The current internet explosion centers around Ethan Ralph and his livestream known as the KIllstream. A few weeks back, Ralph did a “Healstream” using the Youtube feature which allows superchats to go directly to a charity of their choice. St Jude’s Children’s Hospital was the recipient. Superchats, for those who haven’t heard of them, are a way for streamers to make money on Youtube. A commenter donates money and the streamer, usually, reads the chat comment on the stream. It makes streams a lot like talk radio with superchat breaks instead of advertisements. These comments range from innocent questions to various repetitions of “kill the Jews 1488” and worse.
The Wall Street Journal decides to do an article about hate and superchats, contacts Ralph for comment, then the next thing you know, all the St Jude’s superchats have been refunded and Ralph has all his channels deleted.
TL;DR has a good run down of the timeline and events surrounding this:
A few sources reporting on this debacle have characterized the Healstream as essentially virtue signalling:
Killstream is known for both its controversial guests and similarly toxic chat. Users have been known to take advantage of YouTube’s Super Chat system to buy and pin toxic messages in the live chat, further defaming the stream’s reputation.
This prompted show host Ethan Ralph to fight back by holding a charity stream to benefit St. Jude’s, a research hospital for children with catastrophic diseases. However, YouTube’s new policy on harmful Super Chats has caused a major rift between Ralph and the platform, as well as the Wall Street Journal – which he is now accusing of taking money away from sick children.
This isn’t exactly accurate. The superchats for charity idea was originally proposed because Sargon of Akkad refused a debate on Ralph’s channel because Ralph would be getting the money for it. Ralph offered to give all the money to charity. Sargon, no doubt because he didn’t want a repeat of the Spencer debate and have someone tell him he’s not as smart as he thinks he is, refused anyway so they had it without him.
Ralph and co. have moved to a different site and promptly crashed it by bringing too much traffic with them.
A funny and seemly harmless meme is driving the SJWs crazy:
How The ‘NPC’ Meme Tries To Dehumanize ‘SJWs’
From time to time, and especially if you’re a fan of science fiction, you may have had the thought that nobody around you is actually real. That sentiment has taken root in anti-progressive parts of the internet as a dehumanizing meme, and it borrows some familiar gaming terminology.
About a month ago, a meme along those lines took root on 4chan and among anti-progressive online communities. It’s called the NPC meme and it goes like this: Out there in the world, there are literal NPCs—the term for non-playable characters in video games—who have no internality whatsoever.
What makes this marginal, stale meme built on edgelord logic worth half a thought is what the idea of an NPC speaks to. NPCs have no agency; NPCs don’t think for themselves; NPCs don’t perceive, process, or understand; NPCs arrive at the same worldview not because it’s authentic to their experiences, but automatically. As a descriptor, it suggests that those to whom it applies aren’t even human, but are rather, functionally, robots, or clusters of computer code. That this has resonated as widely as it has is funny, but also a little scary.
It’s one thing to claim that a person’s strongly-held views are informed by nothing at all, but entirely another to imply that they’re completely on auto-pilot. That is dehumanization, a way of reconceiving your enemies as objects, pawns, strawmen, tools. At best, dismissing large swaths of people you disagree with this way betrays a lack of empathy for people whose experiences differ from yours, and an unwillingness to consider that if a vast number of people happen to agree over something, it may be good to examine why; at best, it is a great utility for spreading bogus conspiracy theories.
Besides an array of related memes, a large number of NPC parody accounts popped up on Twitter, all saying stereotypical NPC things at each other and generally having a good time. Twitter then banned them all. Somebody’s a little peeved it seems?
The results are in! Elizabeth Warren is really really truly an Indian. Like all 1/1024th of her.
The Cherokee Nation is not impressed:
“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “Sovereign tribal nations set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation. Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”
This is some great rhetoric.
The actual state of Britain:
Pizzas must shrink or lose their toppings under Government anti-obesity plan
The measures – due to be announced in spring following consultation with the food industry – are part of targets to reduce calories in every day foods by 20 per cent.
They follow Government pledges to halve rates of childhood obesity by 2030.
Dr Tedstone said it was not enough for restaurants to offer healthy options, saying Britain’s weight problem would only be tackled if the calorie content of most foods was cut.
She told The Telegraph: “It could mean less meat on a pizza, it could mean less cheese, it could mean a smaller size. Consumers are saying they want smaller portions and healthier options.”
“We know that just having healthy options on the menu won’t change the nation’s habits – we need the default option to have fewer calories. The default options for pizzas are margherita and pepperoni pizzas, so we need them to get healthier.”
Officials said the proposals were at an early stage, with discussions in coming months to decide what is “feasible and achievable” before decisions are made.
Under current plans, the limits would not be mandatory, but similar targets for sweet foods – which have seen a 2 per cent fall in sugar, against a target of 5 per cent – have prompted warnings from ministers that tougher steps may be taken.
Ooh, tougher steps. First they take away your toppings, then they’ll say you can’t buy more pizzas to make up for the fact that they’re smaller, then what? Monitor who buys a pizza stone so you can keep people from making them at home? If customers want healthier options, then they can not buy pizza. There. Problem solved.
BetterHelp is an online “counseling” service which has lately attracted some attention due to the shady nature of its services and the big name Youtubers shilling it. And boy does it look shady.
In Ethan Ralph’s discussion of this on the Killstream, it was brought up that Facebook has been talking about using people’s emotional states when it comes to advertising (but sharing this with advertisers has nothing to do with manipulating people, says Facebook) which might give us an idea of where BetterHelp is selling all that info it’s getting on its users.
What better way to make money than by preying on mentally ill and depressed people?
Razorfist has the thing or two to say about the proceedings (NSFW).