Jessica Lucas

Jessica Lucas is a London-based writer who enjoys deep-diving into the latest subcultures and trends that social media has produced.

How trans women are finding safe spaces on Twitch and YouTube

VTubing — vlogging using virtual avatars — can make the difficult process of transitioning easier.

Streaming

How TikTok influencers are rebranding the pitbull

Humans are using the social media platform to show the softer side of the much-maligned dog breed.

Bow wow

#FreeBritney was a success. ‘Now what?’ ask #NotJustBritney campaigners.

Disability activists fear that people will forget about conservatorships now that Britney Spears is free.

Social justice

Therapy app responds to backlash over Travis Scott partnership

“It’s disheartening to see the way misinformation is spreading about us” in the wake of their Astroworld offer, says a rep for the controversial service BetterHelp.

Trauma

The Tourette’s community is livid over the ‘TikTok tics’ media frenzy

A viral Wall Street Journal article about teen girls “catching” Tourette syndrome from social media is doing major damage, online advocates say.

Mental health

Witches Anonymous: Wiccan Reddit is a haven for recovering addicts

“The 12 steps lend themselves very well to witchcraft,” says one sober practitioner.

Magic

Black cosplayers are tired of being told who they can and can’t portray

They’re subjected to endless abuse online, but they’re undeterred. “I’m about to change the face of cosplay,” says one Black creator.

Fandom

The eating disorder community is using Nikocado Avocado as ‘thinspiration’

Fans say the infamous mukbanger is eating himself to death. Many use his videos as motivation to go in the opposite — but still very dangerous — direction.

Consumption

Meet the TikTok terminator taking down anti-vaxxers

Online sleuth @ThatDaneshGuy reports anti-vax TikTokers to their employers and the authorities. Now he has a target on his back.

Social media

Lesbian gamers say Twitch is failing them

They’re tired of the many ways they’re harassed and undervalued on the streaming platform.

Bias

Meet the TikTokers fixated on the Gabby Petito case

Social media abounds with facts and wild theories. “You are not a detective,” says one disinfo expert. “Log off.”

True crime

Instagram has emerged as a major front in the fight for abortion rights

Amid the controversy over Texas’ SB 8 law, groups are using social media to get out the word on self-sourced abortion.

Choice

Reddit has banned an anti-vax community in the wake of a site-wide blackout

The company's CEO had previously refused to remove anti-vaccine content.

Culture

Inside TikTok’s booming dissociative identity disorder community

Influencers who say they have DID, once known as multiple personality disorder, are a vocal — and controversial — presence on the app.

Mental health

Sex dolls are the new influencers

Synthetic women are “running” their own Instagrams. There’s money to be made, sure, but what their human partners want most is respect.

Passions