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Pop Loser No. 113


Pop Loser

July 13 · Issue #113 · View online

A newsletter of innumerable confusions and a profound feeling of despair collected and written by @poploser.

On this week’s fairly impressive Twitter purge:
“That Twitter could ban 1 million accounts per day for several months, with no end in sight, suggests that the obstacle is no longer just a lack of will or resources. Rather, the problem is structural: No matter how many accounts Twitter suspends, the people creating them can always make more. They create and control them via automated systems that work faster than any human moderator can. In response, Twitter has its own automated systems working to identify and suspend fake accounts. It’s like the world’s largest whack-a-mole game.”
About a year and a half ago I bought 1,000 Twitter followed from a Russian website for $8. In the time since, about 150 of those accounts have been shut down. I waited for the great Twitter purge yesterday—part of an ongoing initiative to kill the bots and puppets—curious how many of the remaining fakes in my followers would get torched. Twitter says they are very serious about this, to the point where their own user growth and stock price is taking a hit. Knowing this and also how they say a lot of things but are generally bad at execution, I estimated I’d lose 150–200 followers in the purge.
“While Twitter declined to provide an exact number of affected users, the company said it would strip tens of millions of questionable accounts from users’ followers. The move would reduce the total combined follower count on Twitter by about 6 percent — a substantial drop.”
Total purchased followers purged from my account: 189. So, you know, still some work to do, but not a bad start. 

Of all the baes in all the planes in all the world, why why why? The plane bae thing is very 2018, as is the backlash. It’s fame in the most modern way. And if you sit near me anywhere, never, ever do this. “None of this was her doing, her choice. No one asked her if she had any reservations or concerns about being made part of a modern romantic comedy. All she did was board a plane and chat with her seatmate. Now she is a public figure, a hashtag, a target. Millions of strangers on the internet want to know about her new fictional relationship. No one understands why she is so afraid. Or maybe she isn’t afraid. How could I know? I don’t know this woman either.”
The present of TV. More on Netflixonomics. “The company doesn’t want to be a leader in video, or even the leader in video – it wants to monopolize the consumption of video; to become TV. This ambition has several important consequences, especially relating to the company’s spend.” Like I said last week, Netflix already is TV.
A decade of decadence. The App Store is 10 and Apple decided to fête/fellate itself. “While there have been many notable moments since apps first came to iPhone and later iPad, the milestones and testimonials below reflect some of the most significant over the past 10 years — defining how the App Store democratized software distribution and transformed how we live every day.” Strangely, there is no mention that we’re all dopamine-addled anti-socials now.
The book of faces. On Facebook and facial recognition, which is as horrifying as it sounds. “Facebook’s push to spread facial recognition also puts the company at the center of a broader and intensifying debate about how the powerful technology should be handled. The technology can be used to remotely identify people by name without their knowledge or consent. While proponents view it as a high-tech tool to catch criminals, civil liberties experts warn it could enable a mass surveillance system.”
Reminder: The Juggalos are spared. 
Gawker? I hardly know her. Want to buy the Onion and all the not-Gawker parts of Gawker? You can probably get them cheap. “Univision (UCI) "determined that pursuing a sale of GMG and The Onion collectively will allow UCI to focus on its core assets and further strengthen UCI’s position as the No. 1 media company serving US Hispanics, while enabling both GMG and The Onion even greater opportunities to grow under new ownership,” the company wrote in a Tuesday statement. This announcement of a “potential sale” comes with the caveat that a transaction may not take place.“
99% Invisible looks at the Interrobang
🧠 I did poorly at Font Memory Game
🇺🇸 “This is America” on a Macintosh SE. 
📻 Internet radio ad blocker
📸 The legend of Weed Toque Girl, an editorial stock photo story. 
What pad? Here’s the latest thing breaking business models that you’re too old to understand: Wattpad. “To wit: the success of The Kissing Booth, a 2011 story turned book series written by then 15-year-old Beth Reekles that was read 19 million times on Wattpad before being adapted into an original film by Netflix. In May, the dismally reviewed movie exploded across popular culture, ranking on IMDb as the fourth most popular film in the country, subjected to numerous published “explainers” and touted by Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos, in an interview with Vulture, as "one of the most-watched movies in the country, and maybe the world.”
Still tastes like feet. I enjoy the idea of Sriracha more than I enjoy actual Sriracha. “Sriracha hot sauce, made by Huy Fong Foods, which Tran founded 33 years ago in Los Angeles, is one of the coolest brands in town. There are entire cookbooks written to celebrate Sriracha’s versatility; memorabilia ranging from iPhone covers to t-shirts and all sorts of other swag; a documentary in the works to chronicle its rise; and innumerable imitators. Sriracha sales last year reached some 20 million bottles to the tune of $60 million dollars, percentage sales growth is in the double digits each year, and it does all this without spending a cent on advertising.”
Peterson’s Complaint
Welcome To The Highly Probable World of Improbability
Bobcat Goldthwait Has Moved On. Why Can’t We Catch Up?
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