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Internet Culture

The Verge’s Internet Culture section is the home for daily coverage of how our online lives influence and are influenced by pop culture and the world around us. The ways in which we communicate, create, and live with each other have been radically altered by the internet’s powerful connective tissues, from the platforms we inhabit, like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram; to the policies, laws and guidelines that govern them (or don’t); to the subcultures, communities, and memes that bring us together there — for better or worse. Here you’ll find our coverage of life on the web, with an eye on what’s next.

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Star Wars jizz is now called jatz.

In a galaxy far, far, away, jazz doesn’t exist. Instead, when you want to really blow on that horn you’re jizzing or jatzing. As AVClub recently noted, both words have technically been used to describe the musical stylings of the Star Wars universe over the years, with jizz gaining in popularity for extremely obvious reasons.

But in a recent short story collection based around Return of the Jedi characters, Max Rebo, the blue alien front man for the band that plays at Jabba the Hutt’s palace thinks back to other times he’s performed “jatz standards”. That means jatz is the official Disney-approved name for the music.

Wookiepedia, meanwhile, continues to embrace jizz.

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Wellness influencers sued.

Consumers, states, and the FTC are taking marketing claims from wellness companies more seriously — and, increasingly, there are legal consequences.

The lawsuits come as online promoters move from endorsing other companies’ products to creating and pushing their own. Meanwhile regulators are looking more closely at influencer marketing, which is expected to exceed $21 billion this year, according to an industry report.

Do you remember the 21st of September?

Writer, comedian and YouTuber Demi Adejuyigbe had a long-running bit of increasingly elaborate videos for September 21, featuring an edit of the Earth, Wind and Fire song. You can relive them today!







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TikTok stars Mixie and Munchie are performance artists for the post-social media world.

Perhaps you’ve seen them: two girls, one wordlessly mixing a drink while the other one snacks. Why don’t they talk?

Honestly, the internet is too loud. The feed is too loud. TikTok is too loud. I’m scrolling and I just want everyone to shut the fuck up.

Turns out it’s still possible to have mystique on social media.

The end of the Googleverse

For two decades, Google Search was the invisible force that determined the ebb and flow of online content. Now, for the first time, its cultural relevance is in question.

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You might have heard people talking about Spider-Man: Lotus, a two hour fan film that premiered on YouTube Friday,

and wondered how an unlicensed two hour film could exist when even Disney had to negotiate with Sony to use the character in films. Sony, Disney, and Marvel are all very protective of the character so it’s a surprise to see this film still live. It’s also super unusual to see a fan film of this scope outside of the Star Trek fan film community, especially as the last time a Star Trek fan film attempted a project of this high a production quality level Paramount sued the creator.

Spider-Man: Lotus’s other major problem is it was funded by a non-profit more than two years ago and immediately faced challenges after the VFX team quit due to racist remarks previously made, separately, by the lead actor and the director.

Music labels are suing the Internet Archive too.

The Internet Archive’s Great 78 project launched in 2017 and streams thousands of digitized 78rpm discs and cylinder recordings for free. Now music labels, including Universal, Sony, and Concord, are suing, citing 2,749 sound-recording copyrights they say it’s infringed and pointing to the Music Modernization Act of 2018 (via Reuters).

They’re pursuing damages of up to $412 million, while the Archive is also battling book publishers in court over its National Emergency Library program.

For more information on the Music Modernization Act, check out this episode of The Vergecast.

“I do have a Dreamcast.”

In this episode of Andscape’s Rap Stories podcast series, David Dennis and Curren$y recap the “blog era” of rap music that existed in the late ‘00s by pinpointing exactly why it was so relatable.

There are other podcasts specifically dedicated to this period, but the Smoking Section alum and Pilot Talk artist are more qualified than most to talk about what it was like.

Never mind, tweets should be called posts now

X, the company formerly known as Twitter, is experimenting with changing the ‘tweet’ button to ‘post,’ and we should do the same.

A Clippy Reddit alien: the adorable Thing That Should Not Be.

Apollo app developer Christian Selig dropped new wallpaper art of a cute hybrid of Clippy and the Reddit alien today.

Selig has been hawking fun wallpapers for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS via the Apollo app since Reddit started down a dark path of hostile changes earlier this year and Selig shuttered the popular third-party Reddit client. He’s also selling the wallpapers outside the app.

A screenshot of Christian Selig’s Mastodon post announcing he’d added the Apollopy wallpaper. It shows the wallpaper, which is artwork of Clippy but with the Reddit alien’s red eyes and antenna, and the paperclip body filled with a blue to dark, bluish purple gradient.
Christian Selig’s Apollo wallpaper set.
Screenshot: Wes Davis / The Verge
The r/place canvas expanded again early this morning, and protest messages are back.

And the German flag apparently expanded to fill the new space within under three minutes. How did they do it? According to Redditor HellsOnWheels45, a Discord server with 50,000 users in active coordination.

Also, protest messages have made a comeback on r/place after largely disappearing by Friday evening, with more “fuck spez’ messages near the center of the canvas.

A screenshot of r/place.
Protest messages come back to r/place.
Screenshot: Wes Davis / The Verge

Reddit protest updates: news on the apps shutting down and Reddit’s fights with mods

Changes to the Reddit API have forced beloved apps like Apollo to shut down, and following the protests, mods are feeling threatened by Reddit.

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Tom Scocca remembers when the internet was for humans, and he’s got a modest proposal.

What if we made the Internet Archive the real internet and let the machines have Google?

This wouldn’t solve the online shopping problem, and it would make it hard to read the newspapers. But if you wanted to learn about something by looking it up online, you could do it just like you used to. The browser would have a search engine that actually searched its contents, and if you clicked on a result from it, it would take you to the earliest version of the page. A little slider, like on Google Earth, could move you through subsequent versions.

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Sometimes I miss the old internet.

Wiby, a search engine that only indexes the most basic of webpages, gives you something Google is almost completely unwilling to these days: websites made by regular people.

Wiby’s “surprise me” page redirects you to a random web 1.0-style site (via Hacker News). So far, among others, I’ve encountered a site devoted to retro tech, a shareware capture the flag game, and Sixties City, which proudly proclaims it’s a British website.

Twitter is doing really well. Promise. Better than ever.

Perhaps reacting to Threads’ 100 million user milestone, Elon Musk tweeted today that “cumulative user-seconds per day of phone screentime... may hit an all-time record this week.” He noted that stat, “as reported by iOS & Android, is hardest to game.”

Anyway, here’s a probably-unrelated video.

Twitter’s traffic is taking a dive, according to Cloudflare’s CEO.

Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince posted a graph to both Threads and Twitter today (Cloudflare’s communications VP Daniella Vallurupalli confirmed it was him) showing what he says is Twitter’s DNS ranking from January to now.

It’s, uh, not a great story!

Twitter alternative Threads, meanwhile, has been growing explosively — it’s less than three million from the 100 million user mark. It debuted on Wednesday.

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There’s a way to install Threads on Windows 11, if that’s important to you.

Windows Central shows you how to get the Threads app installed using Windows Subsystem for Android, a feature that allows you to install and use Android apps on your Windows 11 machine.

Threads, sort of a spin-off of Instagram that wants to be the new Twitter, reached 95 million users overnight after less than a week, wildly outpacing other, similar clones.

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At least one third-party Twitter app may be working again, too.

Following word that the good version of TweetDeck is back, an update from Harpy developer Roberto Doering said they were able to get the app functioning again by switching user profiles to use the old v1 API, but they don’t expect to begin maintaining the app again:

Please note that this doesn’t mean that harpy will be maintained again, seeing as Twitter will most likely shut down access to their legacy api (again) soon and third party apps are still against their TOS.

Meanwhile, on Threads.

Threads has quickly blown past the other Twitter alternatives in terms of registered accounts. The highest account number badge I’ve seen on Instagram so far this morning puts its count at over 86 million.

At the current pace, it’s likely Threads will hit 100 million today.

A screenshot of Wendy’s tagging Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and saying he should go to space just to make “him” mad. Zuckerberg responds with a laughing emoji.
Zuck engages the brands.
Screenshot: Richard Lawler / The Verge