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Facebook freezes Venezuela presidents page for promoting a false COVID-19 cure

2023-03-29 07:19:23

Facebook freezes Venezuela presidents page for promoting a false COVID-19 cure

Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, had his Facebook page temporarily frozen for violating the tech giant's policies against spreading misinformation about COVID-19, Reuters reports(Opens in a new tab).

Facebook freezes Venezuela presidents page for promoting a false COVID-19 cure(图1)

Back in January, Maduro publicly advocated that Carvativir — a traditional remedy derived from thyme — was a "miracle" treatment that cured coronavirus. But without scientific evidence to support it, the claim was never approved by doctors.

Maduro also took to Facebook to post a video promoting the medication. In the video, he refers to Carvativir as "miracle drops" which can be used to both cure coronavirus and prevent a person from contracting it. Given that the video spreads false claims, Facebook removed it from Maduro's page.

But the social media company didn't stop there. A spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that, “due to repeated violations of our rules, we are also freezing the page for 30 days, during which it will be read-only.”

SEE ALSO: 12 people are behind most of the anti-vaxxer disinformation you see on social media

Additionally, the social media company made it clear that Carvativir is not a cure or preventative for coronavirus. “We follow guidance from the WHO (World Health Organization) that says there is currently no medication to cure the virus,” the spokesperson told Reuters.

Maduro isn't the first politician to promote a "cure" for COVID-19 on Facebook. Former President Donald Trump also used the platform to falsely claim that REGN-COV2, the antibody cocktail given to him in the hospital after contracting COVID, was what he called a cure.

But regardless of whether you're a political figure or just a regular person posting on Facebook, the same rules apply. As stated under its Community Standards(Opens in a new tab), Facebook says it will "remove misinformation when public health authorities conclude that the information is false and likely to contribute to imminent violence or physical harm.

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    Madison Seifer has been a fan of Styles for 12 years but didn't discover fan-made subtle merch until 2020, when she stumbled across the multi-fandom merch store Pressed Paper Shop(Opens in a new tab) on TikTok. The 23-year-old clinical research assistant isn't a super showy person and appreciates that she can wear subtle merch with everyday outfits "without it being in your face." Among her collection are "shirts that are replicas of shirts he has worn, sweaters with lyrics on them, a decal on my car of two ghosts in reference to his song on Harry Styles, and earrings from All by Lauren(Opens in a new tab) [a popular online small business that sells earrings inspired by the shop-runner's favorite singers] that are inspired by his songs or outfits," Seifer told Mashable. She finds fan-made merch on Etsy, Instagram, and TikTok.


    It's not just Styles fans that partake in subtle merch. Fan-made merch, which relies on a fan's personal connection to the object of fandom, therefore making it more subtle, is key to any fandom, from Marvel to anime.

    Megan Tan, a 21-year-old K-pop fan and art student in Singapore, runs Tarocoeur(Opens in a new tab), a K-pop online store that she promotes on Instagram and TikTok as well as hosting local pop-ups. Her signature items are liquid- and glitter-filled Pantone swatch keychains reminiscent of '90s glitter wands. She has swatches for over 20 different K-pop groups(Opens in a new tab), and she also takes requests for video game and anime swatches. Each keychain features the name of the song, artist, or character it's an homage to. "I take inspiration from music video lore, album concepts, song lyrics, etc. and interpret them using colors, textures, and vibes to capture the essence of the song, artist, or character I’m working on," Tan explained to Mashable. "I get comments on my videos that say things along the lines of 'idk how but that just looks so [group name]' and that’s exactly what I aim for when I design."

    "Not everyone likes carrying their favorite K-pop boy around, Victorian locket–style."

    Growing up, the only place where Tan could buy merch was the bootleg anime and idol goods store at the mall that only had the most "soulless and tacky" items. "I just felt like I didn’t need the whole world to know who I was a fan of, so I always looked out for merch that was a little more low-key, and eventually made my own," said Tan. "Official merch usually consists of logos and faces slapped onto various mass-produced items, and not everyone likes carrying their favorite K-pop boy around, Victorian locket–style."

    Hannell noted that official merch clearly indicates the object of fandom and serves as an advertisement for it, with the object's name or face central to the design. Official merch is what fandom scholars call "affirmational fandom" — public, centralized, and sanctioned displays of fandom that take a literal interpretation of the object of fandom. Subtle merch, like fan fiction, is "transformational fandom" and only recognizable as merch by other fans with a similar level of knowledge and engagement in the fandom. Transformational fandom is anonymous, un-sanctioned, and decentralized. It's where fans get creative with their interpretations, and where community is built.

    It's more than just a commodity

    That's not to say that some artists don't excel at selling fan-oriented official merch that's more in line with subtle merch. Seifer pointed to Taylor Swift's Folklore cardigan as an example. The beige cardigan mass-produced by Swift's team doesn't say Swift's name anywhere and is decorated with silver stars and a patch that reads, "The Folklore Album" in small print. The cardigan quickly became a sought-after item on SwiftTok, the side of TikTok where Swifties gather. This is because the Folklore cardigan operates like any successful piece of subtle merch: Those who know are "in the know" and recognize the nondescript sweater, which gives the wearer status within the Swiftie community.

    SEE ALSO: Meet the Swifties trying to take down Ticketmaster

    In "Fans and Merchandise,"(Opens in a new tab) media researcher Avi Santo wrote that official merch is a way that media industries have tried to define fandom solely through consumerist terms. It's an attempt to make fandom a lifestyle that fans pay corporations to have, rather than something that's more organic and community-based. He argued that fan-made merch is a reaction to industries trying to control what merch is sold. He also asserted that to a fan, merch can represent anything tangentially related to the object of their fandom and can materially represent experiences and memories. He wrote, "fans give their consumption an inherently private and personal nature that removes the object of consumption from the logic of capitalist exchange."

    Fans argue that fan-made merch and the meaning it carries can't be replicated by the object of fandom's teams or outsiders trying to capitalize on a fandom's popularity. "You have to enjoy the music or else you wouldn't have fun creating these designs and it just wouldn't be authentic," Joanna Li, a 19-year-old student at Fordham University who sells BTS and BLACKPINK–inspired phone cases and sweatshirts, told Mashable.

    TikTok and the fan influencer

    As social media becomes more and more about self-branding, fandom has become a lifestyle, with creators who brand themselves as fans posting like any other lifestyle creator would — except the products they're accumulating and advertising are all related to their fave. In 2017 Santo cautioned against this. He wrote, "Fandom as lifestyle doesn’t merely place greater emphasis on consumption, but on individuals using branded products as forms of self-expression and even self-promotion in order to establish their value in a reputational economy." He goes on to say that objects, like fan-made merch, are no longer used for curation, but rather are "self-branding" opportunities. And nowhere is the culture of self-branding more insidious than on TikTok.

    "Subtle merch is linked to central tensions within fan culture around who is perceived as a "good" or "real" fan and who is not — divisions that are often drawn along the lines of gender, race, sexuality, age, and class," explained Hannell. And with the new wave of fandom on TikTok and the coinciding rise of the influencer fan, these questions are at the forefront of any fan's mind. Subtle merch, a fandom practice based in community and love for a fan's fave, is itself at risk of becoming a way to commodify your fandom for likes and views — which wouldn't be very subtle at all.

  • Remember FOMO? Yeah, neither do we.

    Remember FOMO? Yeah, neither do we.

    I can hardly remember what it feels like to devote even an ounce of concern to social engagements.


    I haven't been in the physical presence of a friend in 30 days, and I don't leave the house for anything other than a walk around the block or an essential trip to the store.

    Just a month ago FOMO, or "fear of missing out," consumed me on a regular basis. I live in a different state as most of my friends and co-workers, which means I'm constantly skipping events, parties, happy hours, and quality hang out time to commute home or catch up on sleep during the weekends.

    FOMO has been a constant in my life for the past several years, but now that more people are social distancing in attempt to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, I can hardly remember what it feels like to miss out on socializing.

    SEE ALSO: Who are you supposed to sing 'Happy Birthday' to when washing your hands?

    Over the past month a "fear of missing out" has been replaced with a fear of going out, thanks to widespread fear of the novel coronavirus, which results in the respiratory disease known as COVID-19(Opens in a new tab). States like New York, California, Connecticut, and more are on lockdown(Opens in a new tab), while people around the country are being encouraged to stay home as much as possible and limit contact with others.

    Not having to worry about the fun activities that everyone else is doing is a refreshing change of pace. But the real reason the lack of FOMO is so exciting is because it proves that people are doing their parts and making an honest effort to "flatten the curve(Opens in a new tab)."

    President Donald Trump recently extended guidelines(Opens in a new tab) that discourage nonessential travel, physically going to work, gathering in groups of more than 10 people, and more, to April 30. So that means people won't be hanging out at bars and restaurants, going to movie theaters, or having large parties for at least another month. Instead of going out, people have been embracing Netflix marathons, reading, cooking, and other solitary activities. And as many pointed out, including Superstore star Ben Feldman, there's a certain thrill in knowing that we're all missing out on public socialization together.

    Nowadays, if I see people going out to have fun and clearly violating social distancing guidelines, I'm not jealous of their experiences in any way. I'm disappointed in them for not staying inside and doing their part to help end the pandemic.

    That's not to say that FOMO doesn't exist in the time of coronavirus, it simply manifests itself in smaller, far more inconsequential ways.

    In these trying times, FOMO might creep up if you see that friends had Zoom party and didn't invite you. Perhaps you haven't been tagged in one of those Instagram Story challenges that task you with doing push-ups or drawing a carrot. Or maybe you're feeling left out of popular social media conversations because you don't have Animal Crossing: New Horizons or a Netflix subscription to watch Tiger King.

    These are all valid FOMO triggers, but when you think about the larger picture they're easy to get over. The reality is, it's hard to be upset over not being invited to a Zoom call when there have been more than 30,000 coronavirus-related deaths(Opens in a new tab) around the world.

    Social distancing can be lonely at times, so here are some tips to help you get through this challenging time. And just because there are fewer social engagements to miss out on, doesn't mean you can't still have fun. A bunch of celebrities and musicians have been livestreaming entertainment(Opens in a new tab), and there are even ways to watch movies and television shows with long-distance friends and family.

    If you catch yourself missing the days of hanging out with friends IRL and socializing in public, that's totally normal, but just remember everyone is missing out on a social life so try to enjoy this rare opportunity for collective downtime as much as you can.

    We may all be physically separated, but we're all living the same strange and scary reality.

  • Australians are poking fun at how Tom Hanks eats his quarantine Vegemite

    Australians are poking fun at how Tom Hanks eats his quarantine Vegemite

    Last week, America's honorary uncle Tom Hanks announced he and his wife Rita Wilson had tested positive for the coronavirus, demonstrating that not even beloved celebrities are immune from the crisis. The pair are currently isolated at Gold Coast University Hospital in Queensland, Australia, where they had been doing pre-production on Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Presley biopic.


    They are fortunately in good spirits, with Hanks tweeting that their symptoms are relatively mild. However, hundreds of Australians are now worried about the actor for an entirely different reason.

    On Sunday, Hanks again expressed his gratitude for the Australian medical workers caring for him and Wilson during their isolation. "Thanks for the Helpers," he tweeted. "Let's take care of ourselves and each other."

    Attached to the tweet was a photo of two pieces of toast smothered in Vegemite, with a bite taken out of one of them. It was a charming gesture of cross-cultural friendship from the American actor, a warm yet responsibly socially distant wave.

    Yet it raised alarm among Australians, many reacting in horror to Hanks' innocently enthusiastic application of Vegemite.

    Vegemite is an iconic Australian spread made from yeast extract left over from the brewing process, because of course beer is involved.

    Sadly, it seems there was nobody around to guide Hanks through his Vegemite encounter. While his bread appears toasted, not a smidge of butter can be seen. More importantly, he appears to have smothered enough Vegemite on his toast to tar a highway.

    For the uninitiated, commonly accepted Vegemite convention dictates only a small smear of the paste should be applied to buttered toast. Vegemite is an extremely salty paste, and applying more than that typically lends to a sub-optimal experience.

    No wonder there was only one bite taken out of it.

    Of course, a small minority of people saw absolutely nothing wrong with Hanks' liberal use of the Australian breakfast pitch. Do not listen to them. They do not have your best interests at heart.

    UPDATE: March 16, 2020, 5:13 p.m. AEDT Hanks' son Colin has now weighed in on the matter as well.

  • People freak out over Shaun Whites Olympic win, but its not the only thing theyre talking about

    People freak out over Shaun Whites Olympic win, but its not the only thing theyre talking about


    Snowboarder Shaun White has cemented his place as one of the sport's greatest of all time — but some old accusations have joined the moment.

    The 31-year-old Californian won his third Olympic gold medal at the men's halfpipe event on Tuesday, achieving a medal-winning feat which no other snowboarder has attained.

    SEE ALSO: What is Team OAR and why are they in the Olympics?

    After taking the initial lead, White stumbled in his second run which allowed Japan's Ayumu Hirano to overtake him with the difficult-to-beat score of 95.25.

    And so, a run of remarkable proportions was required: White delivered right at the death, winning with a score of 97.75. The emotion is no short of palpable.

    The win is even better with Titanic music.

    It's been an incredible comeback for White. He finished fourth in the same event at the 2014 Winter Olympics, and required 62 stitches after slamming his face into a superpipe while training in New Zealand back in October.(opens in a new tab)


    The injury nearly cost White another Olympics, but here we are, and there were plenty of people who shared their elation for him on Twitter.

    White's win has also brought to the surface sexual harassment accusations that have been previously laid against the snowboarder.

    Lena Zawaideh, formerly a drummer in White's band Bad Things, claimed the snowboarder made vulgar remarks and forced her to watch "sexually disturbing videos," according to USA Today(opens in a new tab). The pair settled in May 2017, not that people have stopped talking about it.

  • 35 things to inspire you during your 2019 self-love sessions

    35 things to inspire you during your 2019 self-love sessions


    So far, 2019 hasn't been a particularly sexy year.

    When you think about, we've all had to watch a lot of straight-up nonsense go down. Green Book won the Oscar for Best Picture, Jeff Bezos' "sexts" leaked, and Sonic the Hedgehog got a full set of human teeth, for goodness sake. Gross!

    A bunch of this year's pop culture moments have been genuinely disappointing, but we're not going to let that harsh our self-love vibes. From sexy fashion statements and television characters, to memes and music, 2019 has definitely given us some glorious moments worthy of recalling during the act of self-pleasure.

    If you find yourself in need of some masturbation inspiration, here are 35 ~very 2019~ things to think about.

    1. Chris Evans' teal velvet pants: Christopher Robert Evans had the absolute audacity to show up to an Avengers: Endgame press event in April wearing teal velvet pants. The trousers looked as though they were hand-crafted by an angelic seamstresses in the clouds and came with the equally stunning teal velvet suit jacket Evans wore to the Oscars earlier this year. We're all blessed that his stylist, Ilaria Urbinati, firmly believes(Opens in a new tab) you should "never let a great pair of trousers go to waste."

    Chris Evans inventing pants. Credit: ALBERTO E. RODRIGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES FOR DISNEY

    2. America's ass: While we're on the topic of Chris Evans' pants, let's get another inevitable Chris-related 2019 thirst trap out of the way. Feel free to think of the real star of Avengers: Endgame — America's ass — whenever you need a dose of dayummmm. 🇺🇸🍑

    3. "Old Town Road": There are many subject-appropriate songs out there to get off to, but if you're looking to switch things up a bit, consider listening to the 2019 anthems, "Old Town Road(Opens in a new tab)" and the remix(Opens in a new tab), for inspiration.

    4. The possibility of eliminating student debt: This year, Elizabeth Warren announced her plans(Opens in a new tab) to cancel student debt and eliminate college tuition for future students, and honestly? Just the thought of having your ridiculously high student debt forgiven is *tingles* exciting.

    5. The new Staples logo: People got seriously amped when that little staple unfolded. So... strong.

    SEE ALSO: 7 ridiculously large sex toys to help you go big in the bedroom

    6. The Jonas Brothers reunion AND the introduction of the Jonas Sisters: One of the world's most popular boy bands — a band of literal biological brothers — reunited in 2019, and that alone is reason enough for everyone to be "Burnin' Up." But with the reunion also came the introduction of the fierce female trio, the Jonas Sisters (aka Sophie Turner, Priyanka Chopra, and Danielle Jonas). 🔥

    7. The black hole: The world saw the first recorded image of a black hole in 2019, and I guess it's kind of hot, right? It is described as "supermassive," so. Hey.

    8. The possible return of Wendy's Spicy Chicken Nuggets: Can you think of a thought spicer than imagining the possible return of Wendy's Spicy Chicken Nuggets? There aren't many.

    9. The thought of the L train being functional: Governor Andrew Cuomo is confident that limiting service(Opens in a new tab) of the extraordinarily popular L train for a year will be in the city's best interest, but in the mean time New Yorkers are living a fresh new subway hell. Stay strong, people. And if necessary, after a long-ass day of commuting, feel free to envision a beautiful, fully functioning L train in the sack.

    10. Jauz's "Baby Shark" remix: I think the Coachella track really speaks for itself doo doo doo doo doo doo.


    11. KFC's hot new Colonel Sanders: KFC isn't simply in the business of making people hungry for chicken anymore. Now they're interested in making people thirst for their hot new Colonel Sanders. (It's working?)

    12. The thought of sexting with a robot: Mashable Staff Writer Jess Joho sexted with a bot, and you can too. Turns out it's surprisingly hot.

    13. The Night King: Listen, he wasn't very nice. He's also dead now. But in his glory days the Night King could get it.

    14. The Hulk's junk: Ever wonder if the Hulk can have sex? There's a lot to unpack. Consider doing so next time you get down with yourself, because, why not?

    15. David's dance on Schitt's Creek: David and Patrick's relationship is one of the best on television, and while David's dance to Tina Turner's "The Best" is sweet enough to make you ugly cry, it's also sexy as hell and impossible to watch without getting chills. (The same argument can be made for the scene where Patrick sings(Opens in a new tab) "The Best" to David.)

    16. Literally any moment from the 2 hours and 17 minutes of Beyoncé's Homecoming: The performance is the definition of flawless and we are barely worthy of such brilliance.

    17. The Burn This poster: The poster for the Broadway revival of Lanford Wilson's Burn This is haaaaawt. It features Adam Driver and Keri Russell lookin' gorg, just chillin' horizontal on a couch all dreamy and idyllic and shit. See for yourself(Opens in a new tab).

    18. This sand art replica of Dwayne Johnson's face: You might not initially think a video of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's head being assembled from sand is the stuff to inspire hot thoughts, which is understandable, but if you never try you'll never know, right?

    19. Bowsette: The fan-created character that mashes Bowser and Princess Peach together was dismissed by Nintendo this year, but that doesn't stop people from lusting over NSFW Bowsette art online.

    20. This extremely long dongle: Major BDE (Big Dongle Energy) coming from this one. Who can ignore?

    21. The moment Captain America wielded Thor's hammer: Yes, we've already gave a nod to Chris Evans/Captain America twice on this list, but how could we not acknowledge the ⚡electric⚡ moment Cap summoned Mjolnir? A real shock to the heart.

    22. 500 Intel drones performing a choreographed light show set to Phish: Get jammin', folks.

    23. Golf balls cut in half: These artsy halved golf balls with tantalizingly scrumptious interiors are forbidden snacks, but we can still drool.

    24. Demon Beto O'Rourke: When the skateboarding, burger-loving, Beyoncé-endorsed(Opens in a new tab) musician Beto O'Rourke ran for Texas Senator against Ted Cruz, he was one of the most crush-worthy men on the planet. Now, O'Rourke is running for president, though, and the American people can't afford to let their thirst distract them from focusing on policy issues. Rather than thinking of Beto to get yourself all hot and bothered consider, focusing on this comedian's parody version, Demon Beto.

    25. Animations of a baguette on the move: We are not suggesting you think about just any old loaf of bread while masturbating. Animated baguettes are special.

    26. Villanelle and Eve: The relationship between the two Killing Eve characters may be complicated, but their chemistry is clear as day. Scenes like this(Opens in a new tab) are simply too intense to just watch.


    27. Crocs and shaving cream: In case you haven't seen, putting large dollops of shaving cream in Crocs and then inserting feet forces the shaving cream to escape(Opens in a new tab) out of the signature shoe holes. It's quite the satisfying sight.

    28. Basically every Met Gala outfit: The 2019 Met Gala theme was "Camp" — inspired by Susan Sontag's 1964 essay(Opens in a new tab) — and everyone's outfits were S T U N N I N G. Here is a list of some greats.

    29. The Rihanna birthday outfit challenge: Everyone knows Rihanna slays the Met Gala when she attends, but since the singer didn't make it this year we have to get our fix another way. Try searching "Rihanna" and your birthday(Opens in a new tab) on Google and see one of her iconic outfits will appear. You're welcome.

    30. Balenciaga Crocs: Speaking of Crocs and the Met... I like those Balenciagas. The ones that look like Crocs. 😏

    31. Jake Gyllenhaal in Spider-Man Far From Home trailer(Opens in a new tab): HeLLO, Mysterio. We see that beard and shaggy Jim Halpert hair, boy.

    32. What if we kissed memes: A perfect meme for those who want to imagine kissing people in super bizarre places — like near a high voltage box — but are in need of inspiration.

    33. The gray streak in Richard Madden's hair: 50 strands of gray = bae.

    34. The Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaing(Opens in a new tab) Donald Trump Jr. to testify over the Russia Investigation: Perhaps some people will take pleasure from imagining Trump's son testifying in hopes it will shed some light on this long, national, election hacking nightmare. IDK!

    35. Samsung's foldable phone: The wide, glossy screen folds in half for goodness sake.

    Digital hot dog bun. Credit: RAYMOND WONG / MASHABLE

    Have fun, everyone!

  • Buy now, pay later: How to use Affirm responsibly this Prime Day

    Buy now, pay later: How to use Affirm responsibly this Prime Day

    It's been almost a year since Amazon partnered with Affirm(Opens in a new tab). That announcement came at the end of August 2021 — which means that Prime Day 2022 is the first Prime Day where members can "buy now, pay later."(Opens in a new tab)


    We've already seen how shoppers flock to such apps during big sales events, including PayPal's BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) service surge(Opens in a new tab) during Black Friday 2021. We expect that the ability to pay in installments will sweeten the Prime Day prospect this year as well.

    Before going from zero to feral with your Prime Day haul, there are some factors to consider about Affirm versus other BNPL apps — as well as advantages and disadvantages to using them in general.

    The yassification of layaway

    The appeal of BNPL apps is similar to that of layaway programs, which experienced their heyday in the '90s(Opens in a new tab) until they were overtaken by credit cards. The key difference: While items on layaway are generally held until you make your final payment, tools like Affirm get you your goods right after you order. Then, you'll choose from a selection of payment plans and pay for the item in installments.

    SEE ALSO: Everything you need to know about Amazon Prime Day 2022, from early deals to competing sales

    This essentially applies the monthly car payment model to any purchase from a participating retailer — and with Amazon as one of those retailers, you could break up the payment for just about anything.

    Amazon is an incredibly click-happy shopping platform even without the option of a payment plan. The sheer variety of stuff being shipped with almost no wait time means that filling your cart can feel pretty appealing. Add Affirm into the mix, and large totals get even easier to stomach.

    Compared to the other big players — Klarna, AfterPay, Sezzle, etc. — Affirm does have a catch: Though it doesn't charge late fees, it does charge interest. The rates range from 0 to 30% APR based on your credit and the number of payments you select across three to 48 months. (Different plans are available for different purchase amounts, and the minimum purchase amount to use Affirm at all is $50.) Affirm's APR calculator(Opens in a new tab) can help you estimate how much interest you'll rack up on a certain purchase, which could hit $100 or more if you get a loan for, say, a pricey piece of furniture.

    Affirm's "soft pull"(Opens in a new tab) to determine your credit won't affect your credit score, but the company doesn't promise not to report your payment history to credit bureaus(Opens in a new tab). To make sure you pay on time, we recommend turning on automatic payments if you can — and confirming that your payment method won't expire over the pay period.

    When it's wise to buy now and pay later

    For some purchases, layaway-style services make sense. Breaking up the cost of big investments like a new 4K TV or robot vacuum can be easier to manage than using a credit card, and can help you avoid one big chunk of money leaving your account at once. If used responsibly, apps like Affirm can also help you work around the timing of your paycheck and monthly costs that require an up-front payment, like rent.

    The wisdom of using BNPL services on necessities like groceries depends on your individual habits. While habitually funding little daily expenses (like Starbucks) with an installment app can trigger a domino effect of debt, it may not be the worst idea if you're buying something like toilet paper in bulk.

    When you shouldn't buy now and pay later

    Making a series of small payments can create the harmful illusion that you're paying less. While that's technically accurate (and admittedly blissful) for the first few months, you will cough up the full amount eventually. Impulse purchases that felt less risky at first might feel unnecessary once the Affirm reaper comes a few times.

    So, one surefire way to avoid feeding the BNPL cycle is to consider whether you'd buy that item if you didn't have the option to break up the payment.

    Pay attention to the new tabs you open from the "explore more," "related products," and "customers also bought" sections. The devil on your shoulder saying "you actually need this, though" can get louder when something is on sale. Hold yourself extra accountable during big shopping events like Prime Day: You don't want to cancel out your savings with a serotonin booster that you didn't know existed five minutes ago.

    And certainly don't snag something just to hit Affirm's $50 minimum.