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The thin red line between fandom and hate

Discussion in 'Communications' started by Ender_and_Bean, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. Ender_and_Bean

    Ender_and_Bean Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    At what point does the difference between bashers and non-fans who come to the forums just to troll Star Wars fans become one in the same?

    In the rate TLJ thread there are 302 posters who rated it 4 or 5 out of 5 who clearly loved the movie and many have stopped posting. Where can a new fan of the Star Wars ST go to celebrate their fandom of that if not there? Meanwhile, where can people go who love other aspects of Star Wars and hate the ST go? The dozen or so other forums devoted to things that make them happier.

    It’s not about safe spaces or the elimination of free speech or constructive criticism but when some have left their angry reviews and vented and made it perfectly clear that they hate the film... what makes those people who linger after to continue to stick the knife in over and over and over any different from actual trolls who hate all forms of Star Wars and who come just to bash Star Wars as a whole? The only difference I see is that one likes some of Star Wars and the other does not but that’s hardly relevant when one forum is only dealing with the aspect they hate. At that point doesn’t it seem one in the same? To be clear I’m talking more about these types:

    “I despise the Sequal Trilogy.”
    “The ST movies are worse than the Holiday special.”
    “They don’t care so why should I care about them?
    “I’m going to booo Kathleen Kennedy at Celebration for destroying Star Wars!”
    “Rian Johnson ruined my childhood.”
    “These characters are dead to me now and I’m not going to watch IX.”
    “I refuse to see this as canon.”
    “I hate these movies and I don’t think anything will change my mind.”
    “What do you expect in an insepid turd like this movie?”
    “The ST makes no sense and is Disney Wars to me.”

    It comes down to this in the end: If these people hate this saga but have other aspects of Star Wars they love they will always be able to move back to their other areas of interest on those other forums but any new fans of this saga — including any who are simply lurking to see if this is a community for ST fans — may only have this forum. And let’s face it. If people want to bash the ST there are plenty of other movie sites and YouTube comments sections where that is going on so what’s special about this place and what can make it stand out and carve out a niche? Being a place where Star Wars fans can celebrate snd constructively discuss the ST around some fairly like-minded fans. If it’s not an enjoyable experience for positive fans they log out and never return and that reduces traffic. If the trolls aren’t allowed to troll on there they will be just as active on the forums that feature the content they love more. That’s a notable distinction. Is there a way to allow some trolls to post everywhere but the ST forum?

    Point being that The Force Forums are likely sacrificing the expansion of new fans long-term who want to come to celebrate the ST on a Star Wars site, by catering to long time posters who hate the ST but who will just post about the SW they love elsewhere on the site anyway.

    The non stop baiting also invites more snarky replies back and that leads to escalation and comparison of eras and more reported posts and more Manager/Mod work.

    The film has been out for 2 months. TFA has been out for 2 years. If certain individuals have decided they hate this trilogy and regurgitate the same angry posts over and over about it I’m not sure what that’s really bringing to the community.

    In no way am I suggesting these people aren’t fans of Star Wars but if they aren’t fans of the specific movies or trilogies they’re posting in then isn’t their hate better served for the Saga wide forum or some other place? Wouldn’t their contributions be more appreciated more constructively discussing the films/shows/books they either love (fandom) or at least moderately like still?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
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  2. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    I’ll speak as a Saga forum mod: no, the Saga forum is not the place for many of the comments you cited.

    “I despise the Sequel Trilogy” is fine.
    “These characters are dead to me and I’m not going to watch IX” is fine.
    “I hate these movies and I don’t think anything will change my mind” is fine.
    “I refuse to see this as canon”...eh, kind of ridiculous but not sure it’s actionable.

    Comments about Johnson “ruining childhoods” or booing Kennedy at Celebration would draw at least raised eyebrows, as would “insipid turd”.

    That said, I don’t think there should be a time limit on saying you dislike a movie after which point the only comments should be positive. Across the Film Forums we limit outright bashing, which “insipid turd” would fall under, and direct attacks on people associated with Star Wars (as opposed to criticism of their work) is not allowed.

    But I also do not think any forum should be reserved only for people who like the movie to discuss what they like, with everyone with criticisms directed elsewhere.

    @Bazinga’d may want to add more about the Saga forum and I can’t speak for New Films at all.
     
  3. Ender_and_Bean

    Ender_and_Bean Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    What is trolling then if not those types of things on a forum devoted to ST fandom?

    What makes any of the Star Wars forums here more for fans of each section represented than say the AICN comments sections, or Reddit comments sections, if people who’ve made it clear they hate certain sections and always will are free to bash those works incessantly? A Star Wars sequel trilogy fan might find similar hate in the YouTube comments of a video posted by Breitbart on how the ST insults conservatives.

    Doesn’t this place want to be more niche and focused on loving and constructively discussing Star Wars topics than general movie sites or comments sections on more generic sites? Isn’t that what will help separate it from Reddit and other general movie sites?

    The haters won’t leave. They’ll go to the other sections of the site and be very productive posters in the sections they love more and that’s a good thing. That keeps members and helps invite new ones. The fans who love the work and who had hoped a Star Wars site would crack down more on Star Wars hate in specialized forums given the amount of forums here might leave or simply never join at all. If the experience here isn’t all that different from Star Ware reddit sites or general film sites with regard to the amount of non-constructive hate toward Star Wars films then it’s harder to stand out from the crowd and attract new posters who are looking for communities and comment experiences different than what they can find in many more areas of the web.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
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  4. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    It’s a discussion forum, not a fan club. If people cannot discuss what they like and dislike, then it becomes a fan club. You said you weren’t looking for an echo chamber, and from my own experience with your posting style, I am inclined to believe you on that—but considering any comments criticizing the ST as “trolling” indicates a desire for an echo chamber or a fan club.

    As far as YouTube, I consider the worst of their comment levels bashing and worth moderating, as I indicated above, and we certainly have pushed back against “Star Wars insults conservatives.” The term “Mary Sue” is disallowed; pretty sure that puts us steps above Breitbart there.
     
  5. Ender_and_Bean

    Ender_and_Bean Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    DJ VOICE: “Discussion forum for fandom? Fan clubs? Made up words.”

    I kid but if that IS a distinction then why not veer more toward the fan club approach within certain forums and then leave the saga section more for the bashing of certain films? This is the communications site so I suppose I’m proposing this concept.

    It’s possible to constructively discuss each film within the more fan club approach I’m referring to here and I would say probably 90% of the activity on the ST is generally constructive with people who seem open to discussion but when you have someone saying “I loathe this sequel trilogy and nothing will change my mind” then what can constructively come of that?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  6. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Sometimes folks may want to vent -- and not every post has to be engaged with. But making the trilogy discussion forum a praise-only environment is not something we'd like to do because it stifles discussion.

    Some discussion might be counterproductive and to the extent that it's baiting and trolling it can and should be dealt with. But sometimes it's just a matter of moving past views we don't agree with. Not everyone will be persuaded, but it's not about persuading everyone to your point of view. People are entitled to their opinions.

    Or, in other words, I concur with what @anakinfansince1983 has been saying.
     
  7. Ender_and_Bean

    Ender_and_Bean Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    What would be some samples/examples of trolling or baiting then on the ST forum?

    Just personal attacks and nothing else?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  8. Bazinga'd

    Bazinga'd Hand of the Mod Squad and Enforcer of the Realm star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2012
    I agree with @anakinfansince1983 and @GrandAdmiralJello on this wholeheartedly. But I would also add that the context of the thread is important to determine the appropropriateness of the comment. Also, if its a forum regular who is expressing his or her views in a related thread as opposed to a random user who shoes up to disrupt a thread., we are going to take it into account. In general constructive criticism of the film is expected and welcome even if its contrary to the majority opinion of the film. Where it starts to draw a line, is where the poster is targeting the opinion of another user.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  9. KnightWriter

    KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 6, 2001
    I can't see myself ever posting in one of the film forums now or in the future, but I think I know what the OP is getting at. He's talking about the authoritarian white male types who can't get over or past seeing their white male fantasies being altered in ways they disapprove of, or seeing their supremacy undermined by pretenders (both conceptually and personally). These are the men who are so ardent and personal in their views that it's not enough to disagree-- they need to destroy or damage, because the existence of the new films and a different vision for what they perceive as their own identity is intolerable.

    For these men (and I would be willing to bet that 95-98% of them are men), a part of themselves is genuinely under attack by these films and anything else that appears to promote diversity (whether in thought, race, sex, or anything else that isn't white male supremacy). That's why they can't let this go and move on. At this point, most people who dislike one or both the existing sequel films have moved on to other things. Not these men. They've got to attack, attack, attack. Anything else is tantamount to acceptance, and that's unacceptable in the extreme.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  10. Ender_and_Bean

    Ender_and_Bean Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    To be clear, the Managers and Moderators of the ST forum do a truly incredible job. I’ve moderated forums before and I love how this group seems to work together and also the general philosophy on larger, broad topics to reduce clutter. Their communication, involving color, and ability to reign in off topic rants, and reported infractions is also remarkable. They’re all great posters.

    My post was intended really for 2 purposes:

    1) Propose a culture shift slightly more toward “fan club” culture where dissenting opinions are welcome obviously and complex, varied discussion and debate is valued but where outright, unwavering trolling that’s uninterested in anything beyond baiting and ruining the enjoyment some are having with the films is tolerated less. This was merely a proposal of course. One where my central argument was the basis that hatred toward Star Wars can really be found in any number of places online that are less tailored to Star Wars or Star Wars topics but that discussion that’s more productive and less trollish related to Star Wars is far less common and I suspect there’s a huge demographic of people annoyed with reddit and twitter and other negative hives that are seeking more of a fan club environment. Not an echo chamber but not a torture chamber either. There could be increased opportunity to appeal to new fans who lurk and are otherwise put off or intimidated by the angry culture. And I strongly suspect that anyone who had access removed, or read only access to that forum would still post in the areas where they’re happier with Star Wars anyway. Members likely wouldn’t decrease; they’d increase. Perhaps significantly. The long time TFF folks are already hooked here and won’t go anywhere. They’d just find other places where they’re less angry. It’s the new fans that may be put off.

    2) I was just hoping to get a better understanding of what was considered trolling or baiting regarding the ST itself on the ST forum.

    These were not criticisms. Merely a single proposal for consideration and a request for information. I appreciate the responses and also appreciate TFF and the work you all do.

    Thank you,
    E&B
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  11. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2005
    As a New Films mod, our goal is to encourage discussion and exchange of viewpoints, not enforce echo chambers. We want to know what worked and what didn't, and hopefully why.

    We do our best not to stifle dissent, but to shut down posts that diminish other viewpoints or do their darndest to shut down discussion. We thrive on discussion, but it's hard for posters to actually discuss when a "fan" or "hater" proclaims a "universal truth" that is far from universal.
     
  12. Instant Force Talk

    Instant Force Talk Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Dec 23, 2017
    What I say is based on experience, and is also based on my feelings on that experience: You will ALWAYS encounter somebody who thinks their (self-)entitlement is either more important than the fandom, those who want to interact/communicate with them, or even act like their opinion and views are best for said fandom. The worst that can happen is that it leads to a herd mentality. Because lets face it -- If even the smallest infraction offends one person who can afford what others cannot buy, they are going to convince everybody who will listen that the company deserves to be boycotted. Or said person who disagrees should be hated and vilified for their own reasons.

    I can give examples. And I will also add that trolls can be ignored, blocked, and removed. But when it comes to a "fan club" mentality... That can lead to what I have just mentioned.
     
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  13. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    To the OP, is this the second time that you have tried to propose the fan club thingy?

    Did you raise it when the Prequels were being attacked, or was it fair game back then?

    Plus, we do have a forum with Fan Club threads.

    I was in a Jawa one for a bit.

    Just start a TLJ one, state in the intro post what you don't want to see, and Bob's your U.N.C.L.E.
     
  14. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    I was going to mention the fact that Star Wars Community has many fan clubs, and posting negative comments about the subject of the fan club—any negative comments whatsoever—is considered trolling there.

    On TLJ subjects, I know there is a fan club for Kylo Ren and a fan club for Reylo. ETA: Just checked, there is also one for Rose.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  15. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 29, 2016
    By my definition, any criticism rooting in bigotry or prejudice of any kind.

    "Rose is SJW propaganda" vs "Rose was written poorly for example.

    I find it fairly easy to tell the difference.
     
  16. Ender_and_Bean

    Ender_and_Bean Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    Interesting I wasn’t aware of those fan clubs here. Where can I find them?

    EDIT: Found them. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  17. A Chorus of Disapproval

    A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Fearless Vampire Killer star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2003
    A fair bit of the hyperbolic dissent would not be quite so obnoxious were they not raising their voices to higher decibels in response to "If you were a True FanTM, you would love the films as much as I do". Truthfully, the gushing has reached nearly the same level of tedium as bashing. TLJ is clearly a film that divides people. But, when someone genuinely attempts to express how the film failed to convince them of its story choices, the responses have been about as productive as attempting to get a fair assessment of the Trump Administration from Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

    Both "sides" are annoyed to the point of entrenching, with zero intent of giving an inch to the other, and doubling down on their shouting about the film's perfection or irredeemable terribleness.

    We are doing our best to help the poor neutral people in the middle survive both sides vomiting hyperbole at each other while enforcing what rules exist to allow all voices to be heard.
     
  18. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    I think it's a misstatement to say that the ST forums are "devoted to ST fandom." The forums here are for categories or subject matters of discussion -- so the ST forum is a place to discuss the ST.

    That means both praise and criticism.

    (To the extent that any criticism violates board rules such as rules on flaming, trolling, baiting, or the hate speech policy is different from a discussion on where criticism of the ST belongs. Mere criticism alone isn't trolling or hate speech. But if you see legitimate trolling or hate speech, that is of course actionable and we will deal with it. Plenty of discourse about these films does fall into that category. But not all of it, not by default.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  19. bluealien1

    bluealien1 Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2015
    PT has had growing pains and the ST is now having them as well.I think give them time and the trolls will find some thing else to B and moan about and move on.BTW hello Modds/Overlords/OverLadys i hope you don't mind my two cents getting thrown in.O:)
     
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  20. Darth Punk

    Darth Punk Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Be more Ender.
     
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  21. firesaber

    firesaber Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 5, 2006
    I think your title for this thread sums it up exactly. Love/hate is a fine line, passion is a knifes edge etc. While there are parts of the Saga I do not care for there are an equal number that personally I do and I don't begrudge those for casting their "aspersions". I think a lot of it for different members has to do with their background in fandom.

    As an example, the Mustafar fight in EPIII was worth the price of admission alone for me. I grew up as a kid with that lava thing only alluded to in the thinnest way and at that time only had it my imagination. It was nice to see it realized on the screen-for me. Why, because the ROTJ novel was one of those rare instance where my dad had the extra few bucks to buy me something SW related.

    A lot of my fandom can relate to stories just like and have heart string moments. It's cool if you like my point of view, its cool if you don't. I like the one suggestion of creating a love fest thread. Nothing wrong with that and I would happily visit it.

    With thetr now being three separate eras of fandom you will sooner see a 2 state solution brokered before fandom unites, but I'll enjoy the (see: civil) discourse till then.
     
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  22. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Awwww!

    You had me at "love fest thread".
     
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  23. Ender_and_Bean

    Ender_and_Bean Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    Just wanted to say thank you to anyone who read or replied.

    The Managers of the ST forum have recently implemented and sent an announcement out that details and better defines very clearly how to better avoid aspects of what I was trying to convey in this thread and I’ve already noticed a big increase in perception and enforcement around those changes, including more constructive discussion, analysis and debate and also some new and older posters posting in the ST forums. The changes have also made it more clear to me how important it is not to dig in and keep an open mind to criticism on my end of the fanatic spectrum.

    Did the new posters sign up or come back because of the announcement and tighter definitions? No idea, but I do think they’re more likely to stay posting because of them. I also think there will be more from both camps as well. So, thanks again for your consideration!

    Cheers,
    E&B
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  24. Ender_and_Bean

    Ender_and_Bean Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
  25. JediDotNet

    JediDotNet Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Oct 31, 2012
    This is a link to an article about Star Wars toxic fandom. Not civil discussion about aspects about a movie, a scene, a trilogy whatever. That should be celebrated. John Campea also put out a facebook post about the immediate reaction towards his positive review of Solo. He was immediately attacked in a vile manner by many. I really think that major Star Wars sites should come together and issue an article about toxic fandom. Would also be great of youtube channels would do it as well.

    http://observer.com/2018/05/star-wars-fandom-toxic-disney-lucasfilm/

    LAJ edit - just a note that the article contains TOS-unfriendly language and statements, especially in the imbedded comments. If you don't want to be offended don't click the link.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2018