Hype: How Scammers, Grifters, and Con Artists Are Taking Over the Internet--And Why We're Following (Hardcover)

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Hype: How Scammers, Grifters, and Con Artists Are Taking Over the Internet--And Why We're Following By Gabrielle Bluestone Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

Hype follows the rise and fall and rise and fall of Billy McFarland, the serial entrepreneur/scam artist of Fyre Festival and assorted other shenanigans, including social media app Spling and the Magnises VIP card, which I remember reading about in a not particularly negative story in The New York Times. Using this as a jumping off point, Bluestone touches on business scammers, political scammers, and social media influencer scammers. McFarland is the through line in the story, and it is what Bluestone knows best, as she was Executive Producer of the Fyre documentary for Netflix, but I find it interesting that from what I can see, McFarland's story is downplayed. After Hype, I’m even more apt to question social media and influencers, but as my experience shows, the fabrications documented in this book wind up slipping into traditional media as well. It’s entertaining to read about these foibles if you didn’t fall victim to the scams, but probably a lot more disturbing if you’ve been successfully targeted.

— Daniel Goldin


"Hype is the best kind of nonfiction: juicy, sharp, savage and wildly entertaining, with a celebrity behaving badly on every page. What more could you want?" -Cat Marnell, New York Times-bestselling author of How to Murder Your Life

From former Vice journalist and executive producer of hit Netflix documentary Fyre comes an eye-opening look at the con artists, grifters and snake oil salesmen of the digital age--and why we can't stop falling for them.

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, former 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 season--and how we as consumers can stop getting played.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781335016492
ISBN-10: 133501649X
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Publication Date: April 6th, 2021
Pages: 352
Language: English