A piece by Amanda Montell
For a 22-year-old aspiring writer, it seemed like the perfect gig.
Faith Xue had just graduated from USC when she was offered a job as Assistant Editor at Los Angeles-based media company EQAL in 2012. “The job description was very vague,” she tells MarieClaire.com. “I had no idea what I was getting into.” As Xue would soon find out, she had unwittingly become a ghostwriter, responsible for authoring blog posts, tweets, and Facebook statuses for a slew of famous bloggers, all under their names.
The practice of ghostwriting has always been something of an open secret in the A-list world, but as our definition of “celebrity” has evolved from red-carpet types to social media stars, so has ghostwriting’s scope. Now it’s not just memoirs and magazines but even the intimate Instagram post that has a staff behind it. And in 2017, that world is more crowded—and volatile—than ever.