Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator

Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator

by Ryan Holiday


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The cult classic that predicted the rise of fake news—revised and updated for the post-Trump, post-Gawker age.
Hailed as "astonishing and disturbing" by the Financial Times and "essential reading" by TechCrunch at its original publication, former American Apparel marketing director Ryan Holiday’s first book sounded a prescient alarm about the dangers of fake news. It's all the more relevant today. 

Trust Me, I’m Lying was the first book to blow the lid off the speed and force at which rumors travel online—and get "traded up" the media ecosystem until they become real headlines and generate real responses in the real world. The culprit? Marketers and professional media manipulators, encouraged by the toxic economics of the news business.
Whenever you see a malicious online rumor costs a company millions, politically motivated fake news driving elections, a product or celebrity zooming from total obscurity to viral sensation, or anonymously sourced articles becoming national conversation, someone is behind it. Often someone like Ryan Holiday.
As he explains, “I wrote this book to explain how media manipulators work, how to spot their fingerprints, how to fight them, and how (if you must) to emulate their tactics. Why am I giving away these secrets? Because I’m tired of a world where trolls hijack debates, marketers help write the news, opinion masquerades as fact, algorithms drive everything to extremes, and no one is accountable for any of it. I’m pulling back the curtain because it’s time the public understands how things really work. What you choose to do with this information is up to you.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591846284
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/02/2013
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 97,721
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

RYAN HOLIDAY is the bestselling author of The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, Growth Hacker Marketing, Perennial Seller, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into twenty-eight languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as multiplatinum musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.

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Excerpted from "Trust Me, I'm Lying"
by .
Copyright © 2013 Ryan Holiday.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Preface xiii

Introduction 1

Book 1 Feeding the Monster How Blogs Work

I Blogs Make the News 11

II How To Turn Nothing into Something in Three Way-Too-Easy Steps 17

III The Blog Con: How Publishers Make Money Online 31

IV Tactic #1: Bloggers Are Poor; Help Pay Their Bills 41

V Tactic #2: Tell Them What They Want to Hear 49

VI Tactic #3: Give Them What Spreads, Not What's Good 59

VII Tactic #4: Help Them Trick Their Readers 69

VIII Tactic #5: Sell Them Something They Can Sell (Exploit the One-Off Problem) 75

IX Tactic #6: Make it all about the Headline 87

X Tactic #7: Kill 'Em with Pageview Kindness 95

XI Tactic #8: Use The Technology Against Itself 105

XII Tactic #9: Just Make Stuff Up (Everyone Else is Doing It) 113

Book 2 The Monster Attacks What Blogs Mean

XIII Irin Carmon, The Daily show, and Me: The Perfect Storm of how Toxic Blogging can be 123

XIV There Are Others: The Manipulator Hall of Fame 133

XV Cute But Evil: Online Entertainment Tactics That Drug You and Me 139

XVI The Link Economy: The Leveraged Illusion of sourcing 145

XVII Extortion Via the Web: Facing the Online Shakedown 157

XVIII The Iterative Hustle: Online Journalism's Bogus Philosophy 165

XIX The Myth Of Corrections 177

XX Cheering On Our Own Deception 187

XXI The Dark Side of Snark: When Internet Humor Attacks 195

XXII The 21st-Century Degradation Ceremony: Blogs as Machines of Hatred and Punishment 207

XXIII Welcome to Unreality 215

XXIV How to Read a Blog: An Update on Account of all the Lies 223

Conclusion: So … Where to from Here? 229

Acknowledgments 237

Appendix A 239

Appendix B 259

Notes 279

Works Cited 289

Further Reading 291

Index 293

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Holiday is part Machiavelli, part Ogilvy, and all results…this whiz kid is the secret weapon you’ve never heard of.”
—Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek

“Essential reading.”
—Andrew Keen

“Ryan Holiday's brilliant exposé of the unreality of the Internet should be required reading for every thinker in America.”
— Edward Jay Epstein, author of The Big Picture

“The strategies Ryan created to exploit blogs drove sales of millions of my books and made me an internationally known name.”
—Tucker Max

“Behind my reputation as marketing genius there is Ryan Holiday, whom I consult often and has done more for my business than just about anyone.”
—Dov Charney, CEO and founder, American Apparel

“Holiday has written more than a dyspeptic diatribe, as his precise prose and reference to the scholarship of others add weight to his claims. A sharp and disturbing look into the world of online reality.”
Kirkus Reviews

“His focus is prescient and his schemes compelling. Media students and bloggers would do well to heed Holiday’s informative, timely, and provocative advice.”
Publishers Weekly

“While the observation that the Internet favors speed over accuracy is hardly new, Holiday lays out how easily it is to twist it toward any end… Trust Me, I’m Lying provides valuable food for thought regarding how we receive — and perceive — information.”
New York Post

“This is an astonishing book. Holiday has worked for several years as a self-proclaimed media manipulator, running campaigns for companies such as American Apparel. He is now intent on revealing the tricks that his kind use to influence us. Many of these stories are chilling.”
—Gillian Tett, Financial Times

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Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
GeorgeMihaly More than 1 year ago
Reading this book really opened up my eyes to the way that content I have for a long time suspected fictitious is generated and why. Learning about the way that the system of content creation operates feels a bit disconcerting, but also incredibly empowering (not in the sense of being someone who now has the ability to generate deceptive content, but more so in being able to more easily identify it and decide whether or not I want to support it in any way). I'd recommend this book become required reading for students attending any sort of formal institution (high school, college, technical school...) and anyone wanting to get a an understanding on the operation and agendas of traditionally trusted media sources. This book is the guide to how internet media works, who it serves, and who it takes advantage of.
Pookielani More than 1 year ago
I think everyone should read this before they vote!
shellyschultz More than 1 year ago
well written tale of the truths and non truths flying around the internet and news broadcasts today. Don't believe 95% of what you see and hear.....welcome to the world as we know it...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
...maybe the authors point is that we cant really know.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I consider myself one of the few initiated that has the ability to see through the manipulation and predictive programming that is Media in all forms today. I have long pointed out to anyone who would listen the methods used to manipulate the masses towards predetermined conclusions to forward an agenda constructed by those that rule our lives be it: Government, Corporations, Religion. I have to say that after reading Mr. Holiday’s book I was re-awakened to take a harder look at sources of information. He illustrates how in today’s electronic media “page clicks” rule over creditable information. He shows multitudes of examples of how someone, anyone can place a story on a blog based completely on untruths, have it linked to several other blogs and eventually a story that contains no facts makes it to the evening news, as real news. The mainstream media outlets make no apologies for this, they are hungry for any “breaking news”…the more sensational the better. Better for their bottom line. I have studied a vast amount of history and have long understood how mainstream media has manipulated mass opinion by inaccurate reporting which decades later the true facts of events come to the surface, long after the consequences have already been suffered. Mr. Holiday uses the history of media to put it in prospective. I would highly recommend 'Trust Me, I’m Lying' to anyone, if you are just awakening to how the world work or have experience with how our thoughts are controlled.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He padded in and placed some catnip in its pile."hey there dellilah...." he hummed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank u.
Benas1 More than 1 year ago
This book is insane...this dude hacks!