50 Cent has more than 200,000 fans following his every 140-character pronouncement on Twitter, such as this recent gem: "My ambition leads me through a tunnel that never ends." But the multimillionaire rapper doesn't bother to write his microblog; he has an assistant who does it in his voice. As the New York Times reports, 50 is just one of many celebrities, politicians, and businesses that have embraced the intimacy of Twitter, but aren't tweeting themselves.
Britney Spears recently advertised for a ghost Twitterer, while Kanye West bragged that having two blogging assistants "is just like how a designer would work." But while the famous and busy have relied on professionals to write autobiographies or even letters, employing someone to write single sentences has appalled some of the technology's fans, such as prolific Twitterer Shaquille O'Neal: "It’s 140 characters. If you need a ghostwriter for that, I feel sorry for you."