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Kromm

"Stan" culture

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This comes up in lots of other topics, but I think deserves it's own. 

"Fan", as I think most of us know, comes from "fanatic".  But there had ultimately been a progression where the term lost any bite and usually just meant you were a consumer of that person's product. 

Fans have been suceeded by the superfans, the Stans. 

"Stan", many might not know, came from an Eminem song, which detailed a story of dangerous angry obsession.

But time has had the term change and be adopted as a supposed "Good" thing, that celebrities support and cultivate. Now it's the most dedicated fans, the ones with the named fandoms, the Little Monsters, the Lovatics, the Directioners, and countless others, and "Stanning" is the generic term for the devotion. 

Supposedly it's harmless now. 

But increasingly I see the dark side returning in more subtle ways than Stan in Eminem's song. 

Let's discuss. Defend Stanning if you want. Or do the opposite. Discuss examples, celebrities affected, and related issues. 

I've given mostly music industry examples above, but TV and movie culture is far from immune to this.  It's not always named as Standom but think of the die hard fights over DC vs Marvel media fandom.  Think of Zach Snyder fights, pro and con.  Think of arguably overdevoted fans of various fandom factions of certain characters or romances on TV shows (many also apparently "named" fandoms). Now, the actual issues may differ slightly from music Stans, but if so we can discuss that too. 

Edited by Kromm
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Does the Beyhive count as crazy internet fans/stans who will swarm posts and accounts, both positively and negatively?

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7 minutes ago, Hiyo said:

Does the Beyhive count as crazy internet fans/stans who will swarm posts and accounts, both positively and negatively?

Yeah.  And the one that sparked me currently is the Lovatics. I've been discussing in other places how they're arguably actually hurting their own heroine, every time one of them Overstans and tells her in a tweet or YouTube comment to her documentary how "brave" she is.  Both feeding her ego, but also reinforcing the level of expectation on her to continue to "be brave". 

The complexity here is that Demi herself and her own ego combine to make it worse. Nobody forced her to make documentaries about every step of her crisis. She's both the victim of, and perpetrator of, many of her own fan based problems. 

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I've already brought up Demi Lovato, and what I perceive Stanning fans have, and continue to do, to her head space. Ego building, ego demolition, it's all flip sides of the same coin. 

Meanwhile, she's doing crap like this: 

https://www.tmz.com/2021/04/19/demi-lovato-battle-froyo-shop-diet-cookies/

A search of the Twitter hashtag #demilovato seems to argue the Stans are losing or staying quiet, or in Demi Lovato safe spaces, like comments on her videos. Because the backlash against her is huge. 

I'd argue you can already scent the potential relapse on the horizon. 

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49 minutes ago, Danny Franks said:

When something disappoints me to the extent that it's ruining my enjoyment, I just disengage

The idea of Stanning for a franchise?  In it's own way, it might actually be even more disturbing than Stanning a person. More real people (actors, show runners, studio execs, etc) get involved, not just one. 

I often disengage, but I might also hate-watch in some cases. Which I suppose is its own kind of deviancy, but at least I'm not wasting tons of time, attention and emotional energy defending crap. 

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So does this 'Stan' deal just cover celebs or can it be applied to those in public service (no, I'm NOT going to bring up any individuals in the latter category)?

I always thought the one-hit wonder Living Colour's song "Cult of Personality"(1988) covered the issue quite effectively. 

I suppose what could separate the 'stans' from the regular fans might be if one were to attempt to ask the question  "What would [blank] have to do in front of you before you'd be willing to say 'Yeah, he/she went too far! He/she was wrong! It's ALL their fault and they need to just take their medicine! I'm DONE with them!?'"

One could possibly ask a regular fan the above   and they'd at least be willing to give some kind of answer but I seriously doubt one could get anything but rather intense disses from a 'stan' for daring to ask them that'! 

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Not sure if this counts or not, but it does remind me of a joke I heard a few years ago:

 

Beyonce: Farts into a microphone

Beyhive: Yaaaas! Slay, Queen, slay! ALL the awards!

 

Granted, I suppose you could sub in quite a few other names doing similar things and the joke could still work...

Edited by Hiyo
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Wikipedia: Parasocial interaction

Quote

Parasocial interaction (PSI) refers to a kind of psychological relationship experienced by an audience in their mediated encounters with performers in the mass media, particularly on television. Viewers or listeners come to consider media personalities as friends, despite having limited interactions with them. PSI is described as an illusionary experience, such that media audiences interact with personas (e.g., talk show hosts, celebrities, fictional characters, social media influencers) as if they are engaged in a reciprocal relationship with them. 

I think about this a lot, especially these days, and when I see people passionately referring to/defending their favorite celebs as though they are on a first-name basis with them. I have never experienced it myself, so I'm kind of on the outside scratching my head. I would never assume I know anything about what any celeb is really like as an actual person, plus the whole 'never meet your heroes' rule of thumb. 

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10 minutes ago, kieyra said:

Wikipedia: Parasocial interaction

I think about this a lot, especially these days, and when I see people passionately referring to/defending their favorite celebs as though they are on a first-name basis with them. I have never experienced it myself, so I'm kind of on the outside scratching my head. I would never assume I know anything about what a celeb is really like as an actual person, plus the whole 'never meet your heroes' rule of thumb. 

Of course, I think one acid test of a 'stan' from a fan would be whether their celeb could say or do anything to rip off their rose-colored glasses even if the celeb was directly hateful and cruel to their onetime adoring fan. I think  a 'stan' could be treated like dirt (or worse) and would still come back for more whereas a regular fan would more often than not be done with the celeb. 

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It's been a long time since I've been a super fan, but I don't ever remember being so far invested that I would have been called a "stan".  I would defend my favorite actors/artists, but not to that level.  I would just consume every article and interview, watch every movie, buy every album.  That sort of thing. 

The best thing I ever did was stop reading every article and watching every interview.  I'm blissfully unaware of how badly they may behave.  I do, however, still get disappointed when I hear something bad about someone I like and, if it's really bad, then I have to grapple with whether or not I'm going to continue giving money to them by going to their movies or listening to their music. 

But, stanning?  I've never been that bad. 

Edited by Shannon L.
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Twitter seems to be at the real heart of the worst of 'Stan Culture.' While I'm a royal watcher, royal-stan Twitter is freaking nuts. They seek out, dogpile, hijack, ascribe motivation, insult, denigrate, canonize, worship and swarm all in a day. The irrational worship of their favorites is coupled with the demonization of anyone and anything they believe threatens that favorite. 

I block and mute so much.

I think there is a level of instant gratification on platforms like twitter and instagram. Everyone is hoping for the viral retweet. And people can find those like-minded and share, but that ends up more enabling some of the worst behavior.

I have a twitter...two actually. I don't tweet every day, or even every week. An actress of whom I'm fond once retweeted one of my posts about her. It ended up with something like 40k likes/retweets. I was so scarred by the experience that I didn't tweet for a month, then made the second account. 

I like the immediate bite-sized bits of news or gossip I can read, and choose to follow up on. I like the funny memes. I just posted about the Henry VIII twitter, but there are also fun ones like Richard III, Mars Perseverance and RateMySkypeRoom (I no longer have cord violations!) There is plenty of fun still to be had on social media platforms, in fan culture and general online activity. 

Stan Culture involves an unhealthy level of personal investment, but it really doesn't take much effort at all to keep it off my feed.

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I've never understood the extreme negative of this phenomenon.  The people who go out of their way to hate a celebrity - to the point of creating a website devoted to that hate for instance.  I mean really you honestly have nothing better to do with your time than to constantly post, and encourage others to post, hateful stuff about someone who has done you no harm and you will never meet?  

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1 minute ago, WinnieWinkle said:

I've never understood the extreme negative of this phenomenon.  The people who go out of their way to hate a celebrity - to the point of creating a website devoted to that hate for instance.  I mean really you honestly have nothing better to do with your time than to constantly post, and encourage others to post, hateful stuff about someone who has done you no harm and you will never meet?  

I agree- and I hated it when someone posted an account begging folks to 'share' negative stories about Ellen DeGeneres. While I'm no fan and never considered her to be anywhere close to being as nice as she wanted others to believe, I thought that just opened the floodgates to all kinds of kooks, trolls. ..and liars who'd be willing to drudge and/or concoct whatever with not even the most rudimentary attempts at validations required. 

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3 minutes ago, Blergh said:

I agree- and I hated it when someone posted an account begging folks to 'share' negative stories about Ellen DeGeneres. While I'm no fan and never considered her to be anywhere close to being as nice as she wanted others to believe, I thought that just opened the floodgates to all kinds of kooks, trolls. ..and liars who'd be willing to drudge and/or concoct whatever with not even the most rudimentary attempts at validations required. 

Oh...see, now I'm fine with that. When you have a celebrity and people are afraid to speak out about their behavior, social media can be a space to do that. Anonymous accounts, VPNs, if you really want to hide. But Ellen was creating a horrific and toxic workplace and it's a good thing to put out there and say, "This was horrible for me...I think it was horrible for many others, let's share our stories and support one another. We're not crazy and not alone."

Sure...people are always going to make up lies, but the Ellen stuff had been whispered about for years. I seriously doubt that it was all trolls, kooks and liars. Sure...there will always be crazies out there, but on that one, much of it was likely real. 

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I didn't say that site was 'ALL liars' but there wasn't even the slightest attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff- and, no matter how rotten Miss DeGeneres seems to have been, that I think is going too far and, yes, was unfair. Also, it was counterproductive because all she or her 'stans' would have had to do was single out ONE lie from the claims and that would have cast doubt on all other claims. 

 Even the meanest celeb deserves to be treated fairly with as close to the truth about their actions as possible, IMO. 

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6 minutes ago, Blergh said:

I didn't say that site was 'ALL liars' but there wasn't even the slightest attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff- and, no matter how rotten Miss DeGeneres seems to have been, that I think is going too far and, yes, was unfair. Also, it was counterproductive because all she or her 'stans' would have had to do was single out ONE lie from the claims and that would have cast doubt on all other claims. 

 Even the meanest celeb deserves to be treated fairly with as close to the truth about their actions as possible, IMO. 

Yeah...no. I can't work up an ounce of sympathy for Ellen. She was horrific for years and got away with it. She was always going to have her defenders, no matter what. The person who started that twitter thread linked it to donations...I think to a food bank. And it kicked off some real scrutiny into her behavior.

I'm absolutely fine with it. 

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Just now, BlackberryJam said:

Yeah...no. I can't work up an ounce of sympathy for Ellen. She was horrific for years and got away with it. She was always going to have her defenders, no matter what. The person who started that twitter thread linked it to donations...I think to a food bank. And it kicked off some real scrutiny into her behavior.

I'm absolutely fine with it. 

And Ellen has faced exactly zero consequences.  She still has her talk show and her stans still flock to be her victims audience members of her "gameshow."  

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But what would stop a future troll from setting up a 'hate website' that elicited at least one lie about an actual likable and nice celeb and would anyone truly want said celeb tarred by that lie?

AFAIC, if one's going to call out bad behavior/stunts, make SURE that they actually happened and weren't concocted! 

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45 minutes ago, BlackberryJam said:

Yeah...no. I can't work up an ounce of sympathy for Ellen. She was horrific for years and got away with it. She was always going to have her defenders, no matter what. The person who started that twitter thread linked it to donations...I think to a food bank. And it kicked off some real scrutiny into her behavior.

I'm absolutely fine with it. 

Agreed. I mean, she was absolutely, inexcusably awful to people in episodes of her show that aired, so I was relieved when her whole fake kindness shtick was unveiled as a fraud. 

The person I actually feel most sorry for in that is Anne Heche. She tried to make comments about when she was with Ellen after Ellen's meanness went viral and got ridiculed for being a kook--and, to be honest, girl has issues of her own--but I thought it was pretty clear that her perspective was being with Ellen was a living hell, and she just was trying to avoid talking about it but felt compelled to say something because people were asking. 

Edited by Zella
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39 minutes ago, Blergh said:

But what would stop a future troll from setting up a 'hate website' that elicited at least one lie about an actual likable and nice celeb and would anyone truly want said celeb tarred by that lie?

AFAIC, if one's going to call out bad behavior/stunts, make SURE that they actually happened and weren't concocted! 

That’s what lawsuits and cease and desist letters are for.

Celebrities generally come through it well, especially when it is a lie. 

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3 hours ago, kieyra said:

Wikipedia: Parasocial interaction

I think about this a lot, especially these days, and when I see people passionately referring to/defending their favorite celebs as though they are on a first-name basis with them. I have never experienced it myself, so I'm kind of on the outside scratching my head. I would never assume I know anything about what any celeb is really like as an actual person, plus the whole 'never meet your heroes' rule of thumb. 

Ah, so there's an actual label for the weird, Twitch stream viewers who donate loads of money to the attractive girls who play games on there, then lose their entire minds when it turns out those girls have boyfriends in real life. This kind of psychosexual ownership of someone they've never even met

2 hours ago, WinnieWinkle said:

I've never understood the extreme negative of this phenomenon.  The people who go out of their way to hate a celebrity - to the point of creating a website devoted to that hate for instance.  I mean really you honestly have nothing better to do with your time than to constantly post, and encourage others to post, hateful stuff about someone who has done you no harm and you will never meet?  

I'll admit, I used to do this sometimes when I was younger. Proclaim that I hated some singer or actor or band, for no discernible reason. Now, I'll still happily admit to disliking them, but hate is way too strong an emotion to feel for something that has no impact on me. Thankfully, this was before the age of social media so the only people I bored with my irrational hatreds were family and friends.

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So, are we talking about people who are teenagers and people who never grow out of being over-emotional teenagers who need a retweet high every hour?

Because that's what it often looks like to me. And of course some truly sick people.

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33 minutes ago, BlackberryJam said:

That’s what lawsuits and cease and desist letters are for.

Celebrities generally come through it well, especially when it is a lie. 

Tell that to Carol Burnett!

In 1976, the National Enquirer published a story implying she was publicly intoxicated. Yes, she took them to court and won but that would not happen until 1981- five years after the publication which means that for at least five years, there was a significant part of the public who took their story at face value and believed what they'd implied (and probably some folks out there who STILL believe it even after Miss Burnett was legally vindicated).   

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20 minutes ago, Danny Franks said:

I'll admit, I used to do this sometimes when I was younger. Proclaim that I hated some singer or actor or band, for no discernible reason. Now, I'll still happily admit to disliking them, but hate is way too strong an emotion to feel for something that has no impact on me. Thankfully, this was before the age of social media so the only people I bored with my irrational hatreds were family and friends.

I think everyone has this. I limit my ranting about it to snark sites/discussion boards like this one and my personal family and friends, too, but it really astonishes me when people feel the need to go after those celebrities in a much more public way. 

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2 minutes ago, Blergh said:

Tell that to Carol Burnett!

In 1976, the National Enquirer published a story implying she was publicly intoxicated. Yes, she took them to court and won but that would not happen until 1981- five years after the publication which means that for at least five years, there was a significant part of the public who took their story at face value and believed what they'd implied (and probably some folks out there who STILL believe it even after Miss Burnett was legally vindicated).   

That was almost 50 years ago, and things have changed. 

You asked about websites, so I’ll get more detailed. 

Kook sets up fake “Tell Me How Famous Person Raped You.” 

It comes to attention of famous person. Person contacts lawyer. Lawyer dashes off cease and desist to website owner, AND hosting service of website. While owner might not care, hosting service does and will disable the website. 

It’s not that complicated. 

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These days, you don't need to set up a website to perpetuate a false narrative about a person. Twitter is just fine. And much harder to do something about.

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33 minutes ago, supposebly said:

These days, you don't need to set up a website to perpetuate a false narrative about a person. Twitter is just fine. And much harder to do something about.

And much easier to dispute as well. 

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Stans are every age. I've seen some absolutely vicious behavior from stans of the freaking Duggars and home shopping hosts. It's insane!

Edited by emmawoodhouse
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8 hours ago, BlackberryJam said:

Stan Culture involves an unhealthy level of personal investment

Seriously! I just have better things to do with my time than waste it defending some millionaire who doesn't know I exist. If someone wants to hate on, say, Taika Waititi (my current obsession), I might, if they have an open mind, list what I adore about him, but if they still insist he's evil I just move on. I can't think of any person I have never actually met and spent time getting to know, who also spent time getting to know me, that I would bother defending to some weirdo online. And should I find out he has done horrible things my love will die, so don't tell me!

I grew up before the internet. I'm older than the internet. Shit! So fanning back in my day was buying every magazine that had your favorite celeb and cutting out their pictures and putting them in frames like they were family. (Okay, yeah, I did that) but I never really liked what was popular. While everyone in school was obsessing over Duran Duran or New Edition I was obsessed with Gloria Swanson and Benny Goodman (the reason I took up the clarinet). I would call myself an old soul indeed. The great thing was, none of my peers could diss them because none of them knew who the hell they were. lol

I think Stanning, to the extent of death threats and personal attacks, is a product of being able to hide behind your username. People are much worse to one another when they are anonymous. 

The great irony of the Stan is that they tend to make others actually dislike whatever they are stanning over rather than making people interested in joining the cult fandom. 

 

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I find it equally horrific that there are self described “anti-Stans” who take their hatred of a celebrity to a terrifying degree.

Edited by biakbiak
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15 hours ago, Kromm said:

This comes up in lots of other topics, but I think deserves it's own. 

"Fan", as I think most of us know, comes from "fanatic".  But there had ultimately been a progression where the term lost any bite and usually just meant you were a consumer of that person's product. 

Fans have been suceeded by the superfans, the Stans. 

"Stan", many might not know, came from an Eminem song, which detailed a story of dangerous angry obsession.

But time has had the term change and be adopted as a supposed "Good" thing, that celebrities support and cultivate. Now it's the most dedicated fans, the ones with the named fandoms, the Little Monsters, the Lovatics, the Directioners, and countless others, and "Stanning" is the generic term for the devotion. 

Supposedly it's harmless now. 

But increasingly I see the dark side returning in more subtle ways than Stan in Eminem's song. 

Let's discuss. Defend Stanning if you want. Or do the opposite. Discuss examples, celebrities affected, and related issues. 

I've given mostly music industry examples above, but TV and movie culture is far from immune to this.  It's not always named as Standom but think of the die hard fights over DC vs Marvel media fandom.  Think of Zach Snyder fights, pro and con.  Think of arguably overdevoted fans of various fandom factions of certain characters or romances on TV shows (many also apparently "named" fandoms). Now, the actual issues may differ slightly from music Stans, but if so we can discuss that too. 

I've read where it was a word combined from stalker and fan.  So yeah, not something to aspire to.

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43 minutes ago, Mabinogia said:

So fanning back in my day was buying every magazine that had your favorite celeb

The amount of money I spent buying every magazine for which Gillian Anderson did an interview back in the X-Files day would probably make me sick if I had the receipts. 

But I never, at my most obsessed, took it as a personal mission to defend her from "haters".  If someone posted something that wasn't true, I'd refute it (unless they were a troll; those I don't feed).  But when someone simply didn't like something about her, I might either say why I enjoyed that trait in her or just go about my day.

I still like her very much, as an actor and from what I know of her as a person.  And that is even more true of Mary McDonnell.  They are the two celebrities I am well and truly a fan of; I genuinely admire them.  But if someone criticizes their acting, looks, and/or activism, I'm not going to act like my momma just got slapped. 

I just don't understand that level of "devotion".

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19 minutes ago, SuprSuprElevated said:

I've read where it was a word combined from stalker and fan.  So yeah, not something to aspire to.

It’s literally not. It came about because of Eminem’s song and video 

also here is Eminem explaining to Dave Holmes (squee) about his motivation for the song at the time and encapsulates everything that has happened with “Stan” culture that exists today.

 

Edited by biakbiak
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9 hours ago, Blergh said:

I agree- and I hated it when someone posted an account begging folks to 'share' negative stories about Ellen DeGeneres. While I'm no fan and never considered her to be anywhere close to being as nice as she wanted others to believe, I thought that just opened the floodgates to all kinds of kooks, trolls. ..and liars who'd be willing to drudge and/or concoct whatever with not even the most rudimentary attempts at validations required. 

I feel this.  This is not to say that I defend Ellen or that this past summer didn't sour me on her (it did) but there is something about dog piling in general from the peanut gallery that makes me very, very uneasy even if I don't feel bad for the person.  It's complicated because this is not the fault of the people who are actually speaking their truths.  And some people do deserve the negative reaction they get, I just don't know what the right answer/amount is.  Maybe it's not even for me to say.   

 

There is a lot of hyperbolic language in stan culture that also makes me uneasy.  "So and so has to be protected at all costs."  "We bow down to our king/queen."  Maybe these are just phrases and I need to be less literal.  I just feel that using these phrases is only a hop, skip, and jump away from more fanatical action, which is weird.  Look, there are a lot of celebrities that I admire.  Some for their talents.  Some because they are involved in a character/project that I like.  Some because they seem like chill people.  Some because I've had crush on them since I was 15.  (looking at you, James Marsden). But at the end of the day, I don't know that any of them are worth getting that bent out of shape over.  Don't get me wrong, I love a healthy debate, and if you want to have a friendly one over why I think Marisa Tomei hands down 100% deserved that Oscar then we can have one.  But it's also an easy conversation to walk away from and agree to disagree.

Edited by kiddo82
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10 minutes ago, kiddo82 said:

I feel this.  This is not to say that I defend Ellen or that this past summer didn't sour me on her (it did) but there is something about dog piling in general from the peanut gallery that makes me very, very uneasy even if I don't feel bad for the person.  It's complicated because this is not the fault of the people who are actually speaking their truths.  And some people do deserve the negative reaction they get, I just don't know what the right answer/amount is.  Maybe it's not even for me to say.   

If only the internet had a lie detector, because I think that some of the Ellen stories were true (I do think she's kind of a terrible person) I also think that some of them were made up for either attention or a desire to be included in the convo. That pretty much sums up a large portion of stans and trolls. They are people who are looking for attention and looking to be a part of something. 

It feels good when you are part of the "cool kids" or the "gang/crew/posse/squad". Herd mentality is magnified online. I have honestly found myself doing it in some threads on Primetimer. If I am on a thread where everyone is gushing about a character I loathe I will pretty much keep quiet. But if a bunch of people are bitching about a character I loathe, I will join in. There's a moderate sense of validation that others feel the same. 

Fortunately, at least in this case, I have a very short attention span and get easily bored and move on. I am just amazed at the endurance some stans have. It's a LOT of work constantly defending or attacking people you've never actually met. Even worse when people attack real humans over opinions on fictional characters. Just today my friend and I were talking about a favorite author who has actually received death threats because he dared to kill off a main character in his book. I hope it's hyberbole because real humans are threatening to kill another real human because of a fake, made up, fictional character! WTF is wrong with people!?!??!

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26 minutes ago, Mabinogia said:

I hope it's hyberbole because real humans are threatening to kill another real human because of a fake, made up, fictional character! WTF is wrong with people!?!??!

Literally the plot of Misery.  In all seriousness though, I agree that's awful.  I can't with some people.Misery_Anniversary_Rep.jpg

Edited by kiddo82
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1 hour ago, kiddo82 said:

Literally the plot of Misery.  In all seriousness though, I agree that's awful.  I can't with some people.

To clarify my above post, Eminem didn’t create Stan culture it just finally got a name about a song where he was pointing out creepy obsessive fan behavior! 

Edited by biakbiak
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12 hours ago, BlackberryJam said:

Twitter seems to be at the real heart of the worst of 'Stan Culture

IMHO, Twitter is at the heart of the worst of many things, Stan Culture being just one of many.

If you tweeted something when you were 17 years old without a lot of life experience, you might loose your job when are 27. That is just scary and wrong.

Then again, I’m old; when I was young, it was Tiger Beat and I didn’t feel a need to tell the world that I had a huge crush on Shaun Cassidy.

 

Edited by Stats Queen
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20 hours ago, supposebly said:

These days, you don't need to set up a website to perpetuate a false narrative about a person. Twitter is just fine. And much harder to do something about.

Exactly! And even if one somehow gets a website shut down or a Twitter account cancelled, there   still will be loads of screenshots folks will have  taken to perpetuate false narratives because that's what they want to believe.  And let's not overlook that many of these intentionally misleading cranks aren't located in nations  where they can be easily prosecuted from the US. 

Edited by Blergh
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6 hours ago, SuprSuprElevated said:

I've read where it was a word combined from stalker and fan.

That's a form of backronym.  As noted, the term really comes from Em's Stan track and video, and that definition was retroactively added to it.

17 hours ago, Blergh said:

I suppose what could separate the 'stans' from the regular fans might be if one were to attempt to ask the question  "What would [blank] have to do in front of you before you'd be willing to say 'Yeah, he/she went too far! He/she was wrong! It's ALL their fault and they need to just take their medicine! I'm DONE with them!?'"

Aka the Chris Brown question.  He physically abused Rihanna, yet still has a stanbase that says "he could beat me up all he wants, 'cause he makes sick tracks."  R. Kelly used to also be defended like this (see the related Boondocks episode), but since he's stopped making music, his stans are dying out.

 

One can't really talk about stan culture without mentioning the K-pop scene.   The worst kinds of stans can be found throughout K-pop audiences.  There's the same kinds as mentioned above: the over-sharing stans that drive away potential fans by being too intense, the ones that purchase way too much merch in attempts to get closer to a group or particular member thereof, the hyper-defenders that

But there's also a different kinds of stan in K-pop, and it's actually catered to by the music companies.  Most idols have "dating clauses" in their contracts.  These clauses typically mean that said idols are not allowed to (publicly) date anyone, as they need to be seen to be "available" as potential boyfriend or girlfriend material by the audience.  So there's the "X-idol is my girl/boyfriend" stans. 

And woe unto any idol that flaunts these clauses and actually dates someone, because they and their companion are going to get slammed by these stans.  Mainly the other person is going to get lots of "stay away from X" messages and other hate-mail.  Which leads nicely into -

16 hours ago, WinnieWinkle said:

I've never understood the extreme negative of this phenomenon.  The people who go out of their way to hate a celebrity - to the point of creating a website devoted to that hate for instance.  I mean really you honestly have nothing better to do with your time than to constantly post, and encourage others to post, hateful stuff about someone who has done you no harm and you will never meet?  

The corollary to the stan: the anti.  K-pop fandom is full of them too.  For every group, there's usually an official fan forum (or cafe), several unofficial ones, and at least one anti-cafe.  Since K-pop idols are supposed to project a specific image, anything that any idol does that deviates even the slightest from that image or what "they're supposed to do" based on Korean law or cultural mores, the antis nitpick on those deviations.  And in the anti-cafes, those nitpicks are amplified in the echo chamber to the point that many antis poke directly at the idols via social media.  This behavior has been a contributing factor in multiple suicides in K-pop.  (See the cases of Sunni and Goo Hara...although there were a lot of other circumstances involved in the latter, not the least of which was the former.)

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17 hours ago, WinnieWinkle said:

I've never understood the extreme negative of this phenomenon.  The people who go out of their way to hate a celebrity - to the point of creating a website devoted to that hate for instance.  I mean really you honestly have nothing better to do with your time than to constantly post, and encourage others to post, hateful stuff about someone who has done you no harm and you will never meet?  

Agreed, although I firmly believe both the pro and anti versions are both enormously dangerous. 

I gave the Demi Lovato example before, but here's another one: "Free Britney". I'm well aware that a lot of the activity around the Free Britney movement is perfectly positive and well intentioned. Righteous. But there's a back end to it that dovetails into Stanning. Britney's own Tweets and posts about this may be confusing because as has been alleged, she MAY not control her own Social Media.  But nobody knows that for sure.  Britney could simply be confused, because it's so confusing.  All of these people saying things about her, imposing their interpretation of things on her, and if it doesn't match the reality... what's she supposed to do?  Tell them to fuck off?  She's not going to do that, realistically. Or it's all true, and she DOES need freeing.  But is it fan/Stan entitlement leading the movement, or not?  Heck if I know. I just know that like with Demi Lovato, however tragic Britney's circumstances are, some people are invested to a gigantically unhealthy level.  And while I'm pretty sure of the ways that's warping Demi Lovato, because in her case it's actually visible to us, I can at least imagine how it could be warping Britney. Because a version of it, pre-Stan naming of course, did so in the past. It was always a vast oversimplification to just blame the paparazzi and media for Britney's famous meltdown. It was the fandom's fault too. 

Edited by Kromm
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I read an article a few weeks ago comparing those Free Britney stans to QAnon followers in certain ways. It...kind of made sense.

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8 hours ago, biakbiak said:

I find it equally horrific that there are self described “anti-Stans” who take their hatred of a celebrity to a terrifying degree.

If you think about it, it makes sense. 

I'm going to be very delicate here, because of board rules, and not be specific, but I think we're all aware that modern politics is largely based on a "team" mentality. You might also refer to it as Tribalism. 

That's all I really have to say about it, other than to note that Stanning, and that kind of anti-Stanning you're mentioning, are a case of parallel development of the same thing. 

I think it's always been built into human society, but is accelerated by how easily information (and disinformation) flow now. Stanning, anti-Stanning, franchise Stanning, all of the seemingly ridiculous variants are all just cultural Tribalism. People want to be part of something larger than themselves.  That thing may be elevating a celebrity to Sainthood or Genius and casting themselves as a foundation supporting that. Or it may be cultlike devotion to a franchise. Being the one who knows the most, or is most loyal, or who helps define (they THINK) the true essence of something, is apparently psychologically powerful to how many people think. Not all. But the ones who define themselves externally. The ones who NEED tribes, be they political or cultural. 

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K-pop stans are...a little extra. I’m just basing that on the comments section of a few Youtube videos I have read of K-pop songs I have seen. But the comments in the above article and the one following it are just...wow.

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The serious stans almost remind me of when I'd see girls and young women so excited to see the Beatles that they'd cry and pass out (and I know fans of other artists have done it as well).  I've gotten excited at concerts, I've cheered at them, but the screaming and crying and passing out is a bit scary. 

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On 4/23/2021 at 4:06 AM, Kromm said:

It was always a vast oversimplification to just blame the paparazzi and media for Britney's famous meltdown. It was the fandom's fault too. 

The media and paparazzi do what they do because the fandoms basically demand it. They are just feeding the beast that is Fandom because Fandom is willing to throw their money at every scandalous, salacious and intrusive detail they can get on the people they supposedly adore and defend with almost religious zealously. 

It's always been this way only advances in technology make it easier and easier to destroy our idols, or destroy those who dare not worship our idols from the comfort of our own homes. 

As a society we've exchanged religious crusades for fandom crusades. 

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