Journalist Gabrielle Bluestone investigates the world of scammers and con artists on the internet – and why we continue to fall for them.
In a world where marketing is now prominent on social media and the internet, Vice reporter Gabrielle Bluestone explores some of the biggest online scams in recent history. From music festivals that didn’t really happen to app ideas that made their developers rich before they even developed anything, ‘Hype: How Scammers, Grifters, Con Artists, and Influencers Are Taking Over the Internet – and Why We’re Following’ (HarperCollins, £16.99, ISBN: 9780008382643) delves through statistics, marketing data, and interviews to find out the real reason we fall for so much online.
Promotional fantasies are everywhere across the internet. One recent example was the famous Fyre Festival scandal of 2017. Indeed, Instagram “influencers” hyped the would-be music festival, which would have taken place in the Bahamas, right up to the time it crashed and burned, leaving ticket-holders stranded on an island with no music, no lodgings, and none of the supermodels who had promoted the project.
And here lies the premise of the book. Bluestone uses the failed music festival as a foundation for specific case studies of “over-hyped influencers” (such as the Kardashian family), and explores how fraudsters like Billy McFarland, the man behind the Fyre Festival…