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What are the advantages and disadvantages of fandom culture?
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Fandoms have more control over content than content-creators

When fandoms are not satisfied with the way content they love has been adapted, they will often speak out against the content-creators, forcing them to change work they had already finished or deemed finished.
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The Argument

Due to the way fandom can organize on social media, fans can affect a great degree of change in the content by which they subscribe. Take what happened before the release of Marvel's Captain Marvel. In 2019, internet trolls preemptively tried to leave negative feedback for the movie in an attempt to negatively impact the movie’s audience rating before it came out. Their efforts made Rotten Tomatoes, the website these reviews took place on, decide to disable comments for a movie until it is released. [1] Here, fans of the Marvel community tried to ensure the movie's failure, and they did so by assembling en masse on Rotten Tomatoes to give it bad reviews. The implication here is that had these fans been successful, Captain Marvel would have seen a substantial drop in film ratings. In turn, another movie akin to it would likely never see the theaters because of how poorly received it was. While not successful, there exist other ventures that saw success. Upon the debut of the first Sonic the Hedgehog trailer, fans of the video game franchise took to social media to bash the titular character's appearance. Eventually, the sustained outcry from the Sonic fandom forced the creators of the film to redesign the character to give it a more appealing look. [2] This instance displays the power of fandom at its height because fans were able to affect the change they desired by making known their grievances. Since fans are the target audience of films like these, content creators have little to no choice but to cave in to their demands to ensure their viewership. It is also safe to say that the fans know this as well and use this dynamic to their advantage. All in all, fandoms that are aware of this power dynamic between themselves and content creators take advantage of the dynamic to create their perfect movie, regardless of the developers' previous efforts and decision-making process to put out a completed product.

Counter arguments

Despite what takes place in the social media landscape concerning fandom, there are cases where fandoms were not able to affect the change they desired. Some content creators do not get swayed by their fans' attempts to change the story. These instances can take place either in the form of creators willfully ignoring their fanbase and/or even spiting them outright. Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Director Seiji Mizushima knew early on that whatever story he told, he wouldn't be able to please all of his fans. As a result, the director wrote the story he wanted regardless of what he knew viewers would say. [3] One can make the case the Mizushima knew well enough not to cave into his fandom's demands, or else he would have never released the anime. Thus he set out to tell his own story because he knew pleasing them wouldn't do him or his story any favors. Demonstrating a creator's choice to spite their fanbase's reactions, the situation concerning Adult Swim's Rick and Morty covers this strategy quite well. In response to the fandom's backlash to the creator, Dan Harmon, bringing in female writers, the writers (creator included) decided to dial the show's already extant commentary on toxic masculinity up 200%. [4] Here, the creators of the show are subjected to the fans' negative pushback, with the fans hoping that this will make the creators phase out the current writers to fit their tastes. The only difference between what Seiji Mizushima did and what Dan Harmon did was that Harmon decided to confront the fans head-on for their crude behavior. Both actions undertaken by the creators would effectively beat back the toxicity of their fandoms and negate their power to make changes to the content they submit and feel is complete.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Saturday, 28 Nov 2020 at 07:39 UTC

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