Inside the Reaction Video Economy

The only thing funnier than watching cursed content is watching people watch cursed content.

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Episode Notes

On today’s episode, Madison and Rachelle try to answer a listener question about whether over-the-top DIY videos are secretly kink content. They end up get pulled into the world of online reaction videos and discuss why these DIY videos are so tempting to react to, how TikTok has made engaging with this content even easier, and if reaction videos are maybe just the internet’s own kink.

Things discussed on the show:
- The toilet bowl punch video
- @sadsadmatt reacting to a TikTok where a girl pours paint on herself in a kiddie pool.
- “42 Holy Grail Hacks That Will Save You a Fortune,” from 5-Minute Crafts on YouTube
-“Your Least Favorite Gross Viral Food Videos Are All Connected to This Guy,” by Ryan Broderick in Eater
- @lixvucy on TikTok reacting to 5-Minute Crafts videos
- @vernonrecords on TikTok reacting to 5-Minute Crafts videos

Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Derek John.


About the Show

Join Madison Malone Kircher and Rachelle Hampton twice a week as they gaze deep into the online abyss—and tell you what’s gazing back. All episodes


  • Rachelle Hampton is a culture writer and reporter at Slate. Her work has appeared in the New Republic, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian Magazine, and In These Times. She still hasn't recovered from Tumblr's demise.

  • Madison Malone Kircher is a senior writer at Slate. She was previously a staff writer at New York magazine, where she covered internet culture and edited New York’s Approval Matrix. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Vulture, and the Cut. Madison lives in Brooklyn, where she regularly drops her phone on her face watching TikToks in bed.