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Toxic Fandom

Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by KeithF1138, May 17, 2018.

  1. ZDTemplar

    ZDTemplar Rebel Trooper

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    You have to ask where all this new negativity is, when you encounter it. Twitter comments? Facebook comments? Youtube comments? Is that a trend? Is it simply the rise of social media allowing everybody with a voice to be as loud as can be, where before he would simply be complaining to his friends over lunch?

    Is it a toxic fandom, or is it a diverse fandom, and now we get to see just how diverse all fandoms are, all along?

    I'm new to this forum, so I won't speak to it here. But I'll ask people who have been here a long time, and talked extensively to others who've been here a long time. Do you believe you've been interacting with each other in a very toxic way now that you have not before? Is it a sudden rise, or are people here simply being passionate and voicing their opinions on their fandom, with the occasional bitterness and rudeness that always happens with human interaction involving disagreements? Has this forum become toxic, essentially? Truly toxic? In general?
     
  2. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Rebel Official

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    I think it could be a good name for a drink.
    --- Double Post Merged, May 18, 2018, Original Post Date: May 18, 2018 ---
    "Toxic" isnt a civil disagreement and discussion. It is when people are attacked. Like John Campea shared when he put out a positive review he was then personally attacked by people who hadnt even seen Solo yet. People who attacked him with the stupid SJW comments, shill comments, Disney paying you comments, etc. etc. That isnt civil disagreement. It is "Toxic".
     
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  3. LadyMusashi

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    Yup, including death and rape treats. How civil is that?
     
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  4. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Jedi Commander

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    If that's honestly what it is... I mean, it's just too obscure.

    I mean, I could say that he "failed as badly as General Weiss did on his ruse against the rebel heroes"- but I'd be referencing a Star Wars tabletop game that most people probably haven't played or even heard about- even if it's a sick or clever burn to those in the know, it's just too out there to land.


    Oh, it's here. Not in a violent way or anything, and the mods do a really good job patrolling problem areas, but we definitely have our share of really disgruntled toxic fans as well.

    Heck, for a while, almost all discussion of TLJ was centered on two threads- one specifically for people who liked the film, and one for people who didn't.
     
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  5. Jaxxon

    Jaxxon Force Sensitive

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    I think the problem is people caring too much about Star Wars. To borrow some wisdom from C.S. Lewis, when you really love something, you're closer to hating that thing than if you simply don't care.

    If Star Wars becomes a foundational part of your identity, you're in trouble. Because suddenly your personal emotional state depends on the actions of a corporation-owned fictional franchise.

    I think most of these toxic fans are people who have simply let Star Wars matter way too much for them. It's all innocent at first when you love all the movies and everything is peachy. But once they start "ruining" the franchise for you, it will feel like they're ruining your life, because you've let Star Wars become your life.

    Love Star Wars. By all means, care about it. Have passionate discussions. But for heaven's sake keep it in perspective.

    EDIT: I didn't read the whole Observer article before posting, but that one hater dude saying "Star Wars was almost a religion" sums up what I'm saying exactly.
     
    #25 Jaxxon, May 18, 2018
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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  6. KesselRunner

    KesselRunner Rebel General

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    I certainly wasn't talking about civility, I didn't use that word at all. ;) Yes, people try to get under other peoples' skins because of a difference of opinion, it's a part of life. As I went on to say, in my post, that you read completely, I'm sure... Being patient when you have an issue with someone is sometimes the only way to resolve it. When someone is upset to the point of foolishness (ie. death threats), they're not thinking, they're running their mouth off based on a knee-jerk emotional response. Words only have power if you let them have power, so, in response, we can be respectful to those who are disrespectful, knowing that they're not thinking clearly; or we can let foolish words affect our own thoughts and emotions and argue about toxicity until the cows come home. Which one is going to fix the fandom, do you think? :)
     
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  7. FN-3263827

    FN-3263827 First Order, Then Pie
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    neither, honestly. though i strongly advocate for just ignoring the wretchedness of thoughtless people, that's a little like saying: just don't breathe the poisonous gas and you'll be fine. "toxic" really is the appropriate word because while maybe some people are able and okay to just exercise patience and ignore the spewing, we are hardwired as human beings to react instinctively and emotionally to threats: even when they are merely ether.

    the fact of someone taking a dump in your space not being rational or personal or even physically threatening does not change the fact that someone still took a dump in your space. : D
     
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  8. KesselRunner

    KesselRunner Rebel General

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    Somebody can take a (figurative) dump in my space all day long and it's not going to bother me one iota. I can usually get them to "pick it up". ;) Ignoring it is one thing, but responding with gentleness can be a very powerful unifier. I've seen it happen. Someone once used an extremely harsh insult against someone else and when I confronted them about it, using gentle, plain, non-inflammatory language, they literally fell all over themselves apologizing because they simply weren't thinking and it just came out, and it was one of the worst insults you can call someone. People make mistakes, and like young pups, every so often they take a dump where they're not supposed to. :D

    As far as the whole "toxic" thing goes, I honestly can't stand labels. Labels dehumanize people, putting them into classifications, turning them into monsters when they're simply acting like humans. Humans are capable of producing a tremendous amount of vitriol, but individually they're also capable of growing, learning and showing respect.

    I still have hope that the Star Wars fandom can be fixed eventually. It took me almost four years to be comfortable with my own personal version of SW fandom after the Disney acquisition. There was a lot that happened in that time that made me feel like I was being tossed out right along with the EU. And now, after TLJ, this is happening to thousands of other fans, and unfortunately, not all of them are quite as...sensible as I am. ;) But I don't think that makes them a lost cause, it's all still very fresh in everybody's minds. Given time, I think that they can come around, just as I did. :)
     
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  9. Stormagadon

    Stormagadon Cantina Court Jester
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    Obviously I'm skipping over a lot of what was said, but your quote here is something I want to highlight and run around with for a few. :)

    There are several different ways of thinking about what a "toxic" conversation is.

    To start with an extreme example, having a conversation with a demon possessed dude. There is nothing of value in the topic of conversation, because you don't know where or why he talking about anything, and it would be freaky and unsettling. There would be literally nothing good out of a conversation like that.
    However, I doubt many of us have had a conversation like that, or believe that is actually possible. Simply an anecdote. Haha.

    But, we do meet some very bitter and quite unflattering people. It wouldn't matter how polite you would be towards them, or what kind of light hearted conversation you could possibly bring up, they will find something to complain about. They will find some issue or problem. That is toxic.
    ... but we can play with that. I would say they are toxic to themselves mostly. It's up to you on how you will take it.
    For the sake of conversation, I'll say this person is a relative. If it were simply the old lady down the street, it wouldn't matter.
    Since they are a relative, you have a duty to care and to love this person. I would say that's when their being toxic effects you. You want to pursue this relationship because you are family. But you can only put up with the negativity and toxicity for so long before it starts wearing on you. When you're done with the visit, you may need to swing by the pub for a drink or two, play some golf, or SOMETHING to get your mind off that dreadful visit. I usually rant to a friend or closer family. :p

    Part of that this is how you value someone. You can tolerate a coworker, but you value a friend. When you are having a conversation with your friend and you have opposing views, it can be frustrating and discouraging to an extent.
    "How could they be so stupid to take that political view?!"
    That's when things start to go downhill if not taken care of. If the only conversations you have with this friend are about your opposing views, that friendship becomes wearing, and pretty much the topic gets toxic no matter who you discuss it with. What you once had with this friend, is now gone. What you valued, is now shadowed.
    Of course there is plenty of nuance in real life, but at what point does this friendship actually devolve into not being friendship anymore? At what point do you say to this person "You're turning me into an alcoholic because I can't cope with your conversations!"? Another extreme example of course, but I'm painting with broad brushstrokes so anyone can place their own example into it.
    If the friendship is effecting you on a daily or regular basis, that's not good or healthy, for either of you.

    But at what point does something become toxic even if you have no stake in the table? It's mostly an emotional reaction. Not that it isn't logical, but mostly emotional. It's when your coworkers won't shut up about a topic and it just goes on for days, and days, and days... That also gets wearing. But that trick is to shake it off. I think that's what a lot of people miss.
    When you get into an argument with an internet person, why should you say the conversation is toxic? Are you talking about something immoral and indecent? I would say that's toxic no matter who you talk to!

    Conversations require intellect. You don't walk into a conversation saying "I FEEL Star Wars should be better!" Well, why does your feeling say that? Feelings don't think. That's why we don't call them "thinkings" when someone says they love you.
    Them: "I love you!"
    Me: "Hmm... Neat. I shall ponder that!"

    A lot of people walk into conversations with just their feelings. That's not good. Feelings are good to have, I'm not arguing that we should Vulcans. But if you can't verbalize why, or how, or what you're feeling, then you have put no stake in the game.
    Conversely, if you can argue is your feelings, then you shouldn't be surprised if someone disagrees or has feelings! Other crucial elements to understand are facts, and standards. Society has mostly agreed on what makes good literature, what films are considered classics and why they hold up against the test of time...

    And that's why TLJ has split the fanbase. We have people who claim it is good writing and directing. It is art!
    And you have the other side that says it is not art because it breaks the rules established by great playwrights and others. It is not art!
    The problem with fans, and most people in general, is that they think they are experts. Even if they say they aren't, they act that way.

    I'm not a fan of the Prequels. I think they feel a bit like Star Wars, possibly because I watched them before I knew better. I think they are poorly made. A lot of experts say so too. I wouldn't consider them art outside of the idea that a well constructed film should be considered art.
    That's basically the same argument for TLJ. Some people say it feels like Star Wars, and that's what matters.
    That's only part of it. It doesn't answer whether or not it's well written, well made, so on and so forth.

    But, toxicity comes when people don't stop arguing. When every topic becomes a chance to explain how I would rewrite the Prequels.
    This "toxic" idea can be easily shaken off if we don't let it get to us. If we don't think more highly of ourselves than we ought. If we actually try to understand where the other side is coming from, or why they are as passionate about the topic as they are. There is a genuine lack of understanding, a lack of caring.

    That's the problem with the internet. It creates a false sense of closeness, so when someone starts spewing "toxic" things, we jump to our own defense and freak out. It gives us a place to put ourselves on a pedestal and have people like and rate our ramblings, and anyone who disagrees or argues is an imbecile. It really inflates people's egos. But if people could slow down and think, and actually figure out how to care or respond respectively, conversations wouldn't be nearly as "toxic" as people think.

    p.s, It is past my bed time, so there may be misspellings, missing words, and possibly a missing thought or two to connect a few things. My apologies.
     
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  10. Sargon

    Sargon Rebelscum

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    I started thinking about this topic more today, I can't remember what sparked further interest in it. But someone in an article I read mentioned that one factor, among others, in the rise of toxic fandoms in general is that more of it is taking part in unmoderated spheres.

    In the past, you usually had conversations face to face in real life or you went on fan message boards. In real life we all self-moderate, and message boards are always moderated to one degree or another to make sure that abusive or inappropriate behaviour is taken care of before it gets out of control. But in the modern era a lot of public forums are unmoderated, or very practically unmoderated. Facebook, Youtube, 4Chan, tumblr, etc., even though Reddit tries to moderate it's pretty hit and miss because of its size.

    I also wonder if this change has anything to do with Star Wars becoming as mainstream as it is, and the entire idea of nerd culture being mainstream now. When I was younger I was kind of picked on for liking Star Wars, or reading comic books. It definitely wasn't a "cool" thing, even though it had a lot of fans. And I wonder if that translated to a lot of the fanbase in years past being more sensitive to bullying and harmful or dysfunctional behaviour, because so much of the fanbase was made up of outsiders. Just kind of thinking out loud here.
     
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  11. KesselRunner

    KesselRunner Rebel General

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    When you run around with something, you really go all out! :)

    It's always best to keep thoughts and feelings in their rightful places. There is certainly a time and place for both, but we don't want to let either one overcome the other too much. Gotta find the balance. :)

    Oh, TLJ is art. No mistake. Now whether it's a Picasso or a small child's finger paints, that's the question. :D We still don't have the full picture, though. We have yet to see what JJ will do with EP9.

    I've been there. I engaged in an irate diatribe or two. It never got to the point of toxicity with me, but I have been "that" angry over Star Wars, and I still have strong opinions. I can understand the drive to argue non-stop. If these people are feeling what I felt, then I'm certainly not surprised that they're throwing vitriol everywhere they can. For me, fortunately, I keep a tight lid on things and deal with my issues through introspection and only bring others into it if I'm absolutely desperate (like I was in the months after TFA).

    I feel like a lot of this is going to blow over eventually. Once the Sequel Trilogy is finished and everybody's as burned out as I am, I think things will settle. I just hope we don't end up with a still-broken fandom after all is said and done. Perhaps with a little effort we can make a few inroads toward understanding between the "happy fans" and the "angry fans". Maybe look for the things we have in common and focus more on that. :)

    No apologies necessary. It was a good string of thoughts. ;)
     
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  12. FN-3263827

    FN-3263827 First Order, Then Pie
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    i don't disagree with anything you say here ~ and i can completely relate to the "coming around" as i'm no fan of the PT and certainly walked away from the franchise because of it.

    but i'm literally talking about the people making death threats and spewing obscenities and sexual/racial/ethnic epithets.
    because that's not a dialogue. and it's not to be tolerated.

    it's one thing to be uncivil or rude in a passionate argument ~ that's human.
    it's an entirely different thing to comport oneself like a mindless hate-mongering neanderthal.
     
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  13. KalKenobi83

    KalKenobi83 Clone Commander

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    every fandom is toxic im part of Overwatch fandom there Toxic doesnt mean I love it any less
     
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  14. KesselRunner

    KesselRunner Rebel General

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    This is why you confront these people. They're not using their brains when they say these things. This is pure emotion. The best way to confront them is by jump-starting their brains by showing them how stupid they're acting. This isn't done by telling them that they're being "toxic", that just adds fuel to the fire. This is done by responding with kindness. Yes, I know, unbelievable, responding to hate with kindness, why would anybody be such a wimp? But I can tell you from experience that it can shut someone up a lot quicker than trying to engage with them on their level, or simply ignoring them. Nothing will work 100% of the time, but I've had more success with it than with trying to fight fire with fire. Don't get me wrong though, they don't "deserve" kindness, I'm only saying that it can be an effective weapon against hatred.

    Being a mindless hate-mongering neanderthal is still kind of a human thing to do. As an observer of human behavior for many years, I have seen a large number of hate-mongering neanderthals walking around. It's actually a pretty common thing, unfortunately. Tell me you've never had a moment when you wished you could just scream at someone. Everybody has those moments, and a lot of people don't have a healthy outlet for these feelings, so they just fester until they explode. We have a lot of exploding people around these days. It's not a pretty sight.
     
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  15. FN-3263827

    FN-3263827 First Order, Then Pie
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    again, you are talking about people who can be reasoned with.
    i've been an online mod for a very popular DC fansite for going on five years now (and once ran a religion board about 15 years ago ~ if you can imagine the fun horrors of that!). yes, you can diffuse and reason with a lot of angry people a lot of the time ~ if you are calm and patient and compassionate. i don't argue that.

    but someone whose whole contribution is to repeatedly say "KKennedy is a **** and if you like her you're a **** and a ****** and need to die" is never worth engaging.
    when and if those people ever calm down and can form a coherent thought, that's fine.
    but no one's anger/confusion/disappointment gives them the right to abuse other people.

    i used to scream a lot in my youth. because i was frustrated and rageful. i know the futility of it very well.
    i also know that no amount of anyone attempting to treat me kindly was ever going to net them anything but worse screaming.
    what did calm me down? being shut out.

    when you realize that you need to comport yourself like a rational human being if you want to participate in the party, you grow up and amend your behavior.
     
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  16. KesselRunner

    KesselRunner Rebel General

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    Anybody can be reasoned with given the right circumstances, even the most vitriolic. Just between you, me and the lurkers, those people are the most fun to shoot some kind and gentle words at, just to watch the wind go out of their sails. ;) If they're going to calm down, it's gotta start sometime. The sooner the better. I can at least give them some kind words and positivity to mull over as they go about their angry, hate-filled lives.

    You're right, some people do need to be shut out in order to give them time to think about things. For others, though, being shut out like that only fans the flame and legitimizes the hate in their minds.

    That's the whole plan. :) Planting the seeds of maturity into those who sorely need to grow up. :D

    I've never been a mod, but I do understand the need to keep flame wars from cropping up and if your responsibility is to ensure a pleasant experience for the community as a whole, some people do need to be ignored and/or banned. I don't like it, because I'm waaaaay too nice, but I understand it. I know that The Cantina certainly isn't the right place for my particular version of dealing with these people, not that I've really tried it here in any serious capacity. There are other, darker parts of the internet for me to try injecting positivity into the hateful-minded. ;)

    I want to thank you for having this discussion with me. The polarization in the fandom has been weighing on me something fierce. It's good to talk about it. :)
     
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  17. FN-3263827

    FN-3263827 First Order, Then Pie
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    thank you!

    it weighs on me too. but at the end of the day, we're only responsible for ourselves (or, if you're a mod, the good of the community ~ ha).
    people come around in their own time. maybe most of all, i've learned to trust in that. : D
     
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  18. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Rebel Official

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    Well "Toxic" fandom has caused John Campea to end his Star Wars talk show on Sundays. He announced yesterday that he will no longer do the show on Youtube. Really a shame seems to let the abusers win.
     
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  19. Darth_Mu

    Darth_Mu Rebelscum

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    I'm just gonna say this:
    I feel like I was on a playground having fun with a lot of people. Suddenly new management shows up, and decides to demolish the playground. The new guys in charge says you can go to this new playground. I shows up there, and then there is a sign that says I must disown all of my friends in order to play at the new playground.
    I refuse.
    New management: "Go away you are being toxic."
     
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  20. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Rebel Official

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    Um I dont know what you are trying to say. Are you saying people being attacked (yes not physically) because they like something. People being told there wife, sister, etc. should be raped. People saying Kathleen Kennedy and/or Rian Johnson should be killed/raped isnt toxic?

    Look you can dislike something all you want, but dont personally attack others over it. The new managment and I assume you are talking about Disney did not demolish anything. They created more, more that a huge amount of people like. Maybe some dont like as well. They didnt take anything from you. Everything you had before still exists. Dont hate on people because they like the new content.
     
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