Ruined by the Fandom - How our interaction with fans affects our view of media.

Investigate the seemingly modern phenomenon of media being "ruined" by it’s fandom. Works like Steven Universe, Undertale, and Minecraft all have encountered problems with people being reticent to engage with them despite merit of the works themselves due to preconceived notions of what kind of people engage with those works. In some cases, particularly Steven Universe, high profile twitter users have expressed fear of discussing the show for worry of how the fandom may lash out at them. How new is this phenomenon? Is critiquing a work based on it’s fans valid? How can creators avoid this stigma? Should they have to?

  • This is often a huge problem with media (particularly large fandoms), particularly in regards to the 'extreme' fans, who discriminate against 'fake fans' and become overly obsessed in shows, turning off those who are more casual fans. Looking at the fandom before the show is becoming the new first step to becoming interested in something, and it can indeed damage the popularity of a show, even changing the entire target audience (take My Little Ponies, for example, where the growing fandom of 'Bronies' has turned most parents away from introducing the show to their children, lest a middle aged man in a unicorn onesie starts stalking them on the internet - a common idea people associate with the new fanbase). – SophIsticated 7 years ago
  • Some fandoms can also get really out of control, especially if little kids that can't take others different opinions make up the majority of it. This can become an issue on social platforms where the fandom in question is being discussed etc. – airyfrairy 7 years ago
  • Agreed, very much. I loved Once Upon a Time when I first started watching it, for example. I still do. But the negativity of the fandom has left me feeling pressured to say, write, or think negative things I don't necessarily agree with. The same is true for other shows I've enjoyed. Once the fandom gets too vocal, I tend to go "into the closet," for fear that being associated with the show will cause backlash. And let's face it: I often closet myself because I'm just sick of hearing fandom blather. – Stephanie M. 7 years ago

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