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Does online toxicity in fandom prevent us from enjoying shows we otherwise love?

We often hear "it’s a good show but the fandom is so toxic" in the context of various popular TV shows. Many of us have had personal experiences of "leaving" a fandom due to toxicity, an experience that can unwittingly impact our enjoyment of that show going forward. Discuss this phenomenon with any examples of your choosing. Some suggestions: Voltron: Legendary Defender, Rick and Morty.

  • I think one important factor is what part of the internet you find these toxic fandom members. The closest example I can think of is the subreddit for an anime I watch. I used to feel very alone there because everytime I expressed my opinion I was either mocked or downvoted (or both) which made me not want to offer my opinion at all. Then I discovered, through a poll, that it was because a majority of the active users of the sub were teenage boys ( whose opinions vastly different from mine, a grown woman's.) I've since found myself at home on a different online forum because the people there were closer to me in age, and while the experience did leave a sour taste in my mouth, it didn't make me leave the fandom entirely. My advice to anyone dealing with a toxic fandom would be to try looking for different sites. – brightasgold 3 months ago
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  • I reckon what is more important is ones own opinion about the show and that what anyone else says shouldn't matter. I have been watching anime for a very long time and have been part of such toxic fandoms, but I have never done anything toxic or tried to push my own opinions on to other people because of what they think is wrong. One example I can think of is Attack on Titan. Fans who read the manga think it is funny to spoil anime-watchers only fans and do it all the time without having a care in the world, as well as "fans" who complain about MAPPA's use of CGI and animation in Season 4 (which i didn't really see the problem with) are what make this fandom annoying and toxic but even so, it doesn't affect my love for the anime. I also think another example would be the My Hero Academia fandom where literally half of the fandom ship characters together (mind you, most of the characters are minors or grown ass men and women) while the other half of the fandom argue that My Hero Academia is the greatest anime of all time (*insert eye roll* I mean don't get me wrong, I actually like the anime) but it doesn't overall affect my love for the anime. I can understand why people would want to leave the fandoms but is there really any reason to stop loving the anime? – toria03 3 months ago
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  • Yes. I totally agree with this point of view. Quite recently I watched a Thai drama called 2gether. I loved the plot and the actors but the toxicity of the bl fandom, otherwise known as the boy's love genre, made me weary of engaging with it anymore. The toxic fans watch these dramas solely to fulfill their shipping agendas. They fetishize gay love and ship the actors in the lead roles to such a ludicrous extent that the boundaries between the actors and they characters they play are rendered invisible. The actors are also encouraged to do fan service which is nothing but a marketing of their relationship as will encourage the delusional fans to ship them even more. The Thai bl industry therefore is the main culprit and is responsible for generating these toxic fans. – Madhukari 3 months ago
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