When last we wrote about the insane, hilariously complex number of in-jokes in the opening credits to HBO’s Silicon Valley, we hoped the ill-fated Juicero would make a cameo in the season five intro. The good news: It did! The better news: It wasn’t even the best new joke to be found.
The satire’s fifth season just premiered last night, but the tech-savvy are already pointing out the updates to the carnivalesque credits, one of which is a subtle dig at Facebook’s seeming complicity in the spreading of Russian propaganda in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election. See the above clip for a zoom on the Facebook logo, which briefly flips from English to what looks like Russian. As many annoying people pointed out in the tweet’s comments, the “Russian” letters are actually a combination of Cyrillic and Greek letters that spell out ГДÇЭБФФЖ. That what the letters spell out is nonsense is not only intentional, but part of the joke—Facebook was spreading fake news, after all. It’s about what something looks like, not what something is.
The timing is pretty wild, though. Though the Easter egg was most likely produced last fall, when the Kremlin’s influence was first being debated, the premiere came right on the heels of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which found 50 million Facebook users being tricked into giving up personal information that was then used to beef up the Trump campaign’s advertising machine.
Now, if only they’d had time to wedge in some of this raw water bullshit.
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