Go to the polls was the most important political moment of the last four years and then Luke says a bunch of more sensible things about political history. Also, Luke talks about the big bag of wet eggs currently trending on Twitter. It's a jam-packed show!
September 17, 2020
Sorry, But 30-Year-Olds CANNOT Join A Hype House
Luke and Ryan dive into the world of TikTok content houses. Hype House, Sway House, Club House, there are too many to keep track of! What would be like, psychologically, to live in a house full of other influencers grinding for internet traffic? Probably pretty bad! They also talk about British indie rock from the mid-00s. Ryan also lists his various grudges. It's a fun time!
September 10, 2020
...Alright, Let's Talk About QAnon
We've put it off for a few weeks now, but we're finally getting into it. Let's talk about Q. Luke and Ryan start things off with their first introductions to the bizarre and dangerous (and incredibly asinine) conspiracy theory and also try and unpack where they think this whole thing is headed. Global religion? Weird forgotten quirk of history? Will brands turn it into a weird marketing thing? This week is also the premiere of the Patreon-exclusive Content Mines spin-off "Post Post Credit Scene". Make sure to head over to the Content Mines Patreon and check it out!
September 03, 2020
How A 12-Year-Old Furry Destroyed The Scots Wikipedia
Luke and Ryan canceled their plans for an episode on QAnon this week because another story had come to light that required their attention: The teenage furry who spent seven years filling up the Scots-language Wikipedia with gibberish. This is a BIG episode and there is a lot in it. They talk about linguistics, Scottish history, colonialism, the brony-to-furry pipeline, the physical effects of drinking too much Buckfast, and also read off some of the greats Scottish tweets of all time. Buckle up, folks.
August 27, 2020
Be A Witch, Do Crimes, But Don't Rob Graves. Hex Stuff, Especially Fascists, But Leave The Moon Alone.
We're talking about witch internet this week! Summer's windy down, spooky season is starting, and recently a group of baby witches cursed the moon. What does that mean? Hell if we know, but we're going to do our best to guide you through it. Also, Ryan went to a psychic in 2019 who told him that 2020 was going to be a really good year for him. What the hell is the deal with that? She could have given him a heads up. This hAS NOT BEEN A GOOD YEar!!! Also, Luke explains why you're seeing Plane Simulator stuff everywhere right now. It's a big episode!
August 20, 2020
"My [23F] boyfriend [35M] hasn't used toilet paper in 5 years and now thinks he can speak Japanese"
Reddit's r/relationships subreddit is a treasure trove of dysfunction and misery. Luke is convinced every single post is fake. Ryan is certain that every post is real. Click play if you want to listen to them fight about it for over 50 minutes. Also, this episode was recorded on literally one of the hottest days of the year in both the northeast of the US and London. So WARNING: there's a lot of really gnarly descriptions of sweat.
August 13, 2020
The Mountain Dew-Doritos-Gamer Military Industrial Complex
The US Army has an eSports team. The US Army's eSports team streams on Twitch. A lot of people are very mad about this. In the UK, apparently the British military is using a podcast about the reality show Love Island to recruit people. Everything's really weird! Luke and Ryan try to wrestle with the very morally strange world of online army recruitment in 2020. Why does the army need a social media manager for their eSports team? Why is the National Guard partnering with Mountain Dew to sponsor video game tournaments? Why can't things just be normal? I hate the future.
August 06, 2020
Why Is Everyone Talking About Cottagecore? (And Is It Fascist?)
What is Cottagecore? Is it just a simple trend on TikTok and Instagram about getting back to a simpler life — one that involves a cottage? Or is it some weird new way internet fascists are radicalizing teens? Or is it both? Luke and Ryan try their best to get to the bottom of this extremely important online mystery. Along they way, though, they get pretty sidetracked by Taylor Swift's new album and go on a big tangent about Steampunk. Also, Luke has a tweet about a pool that he's been dying to talk about. It's a jam-packed episode!
July 30, 2020
Tumblr Cringe And Why 2014 Was The Last Good Year Online
Luke and Ryan dig into the cringey, but beautiful legacy of peak Tumblr. They explore that one fateful weekend in Chicago when a bunch of grifters convinced Tumblr cosplayers to invade an unsuspecting hotel in Chicago to attend the ill-fated DashCon. They also look at what Luke refers to as the beginning of the "era of mass-produced viral content." Can anyone break the internet anymore? Or is it just completely broken now? Also, is TikTok culture the thing we'll look back on in five years and feel the same level of secondhand embarrassment that we feel looking at old SuperWhoLock posts? So many questions! Head over to our Patreon for show notes and a great video of a skateboarding dog.
July 23, 2020
#CumGate, The Barstool Sports Simulation, Lord Sugar's Shitpics
There's a lot of words in that title that are probably confusing and I refusing to explain any of them. This week we have Alex Hern, UK technology editor for the Guardian, and he's going to try to explain why the name of the UK's biggest political scandal of the coronavirus age is stuck in Twitter's porn filter. WARNING: This episode contains repeated use of the word "cum" and also discussion of both Rick And Morty and Warhammer 40K.
May 29, 2020
Latin Twitter Curses, Competitive Sudoku Streams, BTS' Mysterious Countdown, And YouTube Simulations Of The Titanic Sinking
This week is a real good! Forget last week. This is prime time. We've got Ikran Dahir, reporter for BuzzFeed News, talking about a mysterious countdown the K-Pop group BTS is doing on Twitter and we've got Abby Ohlheiser, internet culture reporter for the MIT Technology Review, talking about how she can't stop watching real-time YouTube reenacts of famous shipwrecks.
May 22, 2020
Robert Pattinson's Disgusting Pasta, "British People Be Like" Memes, A POV Video Of Boston, And A TikTok Traffic Scam
This week it's just Ryan and Luke! We wanted to catch up on a few things we've been putting off for a few weeks. We dissect how Robert Pattinson eats, have a bunch of needless arguments about the differences between Americans and British people, and then finish the episode by ranting about Buffy The Vampire Slayer. All in all, a pretty good week.
May 14, 2020
Disco Elysium, The Trevor Bastard Extended Universe, and X Æ A-12
New week, new nonsense. We've got author Dan Dalton on the show and he's very excited to talk to us about an RPG he's been playing that he claims is almost as good as being able to go outside and experience normal life. Also, Verge reporter Julia Alexander is back to break down how the movie Trolls: World Tour has changed movie history forever.
May 07, 2020
That Casey Frey Chopping Wood Video, An Ant Facebook Group, A Meme Brian Feldman Found, And The Two-Year Anniversary Of Luke And Ryan's Last Podcast
This week we're taking it easy. Back to basics. Focusing on what makes this show work, you know? We have Brian Feldman, internet culture reporter and writer of the Bnet newsletter, and he decided all he wanted to talk about was some weird meme he found on Facebook. WARNING: This episode contains a lot of Marvel movies talk. We swear, once it's out of our system, we probably won't do it again.
May 01, 2020
The Big Baby, YouTube Videos Of Cher's Old Infomercials, Dril, And FindAGrave.com
This week is very special. We have Julia Furlan, who currently is working on podcasts for Vox Media, and Katie Notopoulos, senior reporter for BuzzFeed News. They once worked on a podcast with Ryan called Internet Explorer. So if you liked that podcast, you'll probably sorta kinda like this one too.
April 24, 2020
Mushroom Internet, Mother-In-Law Subreddits, And Twitch
Welp! Here we're back. This week we have Andrew Gauthier, the former Director of Digital Content for Kamala Harris, talking about how the internet helped him awaken a love for hunting for mushrooms, Ellie Hall, senior reporter for BuzzFeed News, talking about the drama going on inside subreddits dedicated to tracking unstable mothers-in-law, and Bijan Stephen, Twitch and livestreaming reporter for The Verge, talking about why Twitch is good.
April 16, 2020
Making Bread, Bad British Tabloid Recipes, Rabid Lady Gaga Stans, And Quarantine Astrology
Look, if you keep listening, we're just gonna keep making these. This week we have Cates Holderness, senior Brand Marketing Strategist at Tumblr, on to talk about making bread, Kalhan Rosenblatt, reporter for NBC News, to talk about feral Lady Gaga stans, Kassy Cho, freelance journalist, on to talk about why quarantine is especially hard for Geminis, and Julia Alexander, reporter for The Verge, about why Batman V Super: Dawn Of Justice is actually a good movie.
April 10, 2020
The Snake Diet, Tiger King, Animal Crossing, And Shaving Your Head For Twitter
Well, here's another one of these, I guess. This week we have Gene Park, Washington Post reporter on video games and gaming culture, who explains why Animal Crossing is actually good. Ryan and Luke investigate why the users of Reddit's r/SnakeDiet are drinking their own piss, Luke shares his thoughts as a British person about Netflix's Tiger King, and Luke also explains why everyone in the UK is shaving their heads for Twitter clout.
April 03, 2020
r/WallStreetBets, British Lads Hit Each Other With Chair, And Porn Bombing Zoom Hangouts
Are you still listening to this? We have three very special guests this week. Hussein Kesvani, UK and Europe editor of MEL Magazine, talks about how the users from Reddit's r/WallStreetBets is having an emotional breakdown, Casey Newton, Silicon Valley Editor for The Verge, talks about porn bombing Zoom hangouts, and Julia Alexander, Reporter for The Verge, talks about why she hates Animal Crossing.
March 26, 2020
Fallout: Equestria, The Premier League, And Alien Ant Farm
Alright, here goes nothing. Luke and I talk about the fan fiction masterpiece Fallout: Equestria, the fact Premier League soccer has ended, and why everyone's talking about the band Alien Ant Farm again.
March 20, 2020