Hey Upper East Siders, Today, I have received some juicy details from an anonymous source (anon pls!). Last week, Kendall Roy was spotted at a restaurant in NYC with an unknown person. So is love in the air for the former Waystar Royco COO? Until next time – xoxo, DeuxMoi oh uh sh*t I mean xoxo, Gossip Girl.
Who Is Deuxmoi?
DeuxMoi is an anonymous Instagram creator with nearly 1.5 million followers on the platform. They dubbed themselves as “curators of pop culture” and regularly post “blind items” or anonymous tips about celebrities on their story. DeuxMoi’s sources range from someone spotting a star in public to “Hollywood Insiders” spilling the deets on a well-known figure from behind the scenes.
DeuxMoi did not invent blind items – but their approach to gossip reporting is unique. Before the days of the Internet and Social Media, celebrity gossip was exclusively circulated through traditional forms of media. With a worldwide audience being a click away–– just about anybody can create an online empire of sensationalized “journalism.”
The origins of blind items date back to the 1890s with Colonel William d’Alton Mann and “Town Topics.” His column, “Sauterings,” focused on the lives of the New York High Society. By keeping the identity of the individuals private, rumors were able to run rampant. Even after “Town Topics” was exposed for running an elaborate blackmail scheme, the use of blind items has stayed in the gossip column world.
In the 1930s, Walter Winchell started the first modern gossip column for the “New York Daily Mirror.” Many of his stories coincided with his anti-Nazi anti-communist political agenda. Winchell famously reported in 1953 on a blind item regarding Lucille Ball and the House of Un-American Activities Committee’s investigation on her alleged ties to the Communist Party. Other popular columnists were frequent rivals, Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper. As the studio system began to crumble, so did gossip columns for the time being.
When Richard Johnson took over Page Six in the mid-1980s, blind items were reintroduced more subtly. The Internet opened up new possibilities meaning journalists and wannabe-reporters could create blogs. Famously, The Drudge Report broke the story on the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal in 1998 after Newsweek passed on it. Likewise, the 2000s propelled gossip websites and public figures like “Perez Hilton,” “Laniey Gossip,” and “Crazy Days and Nights.”
Social Media and The Gossip Industry
Social Media has given public figures the possibility to take control of their narrative. Instead of being forced to address the public through traditional channels, one post can easily do the trick. So whether you’re Florence Pugh cooking on Instagram stories or a “canceled” celebrity crafting the perfect notes app apology to the various communities you’ve offended– there are positives and negatives involved.
Celebrities have their constructed version of themselves that they convey to the public. Many of us have the version of ourselves that we present in day-to-day life. We also have the online persona we meticulously craft as the person we want to be perceived as. There is a fascination aspect with celebrities and various public figures where we (as the public) crave to find out who the “real” version of this person is in their private life. These celebrity media channels are a public forum where we can openly dissect the celebrity in pursuit of finding out the “truth” about the public figure.
The Deuxmoi Approach
Deuxmoi isn’t revolutionizing the gossip industry, but their choice to remain anonymous sets them apart. By being anonymous, DM can participate and shape public discourse about celebrities without putting a face behind their statements. As a result, gossip can be the main focus of Deuxmoi’s online presence.
What Deuxmoi also has that is unique is the audience participation aspect. By tuning into DM’s daily posts, followers can feel a sense of exclusivity– that they are “in the know” before the general public. Along with blind item submissions, DM also shows photographs of celebrities “in the wild” taken by DM followers. It has even become meta, with followers taking pictures of people wearing Deuxmoi merch in public and submitting them for DM to share.
XOXO, Gossip Girl
There are a lot of similarities between DM and Gossip Girl, which tends to be a frequent comparison. Gossip Girl is the anonymous narrator of the “Gossip Girl” (2007-2012) Television Series. Gossip Girl runs an online blog that follows the lives of wealthy teenagers residing in New York’s Upper East Side. Frequent updates were tips submitted by Gossip Girl readers, and sometimes friends of the group sent tips about each other. The identity of Gossip Girl was anonymous until the series finale. In the revival series on HBO Max, Gossip Girl is an anonymous Instagram account….much like Deuxmoi.
Avoiding Accountability & Its Dangers
Upon visiting Deuxmoi’s social media accounts, there is usually a statement acknowledging that the content presented is not backed up by factual evidence and is all rumors. In a “New York Times” profile, DM themselves reiterates that they do not claim to be a journalist by any means.
“I’ve always stayed true to what I said from day one, which is that this information is not proven to be based in fact, I don’t do any additional research. I’m not a reporter…. I just ask the reader to be discerning and, you know, decide for themselves if they think it’s true or not,”Allie Jones, The New York Times
Despite them issuing this caveat that the consumer should keep in mind–– this does not absolve them of accountability. There are specific responsibilities that one inherits when having a large online following. For example, Deuxmoi has cultivated their fanbase of gossip-lovers who take what they post and run with it. This often leads to building upon the information with their own theories. There are also frequent subjects on DM so much that they are given a unique nickname. A member of the Deuxmoi community even created a spreadsheet that encompassed the “Deuxmoi Dictionary.”
Not being tuned into the “subject of the day” being discussed online, an element of FOMO is attached to it. Feeling like you are ahead of the curve becomes a valuable asset in staying relevant online and within your circles. Deuxmoi having a subtle asterisk attached to their content is nice, but their overall presence is part of a larger problem in the current climate of misinformation. The notion of sharing private information about celebrity whereabouts and such is not unlike Online Conspiracy Groups like QAnon. The so-called leader, “Q,” claims to have insider information about well-known political figures, just like Deuxmoi. While Deuxmoi isn’t calling for the violent overthrow of the all-powerful cabal, they certainly have the potential to cause some serious harm.
The Importance of Staying Skeptical In The Era of “Fake News”
Throughout Gossip Girl’s original run, the blogger behind the website frequently changed hands. QAnon and Deuxmoi share similar speculation that the founders behind the anonymous empires at one point found themselves under new management. Hailey Bieber posted weeks later after a rumor about her was featured, claiming that she found out DM’s true identity. Many believe that after this revelation, the original owner gave the account to someone else.
Between Deuxmoi, the Gossip Girl characters, and QAnon, most do not seem to care about who is behind the screen. Followers of QAnon have cultivated a shared meaning behind the movement so that “Q” themselves does not seem relevant. One could say the same about Deuxmoi. The Instagram account has spawned fan-made Reddit and Facebook communities, where DM’s posts are not the overall focus. Deuxmoi has merely become a starting point for online discussions about celebrity gossip culture on Social Media.
While some gossip seems harmless, it is important to remember that real people are being affected by online rumors. Misinformation is not exclusive to political discussions. The next time you hear something about an online celebrity, it’s probably best to wait to hear from their official channels or an actual journalist.