The Types Of Bad Art Friends You Have In Your 20s

If you’re not one who could be described as “extremely online”, you may have missed the past week’s worth of discourse over something called “Who Is The Bad Art Friend?,” a New York Times piece that detailed a years-long back-and-forth, culminating in lawsuits, between two writers. Without going into another multi-thousand-word investigation, the gist is that a writer named Dawn Dorland decided to altruistically donate a kidney to a stranger, and in the process leading up to her donation, made a Facebook group and invited some friends, colleagues, and family to update them on the process. One of the people in that group was a writer by the name of Sonya Larson. Sonya didn’t seem to respond to Dawn’s news, and Dawn reached out to find out what the deal was (as we all do when the certain someone we’ve created a public social media post specifically for hasn’t liked our Instagram). Sonya took a while to respond, only for Dawn to later find out that Sonya had written a short story about a woman who donates a kidney to a stranger. Feels familiar… The kickers? In early versions of the story, the kidney donor character was named Dawn (Larson later changed the character’s name to Rose). The other kicker, because if you’ll recall, I said plural? Also in an early version of the story, Larson copied portions word for word of one of Dawn’s Facebook posts in the kidney group. A cease-and-desist, plagiarism allegations, multiple lawsuits, and a New York Times piece later, and it’s all anyone’s been talking about for the past week. 

Again, if you’re not extremely online, you’re probably asking, why does anyone care? Well, the same reason anyone reads r/AmITheAsshole — this was an ethics question for the ages, mixed with the type of self-absorbedness only professional creative types can give. The question at the center was, who is being the “bad art friend?” Dorland, for trying to take down Larson’s career? Or Larson, for basing a story off someone she knew, not telling her about it, and ripping off one of her Facebook posts?

If you’re still asking, no seriously, who cares about this? Let me put it into perspective for you. Even if you’re not an ~artiste~ you can still relate to having a bad art friend. These are the types you’ll encounter in your 20s.

The IG Sniper

This sneaky little operative will volunteer to be the group art director, helping everyone pose for shots and giving the group photographer instructions on the proper angles. You think she’s looking out for everyone and doing the whole group a service, but really, she’s looking out for herself. That’s why she’ll ultimately post the photo where she looks like a model and your eyes are midway to blinking — not even fully blinking, which would actually be better! At least then you wouldn’t look high off your ass. And she totally could have blurred out your forehead pimple —you’re 99% sure she whitened her teeth in post — but she just left you in all your glory, blemishes and all.

The Rogue Tweeter

Despite having max 1,000 followers, your friend pulls decent numbers on Twitter. Every so often, they’ll go viral. But then you’ll look closer, and—wait. Wasn’t that some shit you said at your last group dinner that made everyone crack up? And, wait, that other viral tweet is totally from something someone else put in the group chat. In fact, the Rogue Tweeter is not actually funny at all, they’re just good at packaging everyday funny statements for Twitter. Nobody else in your friend group is really active on Twitter, so it’s not like this person is taking any likes away from anybody, but still, it would have been considerate if they asked.

The Group Chat Boomerang

The only thing worse than having your group chats subpoenaed and printed in the New York Times is — ok, you’re right, there’s nothing worse than that. But also perilous in the group text dynamic is the Boomerang, the person who brings every topic of conversation back to themselves. It’s good to be active and not a total ghost, but there is such a thing as taking it too far. Can you stop talking about that one time your dog ate a piece of chocolate and you had to rush her to the vet? Jessica’s great-uncle just died, and this really isn’t the same. 

The Podcast Promoter

They feel like there’s a real hole in the dating/advice/general millennial opinion podcasting market, so they bought a mic during quarantine and started ranting about various unrelated topics into said mic. That’s whatever; the problem is they don’t just passively have a podcast. In fact, they have less of a podcast and more of a compulsion to tell you about said podcast. The times they’ve brought up the podcast outweigh the number of episodes they’ve put out. Which, by the way, they barely even edit because the audio sounds like it was recorded in an echo chamber inside a tunnel, their dog barks throughout it, and they’ve made a few yikes comments that you’re all going to pretend to ignore when they inevitably bring the podcast up again.

The Know-It-All Memer

This counts as a bad “art” friend in that memes are our generation’s art, probably, and I can’t wait until Crying Lindsay Lohan ends up in the Louvre. But anyway, your friend group might have a friend who’s very online (maybe the same friend who put you onto Bad Art Friend in the first place). Maybe they work in social media management, or they just don’t care about keeping their job. Either way, they’re on Instagram all day, every day. So when you send them a meme, they always reply back with some version of “saw that already”. This might as well be a criminal act. Nobody gets points for having their eyeballs glued to the Instagram app. Sharing a meme is not about who saw it first. Just double-tap the message with a heart like every normal person and be grateful your friends think of you at all.

Image: Julia Volk /

A Fake Sugar Daddy Scammed Women Out Of Thousands Of Dollars

If you’re anything like me—aka not a Kardashian but vaguely aspiring to live like one—then I imagine you’ve considered the idea of a sugar daddy. Don’t lie. No matter how “moral” you are, the idea of being handed five-figure checks while being asked to make zero spreadsheets on Excel is an appealing prospect. Of course, men have figured out how to ruin even this arrangement. Last week, the New York Times broke a story on a fake sugar daddy who scammed three women out of thousands of dollars. While scammer stories usually fill me with criminal aspirations glee, this one frankly just makes me sick. Read on for how your retirement plan these girls’ quest for extra cash became a horrifying nightmare.

Last spring, Chandler Fowles, 25, met a man on In case your sugar daddy interest has never progressed to this point, SeekingArrangement is the website where prospective “sugar daddies” and “sugar babies” make profiles and make plans to meet up. The man Fowles matched with said he was an investment banker at Bain, and “offered her a ‘generous’ weekly allowance.” The man, who first went by “Jay,” and then “Ron,” proposed the following meetup with Fowles and a female friend. He offered $2,500 “for sex and to cover the cost of a hotel room.” Fowles was instructed to cover initial costs herself—including dolling herself and a friend up with a “smoky eye and nude lip,” per his preference. At the hotel, “Ron” walked her through setting up a PayPal account and submitting a request. After leaving the hotel, she saw that the request had never been completed.

Some time later, Fowles’ friend saw “Ron” on Tinder—and this is where sh*t gets crazy. Fowles and her friend came up with a plan to reveal his identity. Fowles’ friend arranged a date with “Ron” at a bar, and the bartender agreed to take down his name and credit card information when “Ron” bought a drink. (Sidenote: where can I find bartenders this loyal?? Or friends this loyal, for that matter?) Fowles’ friend, who sounds like a badass, texted “Ron” while he waited at the bar: “I’m anxious. Get me a prosecco so I can have a drink right away.” Frankly, I hope she conducts all first dates like this even if she’s not trying to pull off some surveillance sh*t. The bartender took his information, and Fowles and her friend got to Googling.

As we all know, there’s nothing a woman scorned scammed out of thousands and tricked into sex can’t find on the internet. They were quickly able to find out that “Ron” was actually a former City Hall employee and a current student at an NYU program. In other words, definitely not an investment banker. When the Times reached out to him for comment on the initial story, he said he didn’t remember “the details,” or “a promise of payment.” He added that his SeekingArrangement profile was purely done as a “good way to meet women for non-transactional hookups.” Yes, because the Tinder bio line “swipe right if looking to be spoiled,” which he used, really targets the financially self-sufficient ones.

Honestly, I’d make more jokes about how bad this man is at even trying to hide his intentions, but that would be holding an NYU student to higher standards than our president. Like so many men in this day and age, this guy is a sh*tty person who does sh*tty things and a sh*tty job pretending otherwise. End of story.

But wait! It’s not the end of the story at all. When the Times ran the initial story about Fowles, two other women contacted them within a day of publication. Both of these women had been scammed by the same guy, with eerily similar details. “I don’t know if telling you this will bring any justice to this situation or make it at all possible for someone to press charges against him,” one woman wrote in, “but I had to write to you and tell you that this is true.” While I’m always sad when a woman is forced to make a statement that hopeless, I’m at least grateful that this time it’s not to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The second woman who spoke to the Times was a foreign student whose native country had gone into financial default. Without parental support, and unable to qualify for a work visa rather than a student visa, she was facing $5,000 of debt and eviction notices. When she met “Ron,” she denied his creepy requests for specific hair and makeup looks, but was still scammed out of $500 covering a hotel room fee. She also consented to a sexual encounter after seeing a falsified statement detailing payments of $1,700 to her account. For weeks, she called him begging him to pay her back. He never replied.

The man has now been identified as Imran U. Khan, 36, a Brooklyn resident working toward a master’s degree. He has since been banned from SeekingArrangement, and the support team is tracking all known IP addresses he used. Will that stop this guy from doing the same thing through other platforms? I wouldn’t bet on it. Does this whole story make me want to sob into my hands and throw my laptop through a window? Yes, it really, really does.

As a final few thoughts here, I’d like to welcome anyone who’s looking to go into the comments and shame the whole Sugar Daddy thing to just kindly close their browser window instead. You may have noticed that I treat scamming like a hilarious romp when women do it, and you may find that hypocritical. But I do find female scammers funnier and more thrilling, because the patriarchy is real and women are f*cked out of power and earning potential all the goddamn time. So while I know nothing about Khan’s situation specifically, it makes me unspeakably sad that the women in this story were already financially struggling, opted for a situation that they admittedly found less than ideal, and were hurt even further. So, let’s please attack the system that places so many young women in desperate situations, not the tactics they choose to get out of it.

Images: Giphy (3), Mikail Duran/Unsplash

One Of Harvey Weinstein’s First Accusers Paid Off An Accuser Of Her Own

 Last night, the New York Times broke a horrifying, heartbreaking story on Asia Argento, one of the first public accusers of Harvey Weinstein. The report states that Argento paid $380,000 to Jimmy Bennett, an actor who accused her of sexually assaulting him in 2013. (*Cue enormous wave of people taking this as a reason to discredit the entire #MeToo movement.) Neither Argento nor her representatives have commented at this time, but here’s what we do know about their relationship.

In 2004, Bennet played Argento’s son in the film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things. They exchanged friendly messages on Twitter and Instagram through 2012 (Bennett’s Twitter is now inactive.) In 2018, Bennett filed a notice of intent to sue against Argento. In the notice, he details a May 9, 2013 meeting with Argento in her Marina del Rey hotel room. Bennett was 17 at the time; Argento was 37. The legal age of consent in California is 18. Bennett claims Argento requested to be alone with him, gave him alcohol, performed oral sex and then had intercourse with him. She then asked to take photos of him. The photographs allegedly taken on this day, of the two of them partially clothed in bed, were included in the notice sent by Bennett. The following Instagram posts from the day in question were also included. I wouldn’t recommend reading the comments if you wanted to eat or sleep tonight.

Waiting for my long lost son my love @jimmymbennett in trepidation #marinadelrey smoking cigarettes like there was no next week

A post shared by asiaargento (@asiaargento) on

My son my love until I will live @jimmymbennett marina del rey 05.2013

A post shared by asiaargento (@asiaargento) on

Happiest day of my life reunion with @jimmymbennett xox

A post shared by asiaargento (@asiaargento) on

Not much is known about the contact between the two following the alleged incident, with the exception of one Twitter message sent by Bennett on June 8, 2013, saying “Miss you momma!!!!” In the 2018 notice of intent to sue, Bennett requests $3.5 million in damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault and battery, highlighting the harm to his mental health and subsequent hits to his career. Argento’s lawyers agreed to a settlement of $380,000. In exchange, Bennett relinquished the right to sue Argento, or post the photograph taken of the two partially clothed in 2013. The settlement does not include a non-disclosure agreement. In an April 2018 letter, Argento’s lawyer claims the decision to omit non-disclosure language was because Argento “felt it was inconsistent with the public messages conveyed about the societal perils of non-disclosure agreements.”

Since the settlement, only one instance of contact has been logged between Argento and Bennett, when she liked an Instagram post on July 17. While neither Argento nor Bennett are speaking to the press, other members of the #MeToo movement have come forward, stating their disappointment, heartbreak, and an urging not to let this story destroy the message of #MeToo.

I’ve said repeatedly that the #metooMVMT is for all of us, including these brave young men who are now coming forward. It will continue to be jarring when we hear the names of some of our faves connected to sexual violence unless we shift from talking about individuals [+]

— Tarana (@TaranaBurke) August 20, 2018

So, yeah. What a terrible day, what a terrible year. It hurts to see any story as painful as this come forward, it hurts to hear this about a woman I admired, and it hurts me to think how this story will be used to further attack the voices of #MeToo. I’m sure I’ll pitch a dozen more thinkpieces on this this week, but for now I’m too dazed and too sad. I’d like to say at least this week can’t get any worse but hey, Trump still has the nuclear codes. So let’s just buckle in and see where this shitstorm takes us.

Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!

Images: Instagram (3); Twitter

All The Shady Companies Facebook Sold Your Data To

Another day, another Facebook data scandal. Because we live in a dystopia where we accidentally gave up all our privacy in exchange for triple digit likes on our facetuned selfies, three separate instances of Facebook choosing money over consumer protection came to light this week. At this point, I really can’t tell if Facebook’s PR people should be fired or deserve a huge raise for dealing with all this shit. Actually, they should probably quit and try to get jobs doing PR for Instagram influencers, since the Fit Tea #sponcon industry only appears to be growing, at least based on my personal explore page. But back to the plethora of issues at hand.  

Who Has Your Data Now? 

In addition to selling your personal information to advertisers, app developers and mysterious Republican billionaires, Facebook also apparently sold user data to mobile device makers. The New York Times reported that Facebook engaged in “data sharing partnerships” with over 60 hardware companies. Microsoft, Samsung, Blackberry, Apple, and Amazon are among the companies that were allowed to access both user data and user’s friends data, despite the fact that a 2011 consent decree issued by the Federal Trade Commission banned Facebook from giving such information to outside companies without the consent of the user’s friends.

While many of these so-called “partnerships” are still on the books, Facebook started shutting them down in April. I’m sure the timing of this roll back is totally unrelated to news breaking of the Cambridge Analytica breach in March. Also, “data sharing partnership” is about as convincing a euphemism for “partner in data theft” as your college boyfriend’s “study partner” was for “side chick”.

To test how much data a mobile phone company could access from one user, the New York Times downloaded an app called The Hub, which offers users all their messages from various social media sites and texts in one place, onto a Blackberry. I know, TBT. Not only was the Blackberry able to access data on 556 of the user’s friends, but it was also able to retrieve the data of 294,258 friends of the user’s friends. It never even occurred to me that I could tangentially be connected to over 200,000 people, but on the bright side I guess we’re all micro-influencers now?

China Bought Your Data Too

Not satisfied with selling your data to our homegrown American capitalist overlords, Facebook also sold user information to Chinese companies, according to the BBC. One of these companies is Huawei, which apparently has had access to our personal data since 2010, back when I was still taking Facebook personality quizzes and writing on people’s walls. This company is shadier than the banker bro you met on Tinder, and is officially labeled a threat to domestic security by US intelligence officials. The intelligence community is so worried about Huawei that the FBI director advised US citizens not to buy its products and a House Representative proposed legislation banning government employees from doing so.

Also, Whatsapp’s Founders Quit Because They Didn’t Want to Steal Your Data

If you somehow were not yet convinced that no picniked photo you posted in 2012 is safe from Amazon or the Chinese government, the Wall Street Journal also recently reported on Facebook’s penchant for choosing money over user privacy. Apparently the founders of Whatsapp left their company after it was purchased by Facebook, in protest of its obsession with selling data they preferred to keep private. One of the founders even tweeted in support of #deletefacebook.

In conclusion, I would encourage you to delete Facebook, but at this point I can’t tell if that would even protect your data from the conglomerate of tech companies harvesting it for cash. If even my old bbms aren’t safe, we may as well give up now.

Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!