While You Were Offline: The Media Crucified Yolo Minneapolis. Very Unfair! Sad!

It’s not every day scientists discover seven new Earth-sized planets, but that definitely happened this week—and it wasn’t even the biggest deal to hit the world’s social feeds. The internet also showed online troll Milo Yiannopoulos the door. President Donald Trump continued his assault on the media at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Oh, and the administration withdrew federal protections for transgender students to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity in public schools. In all, it was a big week—things might have slipped through the cracks. Here, as always, are the important bits you might have missed on the world wide web.

The Sweded Version of Events

What Happened: The White House’s war on terror persisted with President Trump referring to an attack abroad that… never actually happened?
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: Continuing reality’s current trend of living just beyond parody or satire, last weekend Trump made reference to what sounded like a terror attack in Sweden. “You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden,” he yelled during a speech about taking in immigrants. “Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.” The thing is, nothing bad had happened in Sweden the night before, as pointed out gently by none other than the country’s former prime minister:

 

Others on Twitter were equally confused:

 

 

 

 

The, let’s be generous and call it a gaffe, was course up by a concerned media, while Sweden itself expressed curiosity about what was going on:

 

Apparently Trump was speaking about something he’d seen on Fox News the night before…

 

…but even that turned out to be less than real since the Swedish cops interviewed for the piece later their comments had been edited out of context and didn’t actually support what Fox was reporting.

To complicate matters, in Sweden days after Trump’s comments, a fact seized upon by the right wing to suggest that was , albeit preemptively.

During all of this, the official Twitter account of Sweden—something that is given to a different regular Swedish citizen every week—tried to deal with what was going on in a wonderfully laconic manner:

 

 

This week’s owner of the account was 22-year-old Max Karlsson, who as a result.
The Takeaway: If only there was a pithy way to connect this to other fictional terror attacks claimed by the Trump administration…

 

Yolo, Milo. Yolo

What Happened: It’s been quite a week for Breitbart’s former tech editor.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: Milo Yiannopoulos has had a helluva week. Following what some thought was a triumphant appearance on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, the journalist and professional troll went on to have a spectacularly bad week after old interview footage in which he appeared to condone relationships between adults and children surfaced. Soon after the video began to circulate, CPAC cancelled his speaking gig at the conference and publisher Simon & Schuster announced it would no longer be releasing his book, Dangerous. Soon thereafter, Yiannopoulos resigned from Breitbart.

Seriously, think about that; he became so radioactive that it seemed best to quit a site known for its bigotry and paranoia. At a press conference midweek, Yiannopoulos said he planned to find a new publisher for his book and launch a self-owned media venture to capitalize on his newfound notoriety.

In one of the funniest responses to the entire thing, Twitter collectively decided to rename Yiannopoulos, robbing him of vanity searches.

 

 

 

 

Of course, some people had to ask the obvious question:

 

 

The answer appears to be Twitter user @EmperorCaddick, who has the earliest mention of the term we could find, way back in February 2016, made directly to Yiannopolous himself before he was banned from Twitter:

 

The Takeaway: Won’t someone please think of the real Minneapolis in all of this?

 

WaPo’s Trek Into Darkness

What Happened: The Washington Post has a new slogan. The response has been well, mixed.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: Earlier this week, the Washington Post quietly unveiled a new slogan on its masthead, although not so quietly that the rest of the media failed to notice. Twitter, too, caught the new tagline:

 

 

 

 

Not everyone was on board with it, however.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then there were the Trump fans, who—of course!—took the new slogan as a personal affront to their beloved leader and America as a whole:

 

 

Agreement on slogans dies on social media, that’s for sure.
The Takeaway: It’s not just the Post that’s offering this kind of warning; the New York Times is launching a new ad campaign about the need to promote truth above all these days. What’s next?

 

#ProtectTransKids

What Happened: As the government lifted guidance protecting trans kids in schools, the internet decided to step in to remind those kids that they’re not alone.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: This week, the Trump administration reversed guidance to public schools on allowing transgender students to use the bathroom that reflects who they are.

It was a decision immediately picked up by the media. But even though the administration isn’t looking out for trans kids, the internet is. Almost as soon as the news broke, #ProtectTransKids began trending across Twitter and other platforms:

 

 

 

 

 

At the same time—and perhaps emboldened by the support for the topic on social media—the very, very small overlap between trans activists and Trump supporters started speaking out about the subject, asking the president to change his mind:

 

 

A lost cause? Well, maybe not. After all, it’s recently emerged that the administration might go back on changes to the National Security Council because it had made them by mistake. So maybe!

The Takeaway: OK, this might be the best slogan yet.

 

Capture the Flag

What Happened: Sometimes, you have to take a stand against bigotry. Other times, a running jump is the better option.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: On the one hand, this is just fine even without the backstory, so let’s start fresh and just enjoy:

 

It’s just as good from a different angle:

 

Seriously. Wasn’t that refreshing? Let’s go to the people and see what they thought:

 

 

 

 

 

So here’s the backstory: the hero in question is Muhiyidin Elamin Moye, an activist and Black Lives Matter leader, and he’s grabbing a Confederate flag from a protestor outside an appearance by activist Bree Newsome at the College of Charleston. There’s more than a little irony here; Newsome, of course, came to national attention in 2015 for removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state house grounds.

Moye’s actions quickly got up by media after going viral. The media attention also drew hundreds of people to a crowdfunding campaign created to help cover Moye’s legal fees.

 

It might not be the system working as it’s supposed to, but it’s definitely a system working right. Good job, internet.
The Takeaway: You know what? Let’s just watch this again.

 

Damn.

Read more: https://www.wired.com/2017/02/internet-week-108/

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