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‘Can’t have ANYTHING nice’: Revelations about ‘ATTENZIONE PICKPOCKET’ woman devastate the viral audio’s many fans

The viral sound hits different when fascism comes into play.

Attenzione Pickpocket TikTok audio - fascism
Screenshots via @ccbinx/@lyyzzzaaaa93/TikTok Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Image

The rise of social media giveth, and it taketh away.

We’re far more tuned into one another’s lives — and the lives of our favorite celebrities — than ever before, but that isn’t always a good thing. As a result of the increased visibility, many fans have seen their perceptions of beloved actors shattered. It turns out Chevy Chase is a real drag to work with, Edward Norton is a notorious diva, and Bruce Willis is known for being just as grouchy and obstinate as John McClane himself. These tainted perceptions stretch far past Hollywood, thanks to apps like TikTok, and now encompass a new category of celebrity: the viral sensation.

Like, for instance, the woman behind TikTok‘s viral “attenzione pickpocket” audio. The sound is absolutely everywhere, and has been for more than a month, as people use the once-serious audio to poke fun at their sticky-fingered pets, children, and friends. The actual recording originated in Italy, showcasing a woman’s imperious hollered warning as she calls attention to the activities of potential pickpockets operating in a crowd at tourist sites. The sound soon took on a life of its own, and it’s absolutely thriving on the app.

All of that is likely to change, however, as information about the woman behind the sound emerges. Reports about the political affiliations of Monica Poli, the woman in question, are souring one-time fans as they digest her ties to Italy’s far-right political party, Lega Nord.

Lega Nord first rose to prominence in 2018, leaning hard on “policies of anti-immigration and ‘Italians First,’” according to The Counter Extremism Project. The group is known for targeting immigrants, Southern Italians, LGBTQ+ citizens, the Roma community, and for its persistent elitism over non-Northern groups. The political party’s fascist ties are of particular concern among Italian citizens, whose rejection of fascism is woven deep into their culture and history. Fascism was born in Italy, after all, and the country’s citizens learned that particular lesson several generations ago. They’re not looking to welcome it back within their borders, but Lega Nord seems dead-set on seeing fascism take hold in Italy once again.

The concerning ties to those rejected fascist roots, combined with a clear desire to draw lines between Northern and Southern Italians — another cultural issue that’s plagued the country for decades — turned the tides against Poli within hours. As soon as rumors started to spread online, former fans of the audio found themselves dismayed. They’re rejecting the “attenzione pickpocket” audio, and Poli, en masse.

The page for #attenzionepickpocket is still largely dedicated to pickpockets both actual and fictional, but that isn’t likely to last long. As more people catch on to Poli’s political leanings — which, oddly, weren’t touched on by a glowing New York Times profile — they’re sure to turn against the audio as well, until all its relevant pages are instead populated by informative videos and condemnations of Poli’s elitist stance.

Until then, the sound will hit a bit different for those in the know. Cutesy videos of curious cats stealing a bite of dinner are certain to lose that shine, with Poli’s voice filling the background — and an insidious knowledge of all that she stands for.

Nahila Bonfiglio
About the author

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila carefully obsesses over all things geekdom and gaming, bringing her embarrassingly expansive expertise to the team at We Got This Covered. She is a Staff Writer and occasional Editor with a focus on comics, video games, and most importantly 'Lord of the Rings,' putting her Bachelors from the University of Texas at Austin to good use. Her work has been featured alongside the greats at NPR, the Daily Dot, and Nautilus Magazine.