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Boeing Jokes Are a Favorite on TikTok. Guess Who’s Not Laughing.


“I love how, collectively, the internet — especially TikTok — will just make insane situations funny somehow,” Ms. Iacofano said. “Like, it kind of does comfort me that we’re all almost dealing with, like, this traumatic news.”

Zarinah Williams, the writer of a weekly newsletter about pop culture, politics, beauty and travel, has also shared her thoughts on the Boeing fiasco on TikTok, where she joked that “the B in Boeing stands for ‘borrowed time.’”

“There’s a lot of dark humor,” Ms. Williams, 38, said.

Though she doesn’t watch any of the videos herself, Helen Lee Bouygues, president of the Reboot Foundation, a Paris-based organization dedicated to building critical thinking and media literacy, understands how the situation could be used as fodder for jokes.

“For a content creator, it’s funny,” she said. “It helps him or her get hits on these videos and these memes.”

But according to Ms. Bouygues, the more frequently users are exposed to content that might have initially seemed ridiculous or obviously false, the more it starts to feel true and feasible.

“It may seem quite wholesome and self-congratulatory to say that these are means to send alerts to companies,” Ms. Bouygues said, referring to posts that draw attention to real safety concerns, including through comedy or hyperbole. “But, in reality, what they are doing is creating viral misinformation in the community.”





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