The arms race of celebrity

This passage from Tim Wu’s The Master Switch pg 225 offers a useful account for making sense of the rise of a figure like Lawrence Fox. When the ‘arms race of exposure’ is more intense than ever because social media means a great many of us have entered into it, new strategies become necessary to succeed including, as Will Davies points out, claiming you are standing up against those seeking to silence you and saying what others are unable to say:

In this, however, they would find themselves in fierce competition with other celebrities, resulting in a veritable arms race of exposure. Of course, some are so famous that gaining more attention is unnecessary. But among those less secure in their prospects, revealing embarrassments or personal failings, appearing less than fully clothed on red carpets, and sometimes engaging in even more extreme exhibitionism would be the secret to besting their rivals in a zero-sum game.

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