CommentPlus: pick of the papers

The ten must-read pieces from this morning's papers.

1. If you don't like the voters, they won't like you (Times) (£)

Ed Miliband needs to win back the centre ground, says Daniel Finkelstein, but he won't succeed unless he knows what makes it tick.

2. Ed Miliband will say anything if it means getting into Downing St (Daily Telegraph)

Simon Heffer warns that Labour had better beware its new leader, because his only creed is expediency.

3. Forget about Ed's redness. The economy is the only game in town (Guardian)

Simon Jenkins points out that Osborne has taken an almighty gamble. If Britain double-dips into recession, Ed Miliband will hold all the cards.

4. Miliband must toughen up on cuts (Financial Times) (£)

Labour needs to show it is economically competent in bad times as well as good, writes Kitty Ussher, the director of Demos.

5. The limits of localism (Independent)

This leading article discusses Jeremy Hunt's plans to encourage local TV -- is the government actually promoting a narrow private interest?

6. Competition and confusion for local media (Guardian)

It's difficult to make sense of Jeremy Hunt's plans for local media, says Jane Martinson. Diversity of opinion will suffer.

7. Stop navel-gazing and admit something's wrong (Times) (£)

Ben Bernanke's defence of economics merely confirms that it is clinging to outdated and discredited theories, says Anatole Kaletsky.

8. David Cameron's Conservatives are mistaken if they believe they won the election (Daily Telegraph)

There are several reasons for the Conservatives' failure in the election campaign -- but being insufficiently right-wing isn't one of them, says Philip Cowley.

9. Harsh realities for North Korea's unseen heir (Financial Times) (£)

The Kim family has no choice now but to shelter under China's wing, writes Aidan Foster-Carter. It is the only country that can save North Korea from itself.

10. In the complex ecosystem of British arts, weeds are as important as trees (Guardian)

Charlotte Higgins says that the idea that the likes of Glyndebourne thrive without public money is dangerously simplistic with cuts in the offing.

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The internet dictionary: what is a Milkshake Duck?

Milkshake ducking is now more common than ever.

The whole internet loves Milkshake Duck, a lovely duck that drinks milkshakes! Oh, apologies. We regret to inform you that the duck is a racist.

This is the gist of a joke tweet that first went viral in June 2016. It parodies a common occurrence online – of someone becoming wildly popular before being exposed as capital-B Bad. Milkshake Ducks are internet stars who quickly fall out of favour because of their offensive actions. There is no actual milkshake-drinking duck, but there are plenty of Milkshake Ducks. Ken Bone was one, and so was the Chewbacca Mask Lady. You become a Milkshake Duck (noun) after you are milkshake ducked (verb) by the internet.

Bone, who went viral for asking a question in a 2016 US presidential debate, was shunned after five days of fame when sleuths discovered his old comments on the forum Reddit. In them, he seemed to express approval for the 2014 leak of the actress Jennifer Lawrence’s nude photos and suggested that the shooting of the unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012 had been “justified”. The Chewbacca Mask Lady – a woman who went viral for a sweet video in which she laughingly wore a mask of the Star Wars character – was maligned after she began earning money for her fame while claiming God had made her go viral for “His glory”.

Milkshake ducking is now more common than ever. It embodies the ephemerality of internet fame and, like “fake news”, reveals our propensity to share things without scrutinising them first.

But the trend also exposes the internet’s inherent Schadenfreude. It is one thing for an online star to expose themselves as unworthy of attention because of their present-day actions and another for people to trawl through their online comments to find something they said in 2007, which they may no longer agree with in 2017.

For now, the whole internet loves milkshake ducking. We regret to inform you that it still doesn’t involve milkshakes. Or ducks.

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 17 August 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Trump goes nuclear