We live in an age where scams are the new normal. A charismatic entrepreneur sells thousands of tickets to a festival that never happened. Respected investors pour millions into a start-up centered around fake blood tests. Reviewers and celebrities flock to London’s top-rated restaurant that’s little more than a backyard shed. These unsettling stories of today’s viral grifters have risen to fame and hit the front-page headlines, yet the curious conundrum remains: Why do these scams happen?
Drawing from scientific research, marketing campaigns, and exclusive documents and interviews, Vice reporter Gabrielle Bluestone delves into the irresistible hype that fuels our social media ecosystem, whether it’s from the trusted influencers that peddled Fyre or the consumer reviews that sold Juicero. A cultural examination that is as revelatory as it is relevant, Hype pulls back the curtain on the manipulation game behind the never-ending scam seasonand how we as consumers can stop getting played.
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About the Author
Eileen Stevens is a voice-over actress living and working in New York City whose voice can be heard on cartoons, promos, programs for English-language learners, and audiobooks. She has voiced Iris on Pokémon. An Earphones Award–winning narrator, she has also directed and produced audiobooks for over six years.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Cult of Flounder 35
Chapter 2 Fake It Till You Make It 83
Chapter 3 Under the Influencer 125
Chapter 4 The Allegory of the Fave 171
Chapter 5 Fyre in the Hole 229
Chapter 6 On the Internet No One Knows You're a Fraud 257
Chapter 7 The Fyre Next Time 281
Chapter 8 Covidiots 299