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Building a personal brand isn’t cool anymore

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Don’t make your face the account

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

This week on Why’d You Push That Button?, I stew in jealousy over people who maintain anonymous online accounts. Anonymous accounts are some of my favorites to follow. They’re often popular and dedicated to something specific with an unidentifiable person behind them. My co-host Kaitlyn Tiffany and I wonder why people have anonymous accounts, so we chat with some of the people behind them. We talk to @ambivalentlyyours, @breadfaceblog, and @supremecopies to hear how and why they started their accounts and what it’s like to build a popular page without having their identities tied to their successes. It sounds like a dream!

Then we chat with Hot Pod reporter Nick Quah about what it’s like to be on the other side of an anonymous account. He tells us about a parody account that pretended to be him and stepped over the line of what’s acceptable. Finally, we chat with Brooke Erin Duffy, a media researcher at Cornell University, about why someone might want to be anonymous online and how creating a personal brand isn’t cool anymore. You heard it here first: anonymity is in; personal brands are out.

Listen to the episode above, and you can subscribe to the show anywhere you typically get your podcasts. To make it easy for you, we’ve also got our usual places linked: Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and our RSS feed.