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Book review: ‘Hype’ by Gabrielle Bluestone

Journalist Gabrielle Bluestone examines the world of scammers and scammers on the Internet – and why we keep falling for them.

In a world where marketing is now prominent on social media and the internet, Vice Reporter Gabrielle Bluestone investigates some of the biggest online scams in recent memory.

From music festivals that didn’t really happen to app ideas that made their developers rich before they even developed anything, “Hype:

How Scammers, Scammers, Scammers and Influencers Are Taking Over the Web — and Why We Follow” (HarperCollins, £16, 99, ISBN: 9780008382643) dives into statistics, marketing data and interviews to find out the real reason why we fall for so much online.

Promotional fantasies can be found all over the internet. A recent example was the famous Fyre Festival scandal of 2017.

Indeed, Instagram influencers advertised the future music festival, which is said to have taken place in the Bahamas, until it crashed and burned down, stranding cardholders.

on an island with no music, no shelter, and none of the supermodels who had promoted the project. And here lies the premise of the book.

Using the failed music festival as the basis for specific case studies of “over-hyped influencers” (such as the Kardashian family), Bluestone examines how fraudsters like Billy McFarland, the man behind the Fyre Festival scandal, are convincing the masses to buy into their marketing and images on platforms like Instagram.

The story of Billy McFarland and the Fyre Festival is at the heart of the book (Bluestone broke the Fyre Festival debacle), and if you’ve seen the Netflix documentary about it, readers may be interested in the additional details of how it all went to. down.

And while “Hype” uses the framework of the Fyre Festival debacle to explore the entire world of internet hype, I felt the story jumped back and forth everywhere, and rather abruptly from one topic to another, as Bluestone’s book thematically rather than chronologically organized.

And given the number of companies, people and places involved in Fyre, things get confusing very quickly.