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Reddit’s newest employee used to type celebrities’ AMA responses

Is typing "I'm flattered, thank you" too massive of a task for Gillian Anderson?


Mike Fenn


Posted on Jun 24, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 12:49 pm CDT

Is typing “I’m flattered, thank you” too massive of a task for Gillian Anderson, Ethan Hawke, and Elijah Wood to handle?

When Reddit announced that Victoria Taylor would be joining its staff as the site’s new director of communications, redditor HoustonEuler wasted no time in asking her something that was on everyone’s mind.

Can you confirm or deny whether you’re behind the Ethan Hawke, Elijah Wood, and Gillian Anderson AMAs? By “behind” I mean did you type up their responses? Did you write up replies that they themselves didn’t utter? …

He explains:

The ID Public Relations firm is one of the largest and most powerful in Hollywood with lots of celebrity clients. One of their employees, named in this post by Gillian Anderson’s account, is trying to keep PR firms from becoming obsolete in the digital age by doing a bunch of big name Reddit AMAs.

How do I know this? Elijah Wood’s, Ethan Hawke’s, and Gillian Anderson’s AMAs all share two weird writing quirks and they’re all verified ID PR clients. The writing quirks are:

• Typing names of titles in all caps (e.g. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES instead of The Dark Knight Rises)

• Using one dash instead of two dashes in the middle of a sentence (e.g. “I told him – and he’s been my friend for many years – that in no way…”)

He pointed to those AMAs as evidence of his suspicion. Each one appears to share remarkable similarities in terms of writing style.

Instead of offering up an answer laced with corporate-speak that danced around the issue, Taylor was straight with HoustonEuler.

The answers were verbatim from them. Not altered at all. I happen to type at the speed of light : ) Our goal as reddit admins is to ensure that all AMAs as close to instantaneous as possible—and that’s part of my awesome job.

Taylor went on to explain that, while admins may be the typists, the celebrities are not divorced from the AMAs at all.

I typically walk everyone through what reddit is (if they don’t already know) and then they start going through questions. Literally once you start a thread, it can go absolutely crazy with hundreds of questions coming in at once, so just trying to ensure that people don’t feel overwhelmed. They’re typically in the same room.

On a related note, one of the things I’m most proud of is getting people who participate in AMAs as truly, tangibly excited about reddit as I am. The “before” and “after” an AMA can really be incredible. Oftentimes people are apprehensive before starting an AMA; they don’t know what to expect or who’s out there, and then afterwards they are incredibly excited about it and want to come back. So I’d like to think that’s a good thing.

Not much of an AMA-faking conspiracy, no. But still disappointing for anyone hoping celebrities were just browsing Reddit on their own, answering questions while laughing out loud at r/spacedicks.

The Daily Dot’s subreddit, r/dailydot, highlights the most interesting and important discussions from around the social news site every day.

Read more here.

Photo via Jon Fingas/Flickr

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*First Published: Jun 24, 2013, 1:55 pm CDT