Business Tea, the Creator Economy Downturn, Twitter Drama & TikTok's Chinese Influence (w/Taylor Lorenz)
On Dead Cat, reporter Taylor Lorenz and I take stock of crypto Twitter tea accounts, the troubled creator economy, and TikTok. Plus, Lorenz gives the context behind some of her own Twitter fights.
I always enjoy talking with Taylor Lorenz, a deep thinker about the internet who infuriates certain pockets of tech Twitter.
Last week, she published a look at the crypto social media accounts that broke news on the fall of FTX. She wrote about how accounts like Coffeezilla and AutismCapital have become media figures in their own right.
She wrote for the Washington Post:
All this coverage of the FTX implosion is the most prominent example of how “citizen journalism” is battling legacy publishers for online attention, catapulting a fresh class of independent journalists into the mainstream while also giving rise to a group of social media influencers who optimize for attention rather than accuracy.
For years, drama channels and tea accounts — so called because the word “tea” is slang for juicy information — have been first to break news related to pop culture and influencers. Business news is late to undergo this trend.
So in classic fashion, I broke one of my only New Year’s resolutions — to pay less attention to “the media” — and invited Lorenz on the Dead Cat podcast to talk about how these accounts are changing how information reaches the public.
In my mind, our conversation was really about reputations — and how they’re built and maintained online. Later in the episode, we talk about how Twitter and rightwing media has shaped Lorenz’s own reputation online. Some of her critics might be surprised to hear her speak out against Instagram’s harsh content moderation policies.
At the 27:30 mark, we shift gears and talk about the downturn in the creator economy.
At 40:10, Lorenz and I debate whether we should be worried about Chinese influence over TikTok.