Discover the truth about the billion-dollar online economy that made the internet's best known stars
More than one fifth of children want to become influencers and it's easy to understand why. What if you could escape economic uncertainty by winning the internet's attention? What if you could turn the adoration of your social media followers into a lucrative livelihood?
But as Symeon Brown explores in this searing exposé, the reality is much murkier. From IRL streamers in LA to Brazilian butt lifts, from sex workers on OnlyFans to fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes, these are the incredible stories that lurk behind the filtered selfies and gleaming smiles.
Exposing the fraud, exploitation, bribery, and dishonesty at the core of the influencer model, Get Rich or Lie Trying asks if our digital rat race is costing us too much. Revealing a broken economy resembling a pyramid scheme, this incredible blend of reportage and analysis will captivate and horrify you in equal measure.
Well-researched, quietly polemic ― The Sunday Times
Brown's skill as a reporter - his curiosity about why people do what they do, his conviction that their reasons for doing so are worth exploring, and his ability to faithfully tell their stories - makes his a starkly original inquiry. ― Times Literary Supplement
Meticulously researched ― New Statesman
A rigorous and riveting deep-dive into the influencer ecosystem - brimming with critical analysis but executed with the lightest touch. ― Pandora Sykes
'[A] well-researched polemic... Brown's book is wonderfully expansive... The book's strength is its forensic examination of power and economic structures' ― The i
Fantastic and one of the first to try and really figure out how a deterioration of material conditions for young people has resulted in a hyper individualistic and cynical influencer economy built on deception ― Hussein Kesvani
A welcome balance of curiosity, compassion and intellect ― Irish Indepedent
Doggedly reported and packed with outrageous anecdotes, this is a persuasive argument that 21st-century influencers are nothing more than 19th-century snake oil salesmen reincarnated ― Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Symeon Brown is a reporter and journalist at Channel 4 News. He was shortlisted for an Orwell Prize in 2019 and shortlisted at the 2018 British Journalism Awards. He has written for a range of publications including Vice, Guardian, Huffington Post, CNN, New Statesman and The Voice.