#WitchTok is casting spells on the sun and moon, influencers are receiving backlash for partying, users on TikTok are celebrating the kickoff of Comic-Con@Home, and Taylor Swift dropped a surprise album in quarantine—all that and more viral news and stories to keep you in the loop this week!
This week, “baby witches” (yes, witches) on “Witch TikTok” (or #WitchTok, which has 2.2 billion views) have been casting spells and “hexing the moon” as well as “the fae” (fairies, in case you didn’t know), and now allegedly the sun. User @heyyadoraa shared a thread, which has 37.7K retweets and comments and 116.8K likes, to clarify and breakdown what exactly is going on. She explains, “after hexing the fae, this group of newbie witches decided to hex the moon. yeah. the planet. the moon. they hexed it. WHY DOES THIS MATTER? well, for witches, the moon is integral to our work. most notably, it fuels spells and provides power. obviously you shouldnt ???? disrespect the moon??” She ended her thread by asking followers if they don’t believe in what witches do to “not disrespect what is happening to those of us who believe right now.” Meanwhile, the hashtag #hexthemoon has over a million views, so if nothing else, people are certainly interested in the supernatural scandal. While nothing bad has seemingly happened to the sun or moon so far, other witches aren’t too happy about the “hexing,” urging the “baby witches” to mind their business—and other users have weighed in on the situation. Former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, tweeted (in a now deleted post): “That’s got to be some really drunk or stoned #babywitches if they think that in the midst of a #secretpolice invasion of Portland the best they can do is hex the MOON.” Previously, witches on the app came together to hex cops during the Black Lives Matter protests in a move to troll their enemies. And WitchTok isn’t the only niche subculture getting recent attention on the internet: TikTok cults and “Elite TikTok” are just a few of the groups that have been thriving during the pandemic.
At the start of the pandemic, some influencers were criticized for fleeing their cities—and now, a handful of them are getting called out for throwing and attending house parties while COVID is still a major threat. The infamous Jake Paul threw a “massive” party at his mansion in Casablancas last week, amid rising cases in California, with partygoers sans masks seen crowding in his living room in videos shared on social media. Alicia Weintraub, the mayor of Casablancas, and the rest of the community are “furious” at Paul. “It’s a big huge disregard for everything that everybody is trying to do to get things back to functioning,” Weintraub said in a statement. Meanwhile, Hype House member Larri “Larray” Merritt threw a surprise birthday party this week. Popular influencers like James Charles and Tana Mongeau were spotted at the same crowded party, while Charli and Dixie D’Amelio were invited. And according to videos circulating on the web, no one was wearing masks. YouTuber Tyler Oakley wasn’t having any of it. On Twitter, in a post that got 6.3K retweets and comments, and 56K likes, he wrote: “if your favorite influencers are at huge house parties during a pandemic (& are dumb enough to post it on social media… they are bad influences. unfollow them.” And in a follow-up post that gained even more attention, he specifically called out each influencer, tagging their handles and writing: “please consider social distancing, mask wearing, & using your huge platforms to encourage responsibility during a worldwide pandemic.” A few hours later, Merritt replied to the post with the comment: “i understand 100% where ur coming from & it was a dumb thing to do. I will do better & will actually take this shit seriously.” Since the outbreak started, doctors and public health experts have been stating and urging influencers and celebrities to use their large platforms to help “stop the spread of [the] virus.”
Since March, major events and festivals have been cancelled, and not even one of the world’s biggest conventions was immune. This week, Comic-Con@Home began after the convention announced in April they would be officially cancelling the in-person gathering in San Diego, which typically draws thousands of fans each year to meet celebrities and preview some of the year’s most anticipated upcoming releases in the entertainment and comic book industry, due to COVID-19. This year, the organization took a different approach, hosting all panels virtually to stream on YouTube. They will be free to attend, as opposed to the usual $47-$69 price tag. However, despite no physical event this year, that hasn’t stopped creators and fans from finding other creative ways to stay connected online with other attendees. On TikTok, users are using the #tiktokfanfest hashtag, which has 1 billion views, to share how they’re celebrating at home, showing off their work, or display their costumes (the convention after all hasn’t cancelled it’s costume contest portion and has made that virtual as well). Other hashtags like #comiccon, #comicconathome, #bestcosplay, and #fanart has accrued thousands and millions of views. On Instagram, users have used the hashtag #ComicConAtHomeCosplay to start a cosplay challenge. Despite the initial disappointment from many attendees who were looking forward to experiencing the convention in person, many expressed their concerns and understanding of taking the pandemic seriously. YPulse found that while plenty of young consumers are eager to return to large gatherings, a majority of them won’t want to go back until social distancing and restrictions are taken away, or a vaccine is readily available. And since the start of the outbreak, virtual events and live content have been surging in popularity. Some fans have even looked for the silver lining for attending Comic Con virtually this year: for instance, not having to worry about long lines, or others who weren’t able to attend in the past due to finances now have access.
On Thursday morning, Taylor Swift announced on Instagram (in a post that has received more than 2 million likes) and her other social channels that she was dropping a music video for “folklore,” a surprise album that she wrote, directed, and produced with some help from Bon Iver and The National’s Aaron Dessner, in quarantine. In another Instagram post (that also garnered more than 2 million likes) announcing the music video for “cardigan,” Swift pointed out that the show was “overseen by a medical inspector” and everyone wore masks, socially distanced, and that she even did her own hair, makeup, and styling. Other celebrities and artists, like Lil Nas X, shared their excitement and support for her ahead of the release. Already, the official music video for “cardigan” has 6.6 million views and is #2 on YouTube’s trending content—and fans “really, really” love the album. In a continued effort to stay relevant with her Gen Z fan base, Swift launched a “folklore” AR filter on Instagram, and merch to promote the album. Specifically, she’s selling an actual cardigan to promote her song of the same name. More so, Swift’s album art and music video is laden with a cottagecore aesthetic, a fashion trend that Gen Z has heavily leaned into during the pandemic as a form of escapism. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Swift’s album has already received so much attention: she’s been the top pick among Gen Z and Millennials for musicians who best represent their generation for sometime now and earlier this year, she went viral for her Miss Americana on Netflix. During COVID, artists have been reaching fans through livestreaming concerts and promoting their music on social platforms in-lieu of tours.
Baseball is back! And sports fans on TikTok are using the MLB’s hashtag #playball to show how they’re celebrating the start of the season.
Other sports fans on the app are using the #tokyoolympics hashtag to show how they’re getting into the “Olympic spirit” for next summer’s big event.
Some TikTokers turned this Absofacto song into a “creepy meme,” but other users took it back.
Other TikTok users have made Lily Allen’s 2000s hit “Smile” go viral for a new dance trend.
This duo in TikTok has created the “most Gen Z love story” ever.
It’s One Direction’s 10 year anniversary—and of course, fans are celebrating and feeling the nostalgia.
This teen started a petition to remove Trader Joe’s “racist packaging” and its prompted action.
Football players on Twitter are using the hashtag #WeWantToPlay to call for transparency from the NFL about the upcoming season.
Christopher Nolan’s Tenet may be delayed indefinitely—but that hasn’t stopped users on social media from turning the upcoming movie into a meme.
Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty has pledged millions of dollars to go toward mental health causes.
Khloe Kardashian is getting called out by a fashion designer for allegedly reselling a “loaned” dress on her clothing site.