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The Very Online Show 09: Guy on the Couch Guy

Couch Guy is the latest example of the pitfalls of websleuthing, an internet phenomenon that has been plaguing social media for years. So why are we like this?

Tamoor Hussain and Lucy James are very online. Jeff Bakalar is only sorta online.

Oct. 21 2021

Posted by: Jeff B.

38 Comments

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alistercat

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Another good episode. Best show on GB.

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gcg

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Love this show.

It isn't showing on the "Giant Bomb Presents" feed anymore though, and the unique RSS for it now errors out on Pocket Casts oddly.

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threeOCT

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Tam's hair makes me wish mine grew down and not out.

Oh, and that I wasn't losing mine, but that's neither here nor there.

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Magman21

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Edited By Magman21

At first glance I thought a wild Jeff Grubb joined the crew

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snaketelegraph

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Damn, I was going to say that we should overanalyze Tam's Bloodborne background but the joke was made in the video.

Good show as usual. I really appreciate this crew's presentation of internet goings-on, it's really level headed compared to a lot of videos I see where people just make shit up based entirely on their opinions.

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Byron_Orpheus

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Web-sleuthing can be so invasive, it's a pretty weird phenomenon.

You've activated the memory of when Todd Kohlhepp was arrested after a woman he had held captive escaped. I searched his name on facebook when the stories started breaking, and they'd left his profile up. Waaaay before it was public that there were several victims, me and my partner rabbit-holed into his social media and it was one of the most disturbing experience of my life. His amazon wishlist full of ropes, time-release feeding machines, animal cages, heavy tools and chains. Terrifying.

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Al_Cappuccino

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This show is just banger after banger, super well structured and thought out. Good job Tam and Lucy for all the research! And Bakalar is always a gem as well, love it!

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Laktesh

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Tam, I think your hair looks fabulous in this episode

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jrudis

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Tam! The Hair!!?! OMG!!!!

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Bezerker85

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I'm glad Giant Bomb never has to deal with any internet sleuthing when it comes to new hires.

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DantronLesotho

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I'm here for the brain rot!

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BrittonPeele

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Is Bloodborne just always the most recently played game on Tam's PlayStation?

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Lowlander

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Is nobody going to mention that there's what appears to be a Gibson guitar just lying against an amp. That thing is begging to have it's headstock snapped right off. Must be an Epiphone.

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kerzikstan

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@lowlander: absolutely. couch guy is closest to the guitar too. put it up on the white board.

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dijidiji

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Edited By dijidiji

I prefer wall guy

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zkrizt

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Tam's background in combination with wearing what seems to be all black makes me think he's definitely on the path to the dark side and will ultimately be the Sith Lord our galaxy needs.

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Onemanarmyy

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That guy that got mad when the window rolled up clearly had some negative 'I'm gonna fuck up this relationship' energy to himself. And wasn't he driving towards Lauren's place? Just asking questions...

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Ravelle

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The Netflix documentary about The Cecil Hotel which is very gross and should not have been released, is a very good example how internet sleuthing ruins other people's lives and the story's they create themselves.

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cap_tuba_player

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This continues to be one of the smartest and most fun shows on this site. Thanks all!

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bacongames

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Edited By bacongames

I'm really appreciating the lessons that are becoming apparent across the arc of the show. Namely that virality is not neutral and something we should increasingly ask whether we want at all (because social media empires are built to serve that for profit, or monopoly or both). Asking how virality serves both the platforms and the subjects should be included more as a part of media and internet literacy. In the case of couch guy it should have been obvious that the stakes were so low and the risks so high that even if the internet was "right," it's beside the point and only upends some ordinary young people's lives for little benefit.

I also wonder how much our growing alienation since the industrial revolution has made it easier to disregard the human life behind the internet. We've been increasingly atomized in our relationships to neighbors, communities, and our fellow workers and capital has taken on this almost primal status over and above humans themselves. I can't imagine these forces having no influence on the culture of the internet.

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Majkiboy

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Edited By Majkiboy

Am I missing something? To annoy people is funny? Actually super weird to me, I found none of the car window videos funny. Anyway, nice work with the main theme of this episode!

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larmer

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Exactly when and why did "parasocial relationship" become the hottest new buzzword term?

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NotSoSneakyGuy

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As someone who doesn't have power windows, I would have found the situation in the first 5 mins infuriating.

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CitizenGame

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I find it very strange that all three wonder in the beginning of the video why some of the people react angry. It might have something to do that all three are sitting in front of a camera a lot.The problem for me in that situation would not be the window prank but the fact that someone was filming me in my car without my permission. I find this kind of behavior very invasive.

And if my child was with me and they started filming, I would probably get out and hit them in the face.

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Phished0ne

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Edited By Phished0ne

I hate being this guy, because in a lot of cases im all for the evolution of language and things of that nature, but the way we as a social society take words and try to turn them into catch-alls colloquially is very annoying. It happens all the time, now "Gaslighting" is just becoming internet lingo for "lying to someone". Which in essence is true, as gaslighting will most likely consist of a lot of lying(but is a lot more deep than "just lying"), but not all lying is gaslighting.

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WondrousWendy

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Thanks for this!

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JordanaRama

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This continues to be seriously good shit

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csl316

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The more time we spend talking about online stuff, the less online I want to be.

Don't get me wrong, the show is cool and all, but it makes me feel like "the algorithm" is the real issue with the world. Just get rid of recommendations, and let the most recent posts on a platform scroll to the top.

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Serendipitous_Lemon

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The internet really is just one big Dunning-Kruger effect machine. I think a useful distinction not drawn by Tamoor in regards to Gabby Petito is that the "useful" sleuthing was more a matter of dredging up information, not positing theories and trying to "solve the case". That latter shit still went on however and is pretty much indivisible from the former.

Regardless, another great episode, even if it was real heavy.

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karshalpha

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Fantastic show, and we'll researched as usual. Really appreciate all the effort that goes into them.

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fram

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A beautiful ending to another great episode! This show came out of left field and has become one of my favourite things on this website.

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Muddy_Cheeks

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Edited By Muddy_Cheeks

I don't usually comment, but I wanted to reach out and express my gratitude for the compelling, well researched content episode after episode. You guys have earned my trust to be my guide in this immensely online world.

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larkjury

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Still one of my favorite new shows, important stuff to cover! Thanks guys

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Ortzz

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I really have learned a lot from this show, thanks y'all!

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jstaunton

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Glad I'm not alone in not finding that car window "prank" unfunny and...just not entertaining or wholesome.

What's funny about it? It's just annoying \o/

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jstaunton

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Having watched this episode, I feel like (apart from a few good examples of how the media have absolutely fucked up e.g. wrong Boston bombers) it's a lot of words to just say that we should mind our own fucking business and not get so curious about random strangers.

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whitegreyblack

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Lucy & Jeff's double-dip at 5:44 almost gave me a laughter-induced aneurysm. "The fun times are over again".

This show is incredible. Well researched and presented, and is actually getting me to successfully convince my partner to watch content from Giant Bomb.

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DenizenNomad

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Great episode, I've been dipping in and out but this ep got deep, informative and about old and new internet cultures clashing. Fantastic job ladies and gents.