Elon Musk Can't Stop Stealing Content

The billionaire has been posting content creators’ work without credit. Some are frustrated; others, simply puzzled.

Elon is one of the richest men on earth stealing other people’s content without credit or payment in order to build a cult of personality which he can then monetize through various business endeavors.

I wrote about the Elon meme thievery and what it says about the creator ecosystem.

READ MORE: Elon Musk: Memelord or Meme Lifter?

Mr. Beast Wants to Take Over the Business World

Jimmy Donaldson, 22, is out to become the Elon Musk of online creators.

Jimmy Donaldson, 22, a YouTube megastar better known as Mr. Beast, operates six YouTube channels with names like MrBeast,MrBeast Shorts and Beast Reacts that together have 91 million subscribers. People have viewed his videos more than 13 billion times. And last year as the pandemic raged, he became the most-subscribed YouTube creator in the country.

But unlike other YouTubers who have been satisfied with social media success, Mr. Donaldson wants more.

“I really want to be Elon one day,” he wrote last year on Twitter, referring to Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX and one of the world’s richest people. Mr. Donaldson later listed Mr. Musk as his “dream collaborator.”

Mr. Beast has successfully built a massive cult of personality and huge fan base of many extremely young children. He is the most followed YouTuber in the US and wants to take over the business world, but things have been rocky.

I spoke to 11 former Mr. Beast employees and business associates. Many said the working conditions at his companies was “toxic” and it was far from the positive image depicted on screen.

READ MORE: Mr. Beast Wants to Take Over the Business World

Digital Horses Are the Talk of the Crypto World

Horse racing meet NFT mania on Zed Run, a digital platform where some top steeds are fetching six-figure sums.

On Zed Run, a digital horse racing platform, several such events take place every hour, seven days a week. Owners pay modest entry fees — usually between $2 and $15 — to run their steeds against others for prize money.

The horses in these online races are NFTs, or “nonfungible tokens,” meaning they exist only as digital assets. People — most of them crypto enthusiasts — are rushing to snap up the digital horses, which arrive on Zed Run’s site as limited-edition drops; some of them have fetched higher sums than living steeds. One player sold a stable full of digital racehorses for $252,000. Another got $125,000 for a single racehorse. So far, more than 11,000 digital horses have been sold on the platform.

Unlike the vast majority of NFTs — which correspond to GIFs, images and videos that can be kept as collectibles or sold for profit — each digital horse constitutes what Zed Run’s creators call a “breathing NFT.”

“A breathing NFT is one that has its own unique DNA,” said Roman Tirone, the head of partnerships at Virtually Human, the Australian studio that created Zed Run. “It can breed, has a bloodline, has a life of its own. It races, it has genes it passes on, and it lives on an algorithm so no two horses are the same.”

READ MORE: Digital Horses Are the Talk of the Crypto World

Jake Paul Promised Them Fame. Was It Worth the Price?

A look behind the scenes at life in the Team 10 house.

I have a big story out this week that I spent the past month reporting. I interviewed former Team 10 members, staff, and many creators who lived with and interacted with Jake Paul. They allege bullying, harassment, and exploitation. Two women allege sexual misconduct.

One member of Jake Paul's Team 10 house was just 14 years old when he moved in. His experience as a teenage creator is a cautionary tale for anyone with kids seeking to enter the creator industry.

READ MORE: Jake Paul Promised Them Fame. Was It Worth the Price?

The Inside Story of "All Gas No Brakes"

Andrew Callaghan, 23, built a following with his YouTube series “All Gas No Brakes.” This month, he announced that he’d left the show. Here’s what happened.

Andrew Callaghan, 23, produced some of the most fearless and unique reporting on YouTube last year with his show “All Gas No Brakes.” He composed, empathetic, entertaining pieces of journalism through his on the ground interviews at events like Burning Man, the Area 51 raid, a Flat Earth conference and a furry festival. As the Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality protests kicked off last summer, Andrew became the go-to news source for millions of young people online.

Then, his show went dark.

For this feature on All Gas No Brakes I got details of the contract dispute and the behind the scenes scoop on what really went down. Please give it a read!

READ MORE: He Had an R.V., a Camera and a Plan to Document America. Was That Enough?

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