While You Were Offline: Steven Mnuchin Will Show You the Money

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There might be no better sign of the state of the internet this year than the fact that a potential meme about the president awkwardly drinking water was quickly eclipsed by news of groping allegations against Democratic Senator Al Franken, and then that both of those stories were eclipsed by a tweet from the president. Pretty much 2017 in a nutshell. But how is everyone else doing? Well, perhaps we shouldn't have asked…

Treasury Secretary Steven McDuck

What Happened: Just when you thought that the Trump administration was getting better with that whole "bad optics" thing…

What Really Happened: You have to give it to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. At a time when Republicans are under fire for a tax overhaul that vastly favors the rich, he managed to conjure up a photo-op that made himself and wife Louise Linton look like cartoonishly insensitive wealthy buffoons.

https://twitter.com/MichaelBKelley/status/930874884347121670

Sure, there's a context. It's from a tour of the DC Bureau of Engraving, and the banknotes feature Mnuchin's signature for the first time. But really, context only means so much when dealing with something like this, as Twitter was quick to explain.

https://twitter.com/christinawilkie/status/930874959425089536

https://twitter.com/MikeBeauvais/status/930879451876986881

https://twitter.com/TVietor08/status/930880129848315904

https://twitter.com/Khanoisseur/status/930888633506074629

https://twitter.com/MikeDrucker/status/930887829571489792

https://twitter.com/mmpadellan/status/930896211254661121

https://twitter.com/morninggloria/status/930888135248109568

https://twitter.com/VitruvianMonkey/status/930900129598631936

https://twitter.com/louisvirtel/status/930924127153659905

https://twitter.com/iamjoonlee/status/930885275395543040

Well, at least no Democratic congressman is using the image in advertisements to specifically link it to the ongoing tax debate to… Oh, wait.

https://twitter.com/tedlieu/status/931335792198344704

The Takeaway: Who knew that laughing at ill-considered publicity photos of rich folk could be quite so therapeutic?

https://twitter.com/jesseberney/status/930884085333004288

Another Verifiable Mess

What Happened: Twitter starts to finally clean house, and not everyone is excited.

What Really Happened: As anyone who's been following this column for any length of time already knows, Twitter has come under fire a lot recently over its verification policies. Last week, after an uproar over the organizer of the Charlottesville rally getting a "verified" check mark, things began to change, much to the surprise of those whose accounts were affected:

https://twitter.com/RichardBSpencer/status/930939544941285378

https://twitter.com/apurposefulwife/status/930932144997830657

(Note: That Twitter account has a bio that reads, in part, "American heart, European blood. #WhiteCulture.")

https://twitter.com/LauraLoomer/status/930930858311192581

https://twitter.com/TRobinsonNewEra/status/930934719876870144

https://twitter.com/TheMadDimension/status/930939995954860033

So, what was going on? It turns out, Twitter might have been listening all along.

https://twitter.com/passantino/status/930928522331222016

https://twitter.com/selenalarson/status/930928837948358656

Oh. Twitter explained what was happening in, appropriately, a handful of tweets.

https://twitter.com/TwitterSupport/status/930926071779692544

https://twitter.com/TwitterSupport/status/930926124892168192

https://twitter.com/TwitterSupport/status/930926172812165120

https://twitter.com/TwitterSupport/status/930926225517719552

https://twitter.com/TwitterSupport/status/930926295034224641

https://twitter.com/biz/status/930947099478319104

The loss of check marks for racists didn't go unnoticed by the media, but unsurprisingly, not everyone is in favor of white supremacists and getting unverified—not banned, mind you, not censored, just unverified. (Bear that latter part in mind as you keep reading.)

https://twitter.com/alexjg0/status/930933911487729664

https://twitter.com/Kantrowitz/status/930926510403338240

https://twitter.com/Communism_Kills/status/930940379490410497

https://twitter.com/MikeTokes/status/930939922395021312

The Takeaway: For those concerned about censorship on the platform, please consider this old parable.

https://twitter.com/joncstone/status/930944474003451907

Twitter Doesn't Like Sean Hannity's Chart

What Happened: Sometimes, when you're trying to sell a complicated conspiracy theory, it's good to make a mood board to help explain everything. But then, of course, the internet gets to make fun of it.

What Really Happened: Fox News' Sean Hannity didn't have the best week last week. First, his much-hyped ultimatum to Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore to explain his sexual abuse allegations or drop out of the race got nixed just one day later. Then there was this:

https://twitter.com/ditzkoff/status/930620414145032193

No, you're not seeing things. That is, indeed, a complicated flowchart "proving" Hillary Clinton's complicity in the Uranium One deal, an oft-debunked non-scandal that might, nonetheless, lead to a special counsel investigation. The chart is very complex. But Twitter, however, was not impressed by Hannity's homework.

https://twitter.com/JuddLegum/status/930628155701891073

https://twitter.com/gilbertjasono/status/930634003505434624

https://twitter.com/drewtoothpaste/status/930628473688920065

https://twitter.com/MiahSaint/status/930651277737861120

https://twitter.com/scoejarborough/status/930621384459538439

https://twitter.com/pourmecoffee/status/930634236603846656

https://twitter.com/brianefallon/status/930624377200304133

https://twitter.com/davelozo/status/930675214500941824

https://twitter.com/TheMrJayBrown/status/930652751650086912

https://twitter.com/KevinMKruse/status/930790176342925312

It wasn't just social media that couldn't quite believe what was going on, however; mainstream media got in on the act, too. And, really, who could blame them?

The Takeaway: Meanwhile, while Sean Hannity tries really hard to convince Fox News viewers that there is a conspiracy to be uncovered, Shep Smith on the same network is undoing all that hard work by … reporting the facts:

https://twitter.com/mmfa/status/930551622849118208

Sorry, Sean.

Define 'Sexiest'…

What Happened: Who's the Sexiest Man Alive? The answer might shock you! No, really; you might genuinely be surprised.

What Really Happened: It's that time again! You know, the point where every single man in the entire world gets rounded up and placed into a Thunderdome-like conflict to decide just which one is the sexiest man alive! Previous winners have included Dwayne Johnson (2016), Chris Hemsworth (2014), and Channing Tatum (2012), but who's the lucky winner this year? People magazine, don't keep us in suspense any longer…!

https://twitter.com/people/status/930601811471486976

…Oh. Well, yeah, I guess that's a choice? But, it turned out, not one that was particularly popular online.

https://twitter.com/elielcruz/status/930606876554878977

https://twitter.com/khia213/status/930606416544530432

https://twitter.com/ItsTheBrandi/status/930659498762653696

https://twitter.com/DanaSchwartzzz/status/930817958485659648

https://twitter.com/louisvirtel/status/930688186153623552

https://twitter.com/aparnapkin/status/930836212889288704

https://twitter.com/kalebhorton/status/930880097560625152

https://twitter.com/alshipley/status/930897461706620934

https://twitter.com/JohnWolfeYT/status/930889668954066945

https://twitter.com/Coelasquid/status/930916293896683520

While the media took note of the upset—with a couple of outlets providing new reasons to be mad—Shelton took it in stride.

https://twitter.com/blakeshelton/status/931276018832281600

The Takeaway: The winner of this whole shebang? Let's just give it to Stranger Things' David Harbour. He knows why.

https://twitter.com/davidkharbour/status/930698698513944576

Mate 4 Mate

What Happened: Australia declared that it's ready for same-sex marriage.

What Really Happened: Let's end this week with some news that made a lot of people very happy.

https://twitter.com/tminear/status/930572077064523776

https://twitter.com/alexwain/status/930549161593774080

https://twitter.com/AMEquality/status/930616347670622208

https://twitter.com/SquigglyRick/status/930568560077709312

https://twitter.com/BernardKeane/status/930573056807903232

https://twitter.com/JamesAALongman/status/930740598998478848

https://twitter.com/AhronYoung/status/930682053707825152

Before we all get too carried away…

https://twitter.com/catspaperbacks/status/930930120075784192

Yes, the vote was actually only a postal survey, albeit one where the dramatic results pushed politicians into action.

https://twitter.com/TurnbullMalcolm/status/930575993294635008

https://twitter.com/ByClare/status/930580302073696256

https://twitter.com/workmanalice/status/930961022990430208

In the year of tumult that is 2017, it's good to know that sometimes things aren't always terrible.

The Takeaway: Trust Nate Silver to put everything into perspective and say what folks were all already thinking. Namely, hadn't Australia already done that?

https://twitter.com/NateSilver538/status/930579485510037504

Read more: http://www.wired.com/

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