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“Couch Guy” Slams Internet for “Gaslighting” After Viral TikTok of Girlfriend’s Surprise Visit

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“Not everything is true crime,” he warned after critics analyzed his behavior in a TikTok that has been viewed more than 53 million times.


Suprise Goes Viral

A TikTok post that shows a girl surprising her boyfriend at college went viral after viewers accused the boyfriend of displaying several “red flags” in the clip.

The original video, which earned more than 53 million views as of Monday, was posted by TikTok user Lauren Zarras, who identified her boyfriend as Robbie in the post’s caption.

Since it was uploaded on Sept. 21, the post has received thousands of comments from people analyzing Robbie’s behavior in it. For example, some took issue with his reaction to seeing Zarras, saying he wasn’t very enthusiastic.

Comments under the original TikTok post.

Others argued that it looked as if a different woman sitting next to Robbie on the couch had secretly handed him his phone back when Zarras suddenly entered the room.

The claims didn’t just appear in comments. Some users actually slowed the video down in their own posts while giving commentary on what they think happened. Most of these posts can be found under the hashtag “Couch Guy,” a nickname used to refer to Robbie.

“Look at the beginning here. It looks like her hand is on his back. It looks like a thumb and maybe a finger,” TikTok user heyitspham said in her own upload.

“And then she scoots over not once but twice,” she added.

“Rewind. You can see the phone in her hand, right there,” TikToker Kim Castro explained in her slow-motion analysis. “You can see the case, right there.”

Some have even made parodies of the original surprise video, suggesting that they too believe Robbie was cheating or at least unhappy to see his girlfriend.

@gabriellekraus

That’s some Robbie behavior right there… #couchguy

♬ still falling for you – audiobear

Couple Responds

Zarras has repeatedly defended their relationship in the comments section of her TikTok.

“Breaks my heart that people can watch a special moment and bring so much negativity,” she wrote at one point. “Please think before you assume anything about my relationship.

“As for the phone comment,” she continued, “his phone was in his lap…thanks for the concerns though! and no I’m not in denial.”

Zarras later posted her own slowed-down version of the original video, arguing that it does show the phone in Robbie’s lap.

@laurenzarras

Reply to @jizzzlleeh love y’all 😘

♬ original sound – laurenzarras

In that upload, she also stressed that she knows all the girls who were in the room, that she’s happy in her relationship, and doesn’t understand why people are making so many assumptions.

Robbie has similarly addressed the rumors in his own TikTok posts.

“Not everything is true crime,” he wrote. “Don’t be a parasocial creep. Get some fresh air. Take Care.”

When people accused him of gaslighting in his response, he asked if people even knew what the term meant.

“‘Gaslighting’ is a term for when someone leads you to question your own reality/ sanity,” he wrote in a follow-up TikTok.

He then asked if people could tell which of the following two scenarios is gaslighting and which one is not.

“Are you being gaslit if…someone on the internet tells you to get some fresh air after you scrutinize their private life? OR Are you being gaslit if…thousands of strangers call you delusional for claiming to know your own relationship better than they do.”

That post still hasn’t earned him many favorable replies.

Responses under Robbie’s TikTok post on gaslighting.

As of now, it seems like Robbie and Lauren are focused on moving forward with their long-distance romance, regardless of all the rumors and continued criticism.

See what others are saying: (CNET)(Heavy)(Dexerto)

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Schools Across the U.S. Cancel Classes Friday Over Unverified TikTok Threat

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Officials in multiple states said they haven’t found any credible threats but are taking additional precautions out of an abundance of safety.


School Cancelled

Schools in no fewer than 10 states either canceled classes or increased their police presence on Friday after a series of TikToks warned of imminent shooting and bombs threats.

Despite that, officials said they found little evidence to suggest the threats are credible. It’s possible no real threat was actually ever made as it’s unclear if the supposed threats originated on TikTok, another social media platform, or elsewhere. 

“We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we’re working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok,” TikTok’s Communications team tweeted Thursday afternoon. 

Still, given the uptick of school shootings in the U.S. in recent years, many school districts across the country decided to respond to the rumors. According to The Verge, some districts in California, Minnesota, Missouri, and Texas shut down Friday. 

“Based on law enforcement interviews, Little Falls Community Schools was specifically identified in a TikTok post related to this threat,” one school district in Minnesota said in a letter Thursday. “In conversations with local law enforcement, the origins of this threat remain unknown. Therefore, school throughout the district is canceled tomorrow, Friday, December 17.”

In Gilroy, California, one high school that closed its doors Friday said it would reschedule final exams that were expected to take place the same day to January.

According to the Associated Press, several other districts in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania stationed more police officers at their schools Friday.

Viral Misinformation or Legitimate Warnings?

As The Verge notes, “The reports of threats on TikTok may be self-perpetuating.”

For example, many of the videos online may have been created in response to initial warnings as more people hopped onto the trend. Amid school cancellations, videos have continued to sprout up — many awash with both rumors and factual information.

 “I’m scared off my ass, what do I do???”  one TikTok user said in a now-deleted video, according to People. 

“The post is vague and not directed at a specific school, and is circulating around school districts across the country,” Chicago Public Schools said in a letter, though it did not identify any specific post. “Please do not re-share any suspicious or concerning posts on social media.”

According to Dr. Amy Klinger, the director of programs for the nonprofit Educator’s School Safety Network, “This is not 2021 phenomenon.”

Instead, she told The Today Show that her network has been tracking school shooting threats since 2013, and she noted that in recent years, they’ve become more prominent on social media. 

“It’s not just somebody in a classroom of 15 people hearing someone make a threat,” she said. “It’s 15,000 people on social media, because it gets passed around and it becomes larger and larger and larger.”

See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Associated Press) (People)

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Jake Paul Says He “Can’t Get Cancelled” as a Boxer

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The controversial YouTuber opened up about what it has been like to go from online fame to professional boxing.


The New Yorker Profiles Jake Paul

YouTuber and boxer Jake Paul talked about his career switch, reputation, and cancel culture in a profile published Monday in The New Yorker. 

While Paul rose to fame as the Internet’s troublemaker, he now spends most of his time in the ring. He told the outlet that one difference between YouTube and boxing is that his often controversial reputation lends better to his new career. 

“One thing that is great about being a fighter is, like, you can’t get cancelled,” Paul said. The profile noted that the sport often rewards and even encourages some degree of bad behavior.

“I’m not a saint,” Paul later continued. “I’m also not a bad guy, but I can very easily play the role.”

Paul also said the other difference between his time online and his time in boxing is the level of work. While he says he trains hard, he confessed that there was something more challenging about making regular YouTube content. 

“Being an influencer was almost harder than being a boxer,” he told The New Yorker. “You wake up in the morning and you’re, like, Damn, I have to create fifteen minutes of amazing content, and I have twelve hours of sunlight.”

Jake Paul Vs. Tommy Fury

The New Yorker profile came just after it was announced over the weekend Paul will be fighting boxer Tommy Fury in an 8-round cruiserweight fight on Showtime in December. 

“It’s time to kiss ur last name and ur family’s boxing legacy goodbye,” Paul tweeted. “DEC 18th I’m changing this wankers name to Tommy Fumbles and celebrating with Tom Brady.”

Both Paul and Fury are undefeated, according to ESPN. Like Paul, Fury has found fame outside of the sport. He has become a reality TV star in the U.K. after appearing on the hit show “Love Island.”

See what others are saying: (The New Yorker) (Dexerto) (ESPN)

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Hackers Hit Twitch Again, This Time Replacing Backgrounds With Image of Jeff Bezos

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The hack appears to be a form of trolling, though it’s possible that the infiltrators were able to uncover a security flaw while reviewing Twitch’s newly-leaked source code.


Bezos Prank

Hackers targeted Twitch for a second time this week, but rather than leaking sensitive information, the infiltrators chose to deface the platform on Friday by swapping multiple background images with a photo of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. 

According to those who saw the replaced images firsthand, the hack appears to have mostly — and possibly only — affected game directory headers. Though the incident appears to be nothing more than a surface-level prank, as Amazon owns Twitch, it could potentially signal greater security flaws. 

For example, it’s possible the hackers could have used leaked internal security data from earlier this week to discover a network vulnerability and sneak into the platform. 

The latest jab at the platforms came after Twitch assured its users it has seen “no indication” that their login credentials were stolen during the first hack. Still, concerns have remained regarding the potential for others to now spot cracks in Twitch’s security systems.

It’s also possible the Bezos hack resulted from what’s known as “cache poisoning,” which, in this case, would refer to a more limited form of hacking that allowed the infiltrators to manipulate similar images all at once. If true, the hackers likely would not have been able to access Twitch’s back end. 

The photo changes only lasted several hours before being returned to their previous conditions. 

First Twitch Hack 

Despite suspicions and concerns, it’s unclear whether the Bezos hack is related to the major leak of Twitch’s internal data that was posted to 4chan on Wednesday.

That leak exposed Twitch’s full source code — including its security tools — as well as data on how much Twitch has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019. 

It also revealed Amazon’s at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library, codenamed Vapor, which would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.

Even though Twitch has said its login credentials appear to be secure, it announced Thursday that it has reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Users are still being urged to change their passwords and update or implement two-factor authentication if they haven’t already. 

See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Forbes) (CNET)

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