George Takei's Ghost Writer Fesses Up

George Takei, 1960s Star Trek cast member, is highly popular on Facebook. But his posts have been written, at least in part, by someone paid $10 per joke. With 4.1 million likes, Takei's Facebook page is a mix of cartoons, jokes, and other lighthearted posts.

Takei FB

Rick Polito came clean in an email to Jim Romenesko's blog but seemed to have regretted the decision after a few days' rest:

"Polito tells Romenesko readers today: 'I wrote an apology to George and Brad and their guy said he'd pass it on. I just said that I'd been looking for any mention of my book I could get and that I hadn't meant to expose anything.

"He adds: 'I don't update his page. I've had no direct contact with George. I've sent him some memes, as have other comedian types and I was happy for the exposure.'"

In an email to Wired, Takei doesn't share his fans' concern:

"What is this hoo-ha about my FB posts? I have Brad, my husband, to help me and interns to assist. What is important is the reliability of my posts being there to greet my fans with a smile or a giggle every morning. That's how we keep on growing."

Discussion Starters:

  • Compare this situation to that of Mark Davidson, whose tweet writer exposed him on his own Twitter feed. What are the similarities and differences? 
  • How do you assess this situation? Under what circumstances is it acceptable for someone to write social media posts on another's behalf?