There’s a lot happening on social media, more than any one person can safely keep up with. Do you need to know about it? In Hall Monitor, we provide you with a digest to help you make up your mind.
Challenge watch: #SaltCheck
Thanks to short-form video-sharing platforms, the rest of the world probably thinks Americans spend all their free time staring in kitchen pantries, wondering: “How much of this can I shove in my mouth?” We did it with Tide Pods, we did it with food colouring, and now, with #saltcheck, we’re doing it with straight-up table salt.
Can chugging salt like a cold one kill you? Yes. According to a 2017 study of salt-related fatalities published in the scientific journal Nutrients, at least four adults have died from eating less than 25 grams of sodium, equivalent to four tablespoons of salt. (That paper, for the record, was inspired by the #Salt4Syria awareness campaign.) And here’s Poison.org’s description of how sodium can violently rupture your insides, reducing your brain to a foaming slug:
When there’s too much sodium in the bloodstream, water rushes out of our cells to dilute it. That’s damaging to most cells; it’s devastating to brain cells. As they shrink, they’re torn away from their usual locations. Torn blood vessels and fluid build-up in the brain cause seizures and coma. Fluid can build up in the lungs, causing trouble breathing. Other symptoms include intense thirst, nausea, vomiting, and weakness. Kidney damage also occurs.
Sentence: Immediate expulsion.
News from abroad: According to Vice, thin people on the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo are balancing lipstick upright on their shelflike collarbones. This was reportedly prompted by actress Chen Shu’s ominous memo: “Join me in this challenge.”
Sentence: 4o-minute timeout.
In creative endeavours, TikTokers have set out to demonstrate how much money Jeff Bezos has using a mountain of rice, 88,000 McChickens, the metric of Lamborghinis-earned-per-minute, and the seconds in a TikTok video. Here are a few more, if you’re curious.
Sentence: 10 points extra credit.
For my fellow conspiracy dogs feverishly sniffing for intel on the Bloomberg campaign’s elaborate, coordinated meme blast, meme lord Tank.Sinatra dropped some clues last month on his Think Tank Podcast. Speaking with fellow memer Adam the Creator, he said, “Here’s why I did it personally: because he paid me.” Oh.
They agreed that the backlash was fierce. They also agreed that people are stupid. They further agreed that Tank’s first Bloomberg meme was “a banger,” engagement-wise.
Adam the Creator concluded that Bloomberg memes are good for memes in general. “We’re fucking validating memes as an actual political tool, which is the highest order of messaging,” he said. “I feel like it’s the new beginning for [memers’] art form.”
The political memes, it seems, will only continue.
On a related note, Tank Sinatra has been dubbed relevant by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their @sussexroyal Instagram account, the balcony from which they announce big news. “GREETINGS, SUBJECTS!” they wrote, in a caption, to promote Tank Sinatra’s uplifting meme account:
Happy 1st of March everyone!
This month, we continue on the good news path and are pleased to be following @TanksGoodNews, as a reminder of all the good that is happening in the world. We hope it uplifts and inspires you!
Earlier this year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex used that same account to share the Queen’s statement of support for their decision to relinquish their royal titles and ascend to a higher plane of nobility as Influencers, a changeover which will take place in approximately 28 days.
What a time to be alive.
The TikTok Death Tracker exists. Someone, presumably in Pakistan where the page was registered, has counted 41 TikTok-related deaths and 13 TikTok-related injuries as of this writing. The list includes a report from Karachi-based ARY News of a boy self-immolating after his father refused to let him make TikToks. [TikTok Death Tracker]
Indian media is reporting that an 18-year-old died diving headfirst into a shallow river for a TikTok video. You’ve been warned. [Times of India.]
The skullbreaker challenge, a viral prank where the target is tripped in mid-air, has claimed another victim. Mother Jane Platt has posted an image of her daughter with a neck brace captioned “Please please if you have teenagers doing TICTOCS DO NOT GET THEM INVOLVED IN THIS. I’m sitting in A&E with my daughter with a severe spinal injury.” In the most recent comment, Platt reported that her daughter is “on the mend.” [Facebook]
The skullbreaker challenge has escalated to criminal proceedings. Two minors in New Jersey have been charged with third-degree aggravated assault and third-degree endangering an injured victim after sending a 13-year-old to the hospital with a concussion. [WPVI-TV, Philadelphia]
Twitter would have you believe that public fucking has been cancelled in the town of Chesham in England due to the coronavirus. Sadly, the “dogging” organisation that made this announcement appears to be a parody account.