Up until two months ago, I’d completely forgotten about Whisper. The anonymous secret-sharing app peaked when I was in middle school circa 2014, and then proceeded to fall from grace—largely thanks to concerns over sensitive information about users being put in a public online database. Still, 30 million people were using the app monthly as of last spring, and the app has renewed its relevance thanks to one Twitter account in particular. In the two months since its creation, Whisper’s Finest has accrued 145,000 followers and gone viral more times than I feel like counting.
The page falls into that scrappy, meta-ironic corner of internet humor populated by bicoastal twenty-something leftists who follow @juulpuppy and @patiasfantasyworld on Instagram, and the curated Whispers often cover buzzy topics like gay sex, whippets, queefing, and capitalism. Sometimes, the posts are decidedly political, calling for landlords to be executed by firing squad; in other cases the humor lies in their nonsensicality, as in the case of an Addison Rae photo captioned “beef wellington.” The personality of the account is decidedly thirsty, too, often flirting incessantly on the TL with randos and Lana Del Rey alike. The beauty of the account is in the supposed distance between its admins and the people creating the actual Whispers: everything is ironic, asking its viewer to laugh with the admins at the outlandish confessions people have posted on the app. The admins are quick to clarify over Zoom that they’ve never created a Whisper to be posted on the account, though this is a lie; a Whisper of my name is tweeted during our interview.
Still, irony is the defining trait of Whisper’s Finest—only second to anonymity. When I get on Zoom with the admins, their cameras are off and some voices are obviously modulated. Their names read “Co-CEO,” “Human Resources,” and “beppie giuseppe” (whom I’ll be referring to as Female Co-CEO in the transcript below).
I’m trying my best to be professional at the beginning of our conversation, but I soon realize there’s no need. About five minutes in, when I ask if Whisper’s Finest is bipartisan, I’m told “we’re not bi,” and it’s revealed to me that the interview is a clearly calculated bit. The ante ups as our conversation devolves, culminating in the admins asking me about my favorite Nicki Minaj song and discussing their collective sex life. Whisper’s Finest is a performance that never ends so long as the camera is off, an unhinged act consistent with their content. The result is the most deranged, meandering interview I’ve ever done—a feat I have no doubt they’d be happy with.
Lithium Magazine: It’s funny because until you guys started this account I’d completely forgotten about Whisper—but it was incredibly popular around 2014. Were you guys using Whisper back then?
Co-CEO: You’re so beautiful. I can’t believe you were using that in 2014.
Female Co-CEO: Wait. You were alive in 2014? We’re actually so happy to hear that. 2014 was, like, a very painful time for all of us. Whisper was just a place where we could turn that into something less painful. We don’t want to elaborate on the pain.
Lithium: What was the inspiration behind starting this account?
Co-CEO: We started this account because we really looked up to Horse ebooks, the old Twitter account. This is kind of our way of running a virtual vigil for that account… It’s an homage.
Lithium: Do you guys have any all-time favorite posts?
Human Resources: Olivia? You’re so beautiful. Thank you for being here.
Lithium: Thank you for having me.
Female Co-CEO: I would say 6 A.M. hot dog.
Human Resources: Same. Hot dog.
Co-CEO: We also all really like the Nicki Minaj ones. We will not be elaborating further.
Lithium: I will not be pressing for more information. I’ve really appreciated and adored the posts about landlords—
Co-CEO: You’re so beautiful.
Lithium: Um. I’ve really appreciated the content about landlords being executed by firing squads—
Co-CEO: Like, so beautiful.
Lithium: Stop. I’m going to start blushing. Thank you. I’ve seen the posts about landlords being executed by firing squads and capitalism exploiting the working class, and I’m wondering—is Whisper’s Finest a leftist page, or or are you guys bipartisan?
Human Resources: We’re not bi.
Co-CEO: I like women. Beautiful women with purple lighting in their bedroom.
(Editor’s note: I had purple lighting in my bedroom during the recording of this interview.)
Lithium: That feels targeted. More broadly, how do you think meme humor and leftist shitposting fit into political conversations?
Female Co-CEO: First of all, you’re beautiful. It just comes back to global warming. That’s all I’m going to say. Next question.
Lithium: Cool, cool, cool. Walk me through the process of finding and deciding on posts. Is it collaborative? Have any of you ever written one of them yourselves?
Co-CEO: I want to make it clear that we have never written any of the Whispers. We find them all ourselves. And our process is very complicated and confidential. I’m not sure how those clowns over at Ancient Memes find their content, but over here at Whisper’s Finest we have a very thorough process, as I’m sure you can tell.
Lithium: Do you guys work together on every post that goes out?
Human Resources: I do the 2 A.M. to 6 A.M. shift.
Female Co-CEO: Our team collaborates on—
Co-CEO: Guys. One at a time. I don’t want to make Olivia uncomfortable. I’m sorry, Olivia.
Lithium: I’m not uncomfortable. It’s okay.
Co-CEO: I’m so glad.
(Editor’s note: At this point, one of the Whisper admins starts playing an emergency evacuation video walking people through accessing life jackets. This goes on for about two minutes while we all sit in silence.)
Lithium: Okay, cool. So, you just started this page in December and it’s already at 140,000 followers—but maybe more importantly, it’s simply been pervasive in influence. I see your tweets everywhere, whether they’re being reposted on different meme pages—
Human Resources: WHAT?
Lithium: Actually, I just saw one today. The Sopranos one. It was on @trashcanpaul.
Human Resources: We’ll be in contact with our legal team.
Lithium: What do you think of the current state of internet humor?
Human Resources: Disgusting.
Female Co-CEO: I hate seeing posts about that girl that shit her pants at a party.
Co-CEO: I like that girl that had the glue in her hair. I can’t believe she still has a full head of hair after that.
Lithium: That’s like sorcery.
Human Resources: It’s not as beautiful as your hair.
Co-CEO: It’s not as beautiful as your hair. It’s true.
Lithium: Okay. Why do you think the page is so popular?
(Editor’s note: At this point, I hear someone take a picture with a camera.)
Female Co-CEO: Gay people.
Human Resources: Gay people.
Co-CEO: Gay people. And trans people.
Human Resources: Not bi people.
Female Co-CEO: No, we block almost every bi person. We have someone in charge of that.
Lithium: So it’s just gay and trans people that are making the page popular?
Female Co-CEO: And Nicki Minaj.
Lithium: How is she contributing?
Human Resources: We can’t answer that.
Lithium: Where do you see the page going?
Co-CEO: I think we want to pivot this into something very meaningful and important. Maybe like a podcast or a Minecraft server.
Lithium: How much of your time are you investing in the page every day?
Female Co-CEO: Twelve to fourteen hours.
Co-CEO: Most of us are unemployed, or we quit our jobs for the page. But most of us didn’t have jobs in the first place.
Lithium: So you’re still living the unemployed lifestyle as a means of keeping Whisper’s Finest alive?
Co-CEO: You’re saying that like it’s a bad thing.
Human Resources: Is there something wrong with that? You look so good.
Lithium: Why are you guys so committed to your anonymity?
Female Co-CEO: We feel like our platform wouldn’t be as big if people knew the horrific things we’ve done in the past. (Laughs.)
Co-CEO: Some of us are also really fucking ugly.
Lithium: Do all of you respond to tweets on the account, or just one of you?
Human Resources: I do the majority of the interactions with clientele on the timeline.
Co-CEO: The only ones that we collaborate on are the Nicki Minaj replies. We take those very seriously.
Lithium: Favorite Nicki Minaj song?
Human Resources: Osteoporosis.
(Editor’s note: There isn’t a Nicki Minaj song called “Osteoporosis.”)
Female Co-CEO: “Your Love.”
Human Resources: “Boss Ass Bitch [Remix.])”
Co-CEO: I like “Bottom’s Up.” It’s a classic. Also, “Want Some More” is good.
Lithium: Thank you for a deeply poetic, thoughtful, and political interview. I really appreciate it.
Co-CEO: This was a treat. A pleasure. This was a rarity. You are a gorgeous woman.
Human Resources: Let’s do it again soon.
Editor’s Note: Though the Whisper admins took care to modify their voices and have their cameras turned off, they sent me a Zoom recording of our call—at the end of which they can all be seen revealing their twenty-something smiling faces. They laugh and say “there’s no way she’s publishing that,” among other snarky comments.
Illustration by Yoo Young Chun