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SWC The Fandom Menace

Discussion in 'Star Wars Community' started by Outsourced, Oct 10, 2019.

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  1. Outsourced

    Outsourced Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2017
    Aight, so, this has been going around for a while, and I figured it would be an interesting topic to discuss. Although, understandably, this is something that could get heated to I'd understand if this needs to be locked or moved.

    The Fandom Menace, in my limited understanding, is a more organized group of dissatisfied fans upset with Disney's treatment of the Star Wars IP. This has mostly spread via the #TheFandomMenace hashtag on Twitter.

    To me, this seems a lot like the whole #GamerGate ****storm that went down a few years ago, but I don't really have much exposure to this current crowd. So, does anyone have direct experience with this movement, thoughts, etc?
     
  2. El Jedi Colombiano

    El Jedi Colombiano Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 24, 2013
    Their a group of fans who are disappointed or upset with the current direction of Star Wars.

    Some of them have a political narrative to their current critique of Star Wars, many others don’t. I’m not familiar enough with GamerGate to talk about it, as there seem to be different versions on what the truth about them is. Some of the players of GamerGate, from my understanding are also part of the Fandom Menace.

    The only thing I will say is that LFL have been part of the reason this entire thing happened, as they not only have rudely dismissed the concerns of the fans but also sided with certain players within fandom that where seeking to destroy RFR. This gave way to the current political polarization of fandom you see in Twitter
     
  3. Gerald's Game

    Gerald's Game Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Dec 4, 2017
    When did it become a scandal to organize opinions publicly? Rumor has it that George himself is a card-carrying member of Fandom Menace. So be it.
     
  4. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    Never heard of this group but honestly if I was just judging of the name they've given themselves, I would've assumed they were Prequel haters rather than Sequel haters.

    Since I don't know much about the group, I can't comment on specifics. I think it's fair game to critique movies (I even critique movies I like or love sometimes), but that it crosses a line to do things like attack actors, actresses, or other people involved in film production as people. So, for example, I think it's fine to critique the character of Rose Tico, but directing racist or sexist comments toward Kelly Marie Tran is wrong and disgusting. People who cross that line in my opinion should feel ashamed of themselves.
     
  5. Gerald's Game

    Gerald's Game Jedi Knight star 2

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    Dec 4, 2017
    On second thought... it doesn't look right. Best idea is to not get drawn into either side. These hashtag campaigns seem vicious and unpredictable. This is another reason to avoid Twitter. I would assume George is not a member and has no involvement at all. I don't see the connection to gamergate.
     
  6. Glitterstimm

    Glitterstimm Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 30, 2017
    I’ve heard of these guys and seen some of their stuff floating around for the past year or so. We got into a discussion over in the Benioff & Weiss thread about toxicity, and so I started looking into it again. Guess I’ll put it in spoilers because I ended up writing a lot.

    The parallels to gamergate are very striking to me, actually I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if there is a lot of crossover between the groups. Anyone who knows anything about that, um, event, knows how difficult it is to fully describe because of how murky it was, existing almost entirely online through semi-anonymous social media subcultures. So I’ll try to be careful and straightforward regarding my preliminary appraisal.
    1) The politics are mostly conservative, though a better word might be reactionary, with contradictions. There is a lot of anti-feminism, anti-gender theory, but also libertarianism and anarchism as well. Many of the people associated with it don’t seem to view themselves as working in a mainstream political spectrum, but just singularly focused on an issue, which they call a consumer revolt. I haven’t seen outright racism, which makes me hesitant to say they are alt-right adjacent.
    2) As with gamergate, one of the difficulties in evaluating their project is that they comingle mainstream criticism of institutions with conspiracy theories. Even dispassionate, skeptical observers can be tricked by this, because sorting out the truth from the speculation can be time-consuming when you don’t know their records.
    3) They also pursue personal vendettas, trying to expose their perceived online enemies. This is a very nasty, insidious, but effective tactic, because everyone’s life is interesting if you look closely enough. Again, this can be very difficult for casual observers to sort through, although I’ll just say it’s prudent to assume the attacker has the worst intentions at heart.
    4) As with gamergate, part of the problem with seeing the full picture is that the targeted institution (in the former instance, video games media, in this case, Disney) doesn’t engage them as a legitimate party, and so we don’t know to what extent they are effective or even active. In gamergate, it was actually the case that mainstream websites changed their disclosure and reviews policies in response to criticisms, but it was also difficult to know the extent of the “problems” because games media were “covering” themselves. In this case, it’s pretty much impossible to know whether they are effective. I think the only time they really broke into mainstream coverage was around the KMT harassment.

    I’m going to agree with Gerald’s Game and say don’t get involved, and if you do be very, very careful. This is where the nexus of subcultures and real-world politics, and there are no “rules” for how that happens because real power is on the line. Also in the interest of honesty, I’ll just add that I consider my own politics to be leftist/progressive, and I’m very much against this particular campaign, but I’d encourage like-minded people to not engage them. I think it’s one of those things where it’s not a problem until it’s a problem, and there’s no way to predict when that might happen. These kinds of movements feed on the perception of influence, and by giving them attention, even critical attention, they are empowered.
     
  7. The Legions of Lettow

    The Legions of Lettow Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 14, 2015
    This is one of the most intelligent posts I’ve read.

    I only discovered them today because of this video.



    So I checked them out. I watched two of their videos. I felt nauseated by all the hate. And it seems like they’re twisting things.
     
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  8. Glitterstimm

    Glitterstimm Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Thanks for sharing that video. I don't watch much fan media on youtube but it's nice to get a bit of it every now and then to see what's out there.

    I had a couple takeaways from what he said. The first is that negativity or criticism-focused content does have a momentum to it when it gets pushed out on social media. For example, I noticed that the Fandom Menace jumped into MCU content to go after Brie Larson, and didn't really do any of the legwork to establish connections to LFL and Star Wars. They could have tried, making some argument that the woke politics of both franchises are part of the same commercial project, but instead they seemed content to just let the spectacle speak for itself and hope it elicited the same emotional reactions that invested Star Wars fans had regarding the post-TLJ damage control. And this is why Fandom Menace is sketchy like gamergate, it's hard to predict where it goes next or what it really stands for ideologically because it's so atomized, improvisational, and herd-like.

    The second, and this is a broader problem with fan/nerd media, is that these kinds of channels/podcasts/blogs/websites/etc. are not very good at presenting substantive discussions about social media campaigns like gamergate/fandom menace. Part of the problem is that the subject is ridiculously obscure, but also because nerd media is so atomized, cannibalistic, and financially insecure that they're just not prepared to editorialize complex, controversial stories when they're so accustomed to the routine safety of endorsing relatively inconsequential topics like "Isn't this lightsaber cool?" When real-world politics comes up, they just aren't ready for it, and would rather not be engaging it at all.
     
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  9. The Legions of Lettow

    The Legions of Lettow Jedi Master star 5

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    Oct 14, 2015
    Maj0r Lee, who has a channel at YouTube, is the author of the video the Den of Nerds was talking about be incorrectly placed in. The title is REVIEW OF THE FANDOM MENACE. I watched it. It is a hilarious satire using reasoning and evidence. I highly recommend it. I don’t know if I can post the link as it has profanity. It’s 47:10 long, whereas there’s an identically titled video by Lethal Lightning, but it’s 2:02.20 long and I don’t need to see anything more as I’m convinced TFM are toxicity at its worse.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
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  10. Outsourced

    Outsourced Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2017
    You should be able to post it under spoiler tag with it labeled as having profanity.
     
  11. The Legions of Lettow

    The Legions of Lettow Jedi Master star 5

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    Oct 14, 2015
    Thanks!

    WARNING

    This video has profanity.

     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
    devilinthedetails and Outsourced like this.
  12. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    I'd link to it and label it with a language warning. Spoiler tags can be flaky on mobile devices. Better to be safe.
     
  13. Outsourced

    Outsourced Force Ghost star 5

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    Apr 10, 2017
    Watching the video right now @The Legions of Lettow . So far, it seems pretty excellent. Great editing, a lot of good points, and I hope I'll get a chance to really dissect it later.
     
  14. starfish

    starfish Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 9, 2003
    I’m not sure ‘not engaging’ or ‘not getting involved’ is the correct response.

    In some ways it will only serve to legitimatize and normalize the hate speech. If no one calls them out or challenges them then more and more people start to think that it’s acceptable to say those things. To be clear I’m talking about actual hate speech and harassment, as opposed to valid criticism of the movies. But I do think it should be called out regardless of whether it’s coming from people who like or don’t like the new films.

    Now maybe there will always be some people who think hate speech is ok, but I do think the numbers can be significantly reduced. I mean, in my opinion, folks should be able to watch a star wars YouTube video without worrying about whether the video contains hate speech.

    Having said all that, I don’t actually know what the best solution is. I certainly don’t have a big social media presence, I can barely keep up with this place let alone a place like Twitter. But I think having conversations like this one is at least a start.
     
  15. The Legions of Lettow

    The Legions of Lettow Jedi Master star 5

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    Oct 14, 2015
    Yeah, it’s excellent. So are other videos of his, such as his loving Solo, finding it an underrated film. I agree. He says it should get a sequel.
     
  16. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett PT Interview & Teh Mole Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

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    Feb 18, 2014
    I have never heard of it until this thread to be honest
     
  17. Outsourced

    Outsourced Force Ghost star 5

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    Apr 10, 2017
    Maybe I'm just on Twitter too much for my own good.
     
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  18. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett PT Interview & Teh Mole Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

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    Feb 18, 2014
    But I mean you don’t need a twitter hashtag to tell you people are upset. People are always upset with Star Wars though and I don’t think it will change. Are people upset more with Disney it seems that way, but how much of that is just the old generation not liking the movie just as it was with PT vs OT
     
  19. kevmp

    kevmp Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    May 4, 2011
    Never heard of this Fandom Menace either, which tells me it isn't as big of a thing as some perceive. Typical angry youtubers that need to be ignore. Highly doubt George Lucas would even give a bunch of internet losers the time of day (someone said he is a card carrying member? Any proof?)

    Jedi Knight Fett pretty much nailed it, the arguing about Star Wars has been going on for years and years and is also partially generational. I mean, I have a friend that is 51 (I'm 45) that disavows Return of the Jedi because of Ewoks and Darth Vader is an old man etc. And we aren't even that much age difference but Jedi came out when I was 9 and he was 15, so in our eyes it is two vastly different movies.

    I am all for criticism and pointing out problems with any Star Wars product (there are enough of them!), but the hate that people like Ahmed Best and Kelly Marie Tran had to endure makes me ashamed to be a fan at times.
     
  20. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

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    Jun 19, 2019
    I don't have a problem with people being upset about Star Wars or having criticisms of Star Wars whether or not I agree with those criticisms. I do feel that a line is crossed when racist, sexist, or other insults that sound like hate speech to me are thrown at actors, actresses, or other people involved in any way in the production of anything related to Star Wars or at other fans. There should be no place in our world (which includes but is not limited to the Star Wars fandom) for that kind of invective.

    I also think it is important to make a distinction between criticizing aspects of Star Wars and seemingly trying to harass someone involved in producing aspects of Star Wars. For instance, I'm not a big fan of TLJ and I criticize aspects of that movie, but would I go on Twitter and message Rian about that day after day? Nah, I haven't even felt the need to send him one message with my feelings about the film. I'll discuss my thoughts, positive and negative, with other fans, but I'm not going to try to seek out someone related to Star Wars and try to make them feel bad about themselves or their work.

    Sorry for reiterating some of my earlier thoughts. I just wanted to expand on them a bit more:) Oh, and I also wanted to say that I think this is a great forum because people are generally very good at being respectful of people with differing opinions than them, which can not always be easy. So, well done to everyone on that.
     
  21. Hiccaries

    Hiccaries Jedi Padawan

    Registered:
    Sep 19, 2018
    I consider myself a part of the ''fandom menace'' there seems to be a strong belief that fandom menace members are all baby boomers who are upset with diversity in recent Star Wars Media. I will admit that I have seen Star Wars fans are upset over the inclusion of minorities and women in Star Wars ( like my father and grandfather ) but people like them are a tiny minority who are often far too busy with other things in their age to dedicate themselves in Star Wars fandom division. At the same time, I am a bit of an outlier in the Fandom Menace because most people who make up the Fandom Menace appear to be canon loyalists who attack fanfiction. I am pro fanfiction and I believe that any and all media is inherently flawed regardless of the steps taken and thus open to fanfiction.

    Either way. I have a theory that the current division among fans is intentionally manufactured by Disney.
     
  22. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

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    Jun 19, 2019
    Why would Disney intentionally manufacture conflict and division among their own fans? Wouldn't that hurt their profit?

    I don't see how it benefits Disney to have a divided fandom.
     
  23. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Whilst I don't think Disney themselves are seeking to divide and alienate the fandom, their representatives are certainly all for it.

    While The Force Awakens was being promoted, I didn't see anyone from Disney reining back "official" or "insider"attacks, eg. from TFA' actor Simon Pegg, on the Prequels and anybody who liked them.

    Last night on a Midnights Edge vid covering The Last Jedi, he featured an old interview with Rian Johnson where he says that the type of film he prefers to make, is where half the audience loves it, and half hates it.

    If you want to gaurantee the long term profitability of your franchise, why on earth would you let him near it?!

    Whilst it is entirely possible that material could be fabricated, it is my belief that Kathleen Kennedy has told my section of the SW fandom that "SW is no longer for us" - so I have listened and skipped Solo.

    I also believe that she, Rian Johnson, and a Sequel Trilogy novelist (John Campea?), have attacked fans who were less than happy with Episode VIII, and painted us with the toxicity card.

    These are not conditions that will prise money out of our fists.

    If you look at the amount of money sunk into the Galaxy's Edge theme parks, you get the impression that Disney doesn't realise that the fandom is falling away from their product. Or didn't, going in.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
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  24. Outsourced

    Outsourced Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2017
    Key word being 'old'.

    Citation?

    Again, citation needed.
     
  25. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    My PC is down. Doing this from my phone, so "citation" difficult to produce. Not my fault you created this thread so many months after the vids I was referring to for the attack on fans stuff.

    Although for Galaxy's Edge, just look at any early opening videos for the smaller US park.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
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