Jun 12, 2022

She revealed the names of the pseudonymous founders of the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Here's why.

An interview with Katie Notopoulos, Sr. Tech Reporter for BuzzFeed News

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Untangled is a podcast about technology, people, and power.
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Hi, welcome back to the podcast edition of Untangled. Not long ago, I had the terrifying thought, “is the Internet out of content? Have I reached the end of the Internet??” Luckily, I didn’t have to contemplate that question for too long before a new season of Love on the Spectrum came out. Thank you, Netflix! 😂

The point is: the Internet isn’t all bad, and you can preempt that same anxious thought by watching Love on the Spectrum AND, importantly, subscribing to Untangled on Apple or Spotify.

(Oh, and please leave recommendations for your favorite current shows in the comments!)

This month I wrote about pseudonymity, harassment, and what they reveal about our relationship to technology. I argue that pseudonymity is not a neutral cover from the world; that whether it protects your safety or your power depends on your position in society. The essay centers on a high-stakes story by Sr. Technology Reporter at BuzzFeed News, Katie Notopoulos, that exposed the real identities of the founders of the Bored Ape Yacht Club.

I was thrilled to host Katie on the podcast to talk about that story and the backlash to it. She is a trenchant and hilarious(!) writer with a nuanced understanding of Internet culture. In our conversation, we discuss:

  • Why reporting on crypto is different from reporting on other tech issues.

  • How Katie figured out the real identities of the founders.

  • The pluses and minuses of pseudonymity.

  • The harassment she experienced after publishing the story and how she responded.

Between the two of us, we also pronounced “pseudonymity” maybe eight or ten different ways? Count along as you listen — it’ll be a fun game.

You can find Katie on Twitter or follow her writing here. As always, if you like the podcast, please review it, rate it, and share it.


Until next time,