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Generation Zers are posting viral videos using TikTok's #darkhumor tag as a way to come together and cope with the increasing realities of school shootings.

Why it matters: More than 228,000 students have experienced a school shooting since the massacre at Columbine High School in 1999, per the Washington Post.

  • In the posts, some are acting out shooter scenarios to music.
  • Others are poking fun at shooter drills while they are actually happening in their classrooms.
  • One user posted that she was on lockdown for 3 hours in her gymnasium at her high school in California. In two subsequent videos afterward she explained that it was their 5th lockdown in 2 years regarding shooting threats. Thousands of users flooded her comments in support and shared their own experiences.

Flashback: Last month, adults were shaken up after anti-gun violence nonprofit Sandy Hook Promise aired a back-to-school PSA video detailing graphic images of students in a active shooter scenario.

The bottom line: Young people are not only expressing their frustrations and helplessness over school shootings through walk-outs or marches, but also utilizing small videos and comment threads as a different form of communal expression.

Go deeper: TikTok is China's next big weapon

Go deeper

Dems race to address, preempt stimulus fraud claims

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Biden officials are working to root out the systematic fraud in unemployment and Paycheck Protection Program claims that plagued the Trump administration’s efforts to boost the economy with coronavirus relief money, Gene Sperling told House committee chairmen privately this week.

Why it matters: President Biden just signed another $1.9 trillion of aid into law, with Sperling tapped to oversee its implementation. And the administration is asking Congress to approve another $2.2 trillion for the first phase of an infrastructure package.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden close to picking Nick Burns as China ambassador

Nicholas Burns. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Nicholas Burns, a career diplomat, is in the final stages of vetting to serve as President Biden’s ambassador to China, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Across the administration, there's a consensus the U.S. relationship with China will be the most critical — and consequential — of Biden's presidency. From trade to Taiwan, the stakes are high. Burns could be among the first batch of diplomatic nominees announced in the coming weeks.

Biden's Russian sanctions likely to achieve little

President Biden announces new sanctions against Russia. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Despite bold talk from top administration officials, there's little reason to think the Russia sanctions package President Biden announced Thursday will do anything to alter Russian President Vladimir Putin's behavior or calculus.

Why it matters: While it's true some elements of the package — namely, the targeting of Russia's sovereign debt — represent significant punitive measures against Moscow, it leaves plenty of wiggle room for the Russian president.

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