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Who will influence the influencers? Traditional gatekeepers in media and PR have ceded much of their agenda-setting duties to new-generation digital bloggers and marketers who while oft ingeniously informative also show us that large-scale misinformation happens, and to those you might think wouldn’t easily be deceived, even in the Information Age.

 

One wonders how so much more could have possibly gone wrong at the debacle that was to be the Fyre Festival. What sounded like a hip party for the e-savvy, partying with supermodels and a chance to shore up the faith of followers, turned into a PR nightmare on every level. What was promoted as a live version of Instagram with chance to photograph and video top supermodels at on an intimate Caribbean beach for elite bloggers had the rug pulled from underneath it and ended up being canceled early.

 

Exclusive tickets priced in the thousands were snapped up by social media influencers. But what looked like to be the party of the century was based on hype and perhaps deception. Private jets were basic planes, posh resorts were actually tents and the food was hardly gourmet. The event’s planner in chief, Billy McFarland, was arrested on charges of defrauding. The bottom line is that with so much potential for revenue, influencers themselves will continue to be attempted to be influenced by all kinds of forces. Buyers, readers and viewers beware: even those who are most influential can be conned.

 

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