Episodes
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...
Published 01/20/22
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 β€” this episode's got it all! SHOW...
Published 01/13/22
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.
Published 01/06/22
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).
Published 12/09/21
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...
Published 12/02/21
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...
Published 11/25/21
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...
Published 11/18/21
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.
Published 11/13/21
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.
Published 11/04/21
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...
Published 10/29/21
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...
Published 10/21/21
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...
Published 10/14/21
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...
Published 10/07/21
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.
Published 09/30/21
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...
Published 09/23/21
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...
Published 09/09/21
Geronimo the alpaca has been destroyed. There are green lines on Twitter that tell you if you're proud or ashamed of your g******s. 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.
Published 09/02/21
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!
Published 08/26/21
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.
Published 08/19/21
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 β€” 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.
Published 08/12/21
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!
Published 08/05/21
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.
Published 07/29/21
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!
Published 07/22/21
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 β€” 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...
Published 07/15/21
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.
Published 07/08/21