[News] The Internet Was a Mistake

A thread for updates on the various ways the internet is destroying everything and the undying hellsites of social media. Let's all laugh at the abyss.

There are groups of people who are more delusional than the meme stock “apes”, but not many.

Seeing people talk about “hedgies” and “MOASS” is like watching a kid fistfight their imaginary friend.



Pumped and dumped.

The crazy other thing is that after pumping and dumping, the stock is still trading at $27

From a the WSJ reporting on all this:

During the 48-minute livestream, Gill said he is working alone, without any institutional backers. He reiterated his support for Chief Executive Ryan Cohen and said he believes GameStop is in the middle of its turnaround plan. He also shared a screenshot of his brokerage account that showed he hasn’t sold his giant position in the stock.

LOL, as if (A) such a screenshot couldn’t be easily faked with a little right-click “Inspect” HTML editing prior to taking the screenshot, or (B) a person couldn’t have more than one trading account, and didn’t show off the one where they bought a bunch of stock prior to the pump and then sold it all at the peak.

The article also points out that GameStop’s sales are down 29%.

if you want to see some really crazy memestock people, check out the BBY communities that still think they’re in a short squeeze and will all be fabulously rich soon, months after Bed Bath & Beyond has been liquidated and all the stock cancelled.

I hope the SEC goes after Gill.

GameStop shares continue to plunge as frenzy over Roaring Kitty’s return fizzles

Shares of GameStop tumbled for a second consecutive session on Monday, extending deep losses after stock influencer Keith Gill’s return to YouTube last week failed to spark fresh investor enthusiasm for the struggling shopping mall retailer.

Gill, known on YouTube as “Roaring Kitty,” held his first livestream in three years on Friday, the day GameStop unveiled its second share sale in days.

A key figure behind an eye-popping rally in GameStop in 2021, Gill joked about memes and interspersed his discussion of GameStop with several disclaimers in a livestream that by Monday had over 2.4 million views on YouTube.

On Monday, GameStop shares sank about 15% to $24.06, following a dive of nearly 40% on Friday after the company reported a drop in quarterly sales.

Also on Friday, GameStop said it would sell up to 75 million shares, days after it made $933 million by selling 45 million shares.

Gill acquired 5 million shares of GameStop at an average price of $21.274, according to details he shared on social media. In addition, he bought 120,000 GameStop June 21 call options at a strike price of $20 at $5.6754 per contract. Reuters was unable to verify the size and value of his holdings.

On Monday afternoon, the options contracts were changing hands at $6.40 a contract, according to LSEG data.

Other so-called meme stocks also gave back recent gains on Monday, with AMC Entertainment losing nearly 7% and headphone seller Koss down about 4%.

Shares of GameStop nearly tripled in value over two days through May 14 after an account associated with Gill returned to X.com, formerly called Twitter.

Since then, GameStop shares have given up most of those gains, and the stock remains up about 37% so far in 2024.

The videogame retailer has been losing money for years as customers shift to online purchases, and its latest quarter was no different.

Money is so stupid.

Wasn't there a movie...

Money isn't stupid. Derivative financial "assets" that serve no useful purpose are stupid.

So a recent case brought by the SEC was dismissed by the Federal Judge which was far more blatant ( Variety article ) where the persecutors had messages of the defendants describing the pump and dump in explicit terms. As I understand it, a recent Supreme Court ruling has changed what counts can count as fraud, lying to make money from the marks isn’t enough anymore. This was the theory of “right of control”, if you make financial decisions based on lying, you have been deprived of the ability to make a good decision and so have been subject to financial harm and therefore fraud. Now you need a much stronger casual link between the lying and the person losing money and the conman getting the money. I suspect this makes it almost impossible to prosecute financial influencers acting at a remove from their marks.

I am not a lawyer. I hope the SEC refiles with amended charges but at the moment it looks like the conmen in that case are getting away with it.

Hey now, I'm sure they bought that verdict fair and square.

Borked again.

Stengah wrote:

Hey now, I'm sure they bought that verdict fair and square.

To be fair to the Federal Judge in the case, they dismissed it without prejudice. The Supreme Court is the problem here. Maximum discretion for enforcement of street crime, minimum leeway for white collar crime.

At this point you need Federal Legislation that updates the laws to match the world where saying “this is no financial advice” means nothing and offering public advice has fiduciary responsibility. It’s interesting how financial YouTube does have some great financial content from accredited professionals (Plain Bagel, Patrick Boyle) and they are super clear on not giving people market actionable advice.

All three game console makers have now abandoned X integration

As of June 10th, Nintendo has officially discontinued support for the Switch console’s integration with X (formerly Twitter), making it the last of the current-gen consoles to do so after Microsoft and Sony disabled their own access last year.

The integration was removed as part of the Nintendo Switch’s 18.1.0 update, taking away the ability for users to link their X account with the console, or post in-game screenshots from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate directly to the social media platform. The removal of these features comprised the majority of the 18.1.0 update, which also includes some general stability improvements and ditches support for linking social media accounts via the Switch’s Friend Suggestions feature.

Nintendo announced these changes last month but didn’t explicitly state the reason for pulling support for X. Given Switch users can still share their content to Facebook, it likely has something to do with pricing changes to the X API which now starts at $42,000 a month for enterprise customers.

Microsoft didn’t mention X’s API update when it removed the ability for Xbox consoles to share game uploads to the service last April, nor did Sony when it followed suit in November for the PS5 and PS4. Cost may not be the only factor as Slack said it had also pulled support because the API updates impacted the functionality of its own X integration, but regardless of the reason, console gamers will now have a hard time connecting directly with the platform.

That’s despite the X Gaming account saying in a now-deleted post that its “partnership with Nintendo remains strong” after Nintendo announced its plans to kill Switch support.

Does this mean Microsoft now makes the ---box?

UpToIsomorphism wrote:

Does this mean Microsoft now makes the ---box?

I mean, it was a kind of stupid feature to begin with, but this does represent a truly impressive fumble by Captain Dipsh*t.

I don't need 10 minutes. And I think they need to expand their scope. It's hurting most people


I will point out that a lot and probably most of the political will for this comes not from any concern about the well being of kids but the same profiteering (both in terms of money and information control) and xenophobia as the Tiktok ban. Whatever good would come of this (and honestly I do think the basic idea is a good one though I would want to read into the facts more before really committing to it) would come at the expensive of free expression and put queer kids in a lot of danger by further isolating them from resources about their identity. Even if it's just a ban in schools for phone use that still makes it a lot harder for those kids to get the information they need

Google still recommends glue for your pizza

You may remember we all had a fun little laugh at Google’s AI search results telling us to put glue in our pizza. Internet legend Katie Notopoulos made and ate a glue pizza. A good time was had by all! Except, whoopsie, Google’s AI is training on our good time.

I will grant the query “how much glue to add to pizza” is an unusual one — but not that unusual given the recent uproar around glue pizza. As spotted by Colin McMillen on Bluesky, if you ask Google how much glue to add to your pizza, the right answer — none! — does not appear. Instead, it cites our girl Katie suggesting you add an eighth of a cup. Whoops!

You may be wondering if this is a faked screenshot. I wondered that, too. But The Verge confirmed by running our own query:


Just phenomenal stuff here, folks. Every time someone like me reports on Google’s AI getting something wrong, we’re training the AI to be wronger.

Those of us of a, ahem, certain age will remember the phenomenon of “Google bombing;” the classic example was using the words “miserable failure” with a link to George W. Bush. Done frequently enough, the result was that a Google search for “miserable failure” returned, well, George W. Bush. Google figured out how to squish this fun game at some point in the late 2000s, but with its new AI results, hey, the game’s back on! I am just going to write “miserable failure” in the same sentence as George W. Bush once more for old times’ sake, and maybe in a day or two, you’ll get a great new AI search result, who knows!

This is not, by the way, a universal problem. I asked Perplexity.AI how much glue to put on pizza, and it told me, “I would strongly advise against putting any glue on pizza. Glue is not an edible ingredient and consuming it could be toxic and harmful to your health.” It then goes on to explain how the “glue on pizza” meme originated.

‘Stop shoving phones in our face’: Chipotle staff are sick of TikTokers trying to catch them ‘skimping’

When Atulya Dora-Laskey clocks in to her job making tacos, burritos and salad bowls on the line at a Chipotle in Lansing, Michigan, she knows there’s a chance a customer will whip out a camera to film her assembling their lunch. If it does happen, “it’s immediately anxiety-inducing for my co-workers and me,” she said. She finds it “very stressful and dehumanizing” to be filmed at work.

These incidents of filming began last month, after rumors circulated on TikTok and Reddit alleging that Chipotle line workers skimped customers on the chain’s infamously large portion sizes – unless customers filmed workers making their order.

Keith Lee, a former mixed martial arts fighter and TikTok food critic who has more than 16 million followers on the app, kicked off the controversy in a May video review of the fast casual chain. “These portions be crazy,” Lee said before digging into a burrito bowl, looking for the protein. “Where’s the chicken at?” he asked while dramatic music played in the background.

Then Drew Polenske, an influencer with a TikTok audience of 2.6 million, encouraged fans to “tank” the average review of the restaurant’s mobile app in retaliation … while mentioning his name in their one-star reviews.

Later that month, another influencer, Isaac Francis, filmed himself ordering at Chipotle. He first positioned his camera so that it showed his face while ordering, but then switched it to record the hands of the employee making his bowl. In the video, Francis indignantly asked for more rice and chicken. He wrote in a caption that he “couldn’t let” the worker “disrespect me with that protein size”.

The clip garnered more than 115,500 likes on TikTok, inspiring copycat videos from content creators filming their own orders being made. On Reddit, users who claim to be customers shared instances of “the skimp”, disappointed in their slim takeout burritos or puny bowls. As one Barstool headline put it, “The hottest new life hack is filming Chipotle employees as they make your burrito so they don’t skimp on portion size.”

Brian Niccol, the company’s CEO, said in interviews that he didn’t condone the filming trend. Instead, he said that anyone who wants more food in their bowl should give the counter person a “look” that indicates they want another serving. A spokesperson for Chipotle later told the New York Times: “Filming does not result in larger portion sizes.”

In fact, Dora-Laskey said that, if anything, she’s given filmers less food. “We actually go lighter on portions, because we don’t want to be on the record violating Chipotle’s proportion policy,” she explained. According to her, workers can be disciplined if they go over mandated portion sizes. “You could get in trouble with your boss for giving a customer too much food.”

Some Reddit users who claim to work either as Chipotle line workers or managers say they are pressured to keep portions small as a cost-saving measure. Though Chipotle reps have said the company has made no changes to its portion sizes, it has raised prices – six times since 2021, according to the Wall Street Journal. But while fans like to complain, many of them will not quit the chain.

Another factor at play: Chipotle restaurants are struggling to staff up amid a nationwide staffing shortage. (Last year, the company said it was seeking to to hire 15,000 more people in North America.) If Chipotle stores run out of a protein, Dora-Laskey said, it can take “quite a while” for staff to make more if too few people are scheduled for a shift.

“Once you run out of chicken or whatever meat a customer asks for, it may be 20 to 40 minutes until you get more, which means there will be a lot of angry customers,” she said. “So you’re probably going to do your best to give them as little of a serving as possible.”

Dora-Laskey works at the only organized Chipotle, where in 2022 employees voted 11-3 in favor of creating a union under the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. They said a union was necessary to combat understaffing, irregular scheduling and low wages. (A Chipotle spokesperson wrote in a statement to Marketplace that she was “disappointed” with the union win.)

On Reddit, one user who claimed to work on the line at Chipotle wrote that though they sympathized with customers who feel cheated, it was disrespectful to film a low-wage worker just trying to get through another shift. “Please stop shoving phones in our face,” they wrote. “Chipotle gets so much free publicity off of this and it makes us employees who are there to make a livable wage to feed our families seem like literal zoo animals behind glass that make bowls until our backs and wrists are gone.”

The fact that the Chipotle social media frenzy took off at all means, in Dora-Laskey’s eyes, “there’s a real interest in placing blame on crew members, whether that’s coming from random TikTokers or the CEO”. Any frustration would be better directed toward the top, she believes, especially as the chain made $9.9bn in revenue last year and continues to open stores in both major cities and smaller towns. (The average Chipotle counter worker makes $17 an hour, according to the company.)

Dora-Laskey said that if someone asks for a larger portion – and they’re not filming her – she’ll give them another half scoop. Anything more costs extra, and those are set rules she has to follow because it’s her job.

Last year, Chipotle debuted a “cobotic” (collaborative robot) that can make bowls and salads. In July, CEO Niccol told investors that the machine would hit restaurants “in the next 12 to 18 months”. According to Business Insider, it can make up to 180 bowls an hour – six times more than a human.

TikTokers take note: you can’t tell a machine to give you more protein. As Dora-Laskey put it: “A lot of customers who are getting served by a robot will finally experience, for the first time, what official Chipotle serving sizes are supposed to be.”

This is one of those stories that makes me consider that, perhaps banning TikTok wouldn't be a bad thing.

I'd actually heard about this a week or two ago, and I was at Chipotle recently, waiting in line and idly browsing Instagram while I waited and ordered, and I didn't realize until I was getting rung up I had my phone out. I wanted to be like "I'M NOT DOING THAT THING I SWEAR"

That Chipotle story is another reminder that I am not from this generation. The overuse (IMHO) of cell phones just doesn't compute with me.

Chipotle took away the option to add double meat on tacos (at least through the app and delivery services, not sure about in-person). Just let me pay for double meat on my tacos!

It's enduring appeal is amusing to me. I've always viewed it as basically a half-step above McDonalds, and the quality of my burrito is entirely based on the mood of my server.

Like, I'll eat it in a pinch, but if I'm not desperate or in a rush, I'd rather spend the extra $3-5 and go to any of the much better options.

Some of us have to contend with few such options.

We never went to Chipotle when I lived in Austin.

Oh, if you live in Texas or SoCal (especially LA), going to Chipotle should be a misdemeanor.

Full disclosure: I have little habit of watching all the cheating videos on youtube.
One of the biggest take aways of this is I am so glad I did not have to try dating with cel phones and social media. I was so shy and it was hard enough back then.

But now you have to worry about all the different avenues for betrayal and miscommunication when you are trying to establish trust. Sure attraction takes center stage, but that does not mean trust is any less important in the short and long term.

Also, all these avenues for unfaithfulness are recorded and easier to uncover. But that only seems to make the experience more neurotic before, during AND after the relationship.

Morbidly, I wish there was a way to buy stock in divorce/family attorneys...

One of the big Musk fans on Twitter was arguing that removing likes would "save marriages," because Elon and his supporters are some of the most profoundly divorced men on earth.

Then again, a lot of people were decrying the change because they couldn't spend all of that time trawling through someone's social media presence, and I'm just weirded out because I don't think I have spent more than 60 seconds in my entire life trawling the likes of someone's social media account.

Ah, the underpants gnomes of relationships:

1: Allow people to better hide their infidelity
2: ??