My Internet: Katie Way
The Vice writer watches what the police do online.
Embedded is your essential guide to what’s good on the internet, by Kate Lindsay and Nick Catucci.
Most weeks, we quiz a “very online” person for their essential guide to what’s good on the internet.
Today we welcome Katie Way, a senior staff writer at Vice who also publishes a newsletter, All Cops Are Posters, about online cop culture. Katie gets deranged jilted spouse content on TikTok, went viral for tweeting that AOC’s Met Gala dress looked like a Chick-fil-A ad, and lurks in a Boomer Facebook group called Jeepin for Jesus. —Nick
EMBEDDED: What’s a recent meme or other post that made you laugh?
KATIE WAY: This sounds crazy, but I’ve been really into videos of Kamala Harris lately—this supercut of her talking about Venn diagrams and this thread where she interacts with buses both kill me. Also, this picture of Harry Styles. God. It’s so good I can’t even look at it.
EMBEDDED: Do you use TikTok? What shows up on your For You page?
KATIE WAY: My algorithm never recovered from the stories I’ve written about Cop Wife TikTok culture, so in between pleasant videos of Asian home cooking and Julia Fox, I get the most deranged jilted spouse content. I’m talking women burning love letters from their husbands who cheated or TikTok-dancing to screaming voicemails from their ex-mother-in-law or driving home after spending the night in jail for vandalizing a mistress’s car … It’s so toxic. I’m hooked.
EMBEDDED: What do you use Instagram for?
KATIE WAY: I’ve turned around on Instagram—professionally, I used to use it to look for trends or people to write about and recreationally, I used to use it to feel bad about myself. Now, I pretty much stick to Stories, which I enjoy a lot more. I’ll throw a link up there if I want to share some work I’m especially proud of, but I mostly post memes or respond “Mmmmm!” when my friends post pictures of their dinner or whatever.
EMBEDDED: Do you tweet? Why?
KATIE WAY: I tweet pretty infrequently from my public account—my professional Twitter is my biggest “platform” so it feels like the best forum to post my work and talk about news that I care about (usually policing or labor, but sometimes Julia Fox or a Kardashian sneak in there), with the occasional dumb, dumb joke. I think I missed the boat in terms of getting “Twitter famous” by a couple years, but I don’t have that kind of poster’s discipline anyway. It’s just a way to entertain myself and remind the people who follow me for my work, whoever they may be, that I exist.
EMBEDDED: Have you ever had a post go viral? What was that experience like?
EMBEDDED: Who’s the coolest person who follows you?
KATIE WAY: Michael Hudson, aka EminemObama, who’s like the father figure of my favorite kind of internet humor—finding weird guys on Facebook, digging up unintentionally hilarious shit, basically. I actually pay into his Patreon to follow him on Twitter and it’s totally worth it.
EMBEDDED: Who’s someone more people should follow?
KATIE WAY: I’m obsessed with Jeremy Fragrance—he’s German, totally unhinged, and looks like a cross between the guy who plays Homelander on The Boys and Tom Cruise. Technically, he reviews perfumes and colognes (a fascinating choice on its own, because you obviously can’t smell anything on the internet), but his best posts are either about him interacting with fans or his musings on life itself. He’s clearly evil, and also a perfect content creator.
On the flip side, I love the way Ryan Bush, who goes by @fiavest on TikTok, lives his life … he painted the bathroom ceiling of his apartment using an actual fish as a stamp (it looks awesome) and makes these weird little snacks. He has the palate of an elf. So in awe of his mind.
Enable 3rd party cookies or use another browser
EMBEDDED: Do you subscribe to any Substacks or other independent newsletters? What are your favorites?
KATIE WAY: I’m a freak for a good email newsletter. The ones I open nine times out of ten (I’m only one woman!) are Luke O’Neil’s trailblazing Welcome to Hell World; my good bud Dave Infante’s boozeletter Fingers; Jessica Pishko’s sheriff-tracking newsletter Posse Comitatus; and Tony Ginocchio’s Grift of the Holy Spirit, about right-wing Catholic media cranks; and BORDER/LINES by Gaby Del Valle and Felipe De La Hoz, where they do some really searing immigration reporting. Also, yes I had to ask, but thank God I’m on Rachel Tashjian’s invite-only Opulent Tips.
EMBEDDED: Are you into any podcasts right now? How and when do you usually listen?
KATIE WAY: I usually have a really hard time sleeping at night unless I’m listening to a podcast, which feels like a Problem but isn’t something I’m working on. Ha ha! Right now, I’m switching between The Last Podcast on the Left, Podcast About List, Maintenance Phase, the first season of Good Cult, and Blowback. Make of that list (true crime comedy, dumbest jokes possible, health and wellness debunking, narrative investigation of the personal growth movement of the ’70s thru ’90s, and excavation of American imperialism) what you will. I sleep great, by the way.
EMBEDDED: Are you in any groups on Reddit, Slack, Discord, or Facebook? What’s the most useful or entertaining one?
KATIE WAY: I use Facebook groups for a lot of my cop culture writing and I don’t wanna make those too hot, but a tangentially related one that I really get a kick out of is called Jeepin for Jesus. It’s exactly what it sounds like—Boomers posting Bible verse graphics and pictures of doves in between photos of their Jeeps with long captions thanking God for giving them the opportunity to own a lime green or zebra-striped car. I’m sure they’re all fascists but I try not to dwell on that too much.
EMBEDDED: Are you playing any games right now?
KATIE WAY: Not currently, but I did have an amazing time playing Music League recently—basically, there’s a weekly theme, everyone submits a song, and then the whole group votes on which ones they liked the most. I did not do very well, but I also didn’t do college radio, so I never had a chance.
EMBEDDED: Do you text people voice notes? If not, how do you feel about getting them?
KATIE WAY: Sending and receiving voice notes feels extremely glamorous to me, like sending a telegram. I like the little extra effort required. That being said, if I receive one when I’m out and about, especially at night, I’m not listening to that shit for at least two business days.
EMBEDDED: If you could only keep Netflix, Disney, HBO Max, or one other streaming service, which would it be, and why?
KATIE WAY: Because I’m annoying, it’s gotta be the Criterion Channel. I split a subscription with a few friends in April 2020 and I can never go back. Honestly, I hate the feeling of watching too much TV and the pressure to “keep up” with everything that’s on right now, and I love movies that make me feel like I’m reading a book. What can I say, I’m an Aquarius. Follow me on Letterboxd!
EMBEDDED: What’s your favorite non-social media app?
KATIE WAY: Signal. It’s where I have one of my best group chats.
EMBEDDED: What’s the most basic internet thing that you love?
KATIE WAY: Reddit advice boards like r/AmITheAsshole and r/relationships—or, if I’m feeling really evil, r/DeadBedrooms. Even though most of it is probably fake, it’s so hard to look away and so fun to judge. I do feel reading them too much divorces me from reality and drops me into a really upsetting alternate reality where every woman’s sister-in-law wears white to her wedding. Total brain melt, hate it, wanna quit it, can’t stay away from it.
EMBEDDED: Have you recently read an article, book, or social media post about the internet that you’ve found particularly insightful?
KATIE WAY: I actually really liked the parts of Emily Ratajkowski’s My Body where she interfaces with social media. She comes off as a total Betty Draper type in the best way and it really makes me feel for her. I hope she’s having more fun on TikTok.
More My Internet Zoë Schiffer ∙ Max Tani ∙ Morgan Sung ∙ Michael Idov ∙ Jessica DeFino∙ Rawiya Kameir∙ Jamie Brooks∙ Joe Coscarelli ∙ Amina Akhtar ∙ Kofie Yeboah ∙ A.J. Daulerio ∙ Annie Rauwerda ∙ Luke O’Neil ∙ Edith Zimmerman∙ All