I learned so much from doing the research for this episode. One of the most fascinating concepts I came across was "anti-fandom."

The term describes online communities that bond over disliking a particular public figure. The first article I came across describes the intense anti-fandom that's formed around Colin Kaepernick.
Far-right communities have made a hobby out of hating Kaepernick. They surveil his every move, come up with horrible nicknames, blame him for things he has nothing to do with. A lot of the rhetoric is built around the idea that he was always undeserving of his fame.
The NFL, in this conception, is a pure institution that has to be protected from usurpers. Anyone who tries to bring "politics" into it shouldn't just be shunned, but actively punished. Abusing Kaepernick is seen as a kind of self-defense, a way of preserving the institution.
We saw the same dynamic play out in 2003, when country music fans went after The Chicks: The genre was seen as a pure, traditional space that had to be protected from people who didn't deserve to be there.
We've seen the same dynamics play out dozens of times. The fans who feel the need to "protect" Star Wars or Ghostbusters. The tantrums of Elevatorgate and Gamergate.
The people who become targets of anti-fandom are almost always women, POC or members of other marginalized groups. The playbook is the same: Find a perceived slight, no matter how minor, then subject them to wildly disproportionate abuse.
This dynamic also explains, on a much smaller and less severe scale, the way left-wing communities turn on public figures. There's often the same sense of protecting something vulnerable, a perceived "need" to lash out. Communities form around tracking their every move.
I'm not going to "both sides" this. Right-wing anti-fandom is far more intense, organized and dangerous. I can't get over this detail from a LARB article about the anti-fandom around AOC
But it's a dynamic we need to be aware of. We often speak about social media as a force that has changed societal ideology overall ("cancel culture waah!") but it's better understood as a tool through which small, vocal minorities can make themselves seem bigger than they are.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Michael Hobbes

Michael Hobbes Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @RottenInDenmark

4 May
"It may be true that the isolated, low-stakes anecdotes debunked on You're Wrong About didn't hold up to scrutiny, but what about these *other* isolated, low-stakes anecdotes?"
Wow how could we omit these profound injustices
The anti-PC crowd spent an entire decade saying that date rape was fake and that campus consent rules were a slippery slope to the destruction of relations between the sexes. Anyway, no point in revisiting that here though.
Read 11 tweets
3 May
This debate would significantly improve if everyone dropped the pretense that it's about anything other than reactionary white backlash to increasing diversity.
"It's about free speech" (but I'm fine with banning speech I don't like)
"It's about historical accuracy" (but I'm fine with existing inaccuracies)
"It's about keeping politics out of the classroom" (but they should adopt my politics)
Something we talked about on this week's episode is how conservatives pretended to be angry at The Chicks over content-neutral principles. It was about criticizing America on foreign soil. It was about celebrities weighing in on public debates.
Read 4 tweets
2 May
Every single entry in the "Canceled Persons Database" leaves out critical context.
Look, this youtuber was fired just for teaching his dog an offensive hand gesture! This sure sounds like an over-reacti—
My favorite entries are the ones that describe straightforwardly reasonable consequences. Here's one about an Australian politician.
Read 5 tweets
1 May
The cancel culture warriors could easily interview labor lawyers and academics about the prevalence of workers being fired for their political beliefs. It's vanishingly rare. But rather than show any curiosity about overall prevalence, they root around for random anecdotes.
Only 1 in 10 employers monitor the social media accounts of their employees in any way. When people do get fired for social media use, 99% of the time it's
a) High-level executives or
b) Lower-level employees talking shit about their working conditions
The latter, though rare, is extremely bad! It would be awesome if workers were protected against it! But it's baffling to whip up a panic about *one* unfair reason workers get canned while ignoring the wildly more prevalent reasons.
Read 8 tweets
1 May
Begging pundits to stop conflating what random people say on twitter with actual activism.
Twitter is a *terrible* platform for persuasion. Conversations take place in 240 character bursts. Everyone's statements are publicly visible. This doesn't allow the kinds of concessions and incremental shifts necessary to reach a consensus.
Only around 20% of Americans even have a twitter account. The median user sends two tweets per month. Twitter represents a vanishingly small, wildly unrepresentative percentage of the population.
Read 8 tweets
29 Apr
This is excellent. Mainstream media should not be publishing stories about rapacious youths committing crimes without *extremely* good evidence. These stories don't check out 99% of the time.
In this case, cops were projecting their *arrest* statistics onto carjackings at large. Kids weren't committing most of the carjackings, they were just more likely to get caught because they don't know what they're doing!
I love this piece, it's super insightful. But I'm annoyed that it had to be written! Mainstream journalists should *immediately* be skeptical of police narratives like this. As soon as reporters heard the police narrative of sociopathic youths, they should have started digging.
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!