OTW Fannews: Fandom Dos and Don’ts

Banner by Bremo of the cover of Rainbow Rowell's novel 'Fangirl' with the Fannews post title

  • TheWrap wrote about a problem in Scandal fandom. A controversial “fan” blogger was revealed to be a sales director for the show’s network. “ABC issued the following statement to TheWrap: ‘We take these allegations very seriously. We are investigating the situation and will handle accordingly.’ Show bloggers and fans have said that Pajor has crossed the line in her exchanges with fans and journalists who don’t share her opinions. The accusations range from incidents as minor as calling other fans ‘crazy’…to attacking journalists, including TheWrap, all unbecoming behavior for an employee of the network.”
  • Rainbow Rowell’s novel Fangirl has received many glowing reviews, some from self-professed fangirls. Alyssa Rosenberg however took issue with its surface portrayal of the protagonist’s fannish life. “You can tell terrific and compelling stories about online relationships…there’s real space for a novel that places fan culture at the center of the action, and specifically, women’s engagement with fan culture. Fangirl has Cath writing slash fan fiction, and has some engagement with the sex she writes as opposed to the physical contact she experiences in the real world, as well as the phenomenon of fan fiction authors moving on to create worlds and characters of their own…People like Cath don’t just turn to fandom and online communities because they’re damaged or scared…Fandom deserves a novel that doesn’t treat it like a pale substitute for life, when fan communities can be such a major component of it.”
  • Perhaps Cath just needed an offline friend to join her in online fandom? Nerd Bastards provided a list of what not-to-do when recruiting for a fandom though, including “Making Everything About the Relationship About the Fandom”, “Not Being Open or Receptive to Their Fandom” and “Not Seeing, or Accepting the Signs That They Don’t Like Your Fandom.”

What fandom dos and don’ts have you come across? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

3 thoughts to “OTW Fannews: Fandom Dos and Don’ts”

  1. For me it’s the ethical problem of how fans treat other fans – the cataloguing and archiving of fan activity through fan history pages. While I can see how people want to preserve friend history, or mark down when someone is a bully, it’s really hard to move on when you have, say, a stalker who wants to know everything you’ve done in the past ten years and they found your internet pseudonym, and then you changed it to protect yourself but woops, that showed up on the fan history too? Public data may be technically fair game but that does not mean ethically these pages should be compiled. A fan interview is one thing, with that person talking about themselves, but even then, I would like to see less data explosion, not more. I think we’re in a very weird, precarious time technologically that makes it tempting to put all of this information together because it’s so easy to, and to get swept up in the warm fuzzy aspect of it, but when it comes at the cost of taking advantage of someone’s privacy, it becomes less enchanting. I’d mostly like to see more privacy walls for fandom in general, less openness. My only response to a novel about fangirls is that I wish it hadn’t happened because I want less people to think about and know about what I do with my private time; I’m not really aiming for greater acceptance of fan culture, I’ve gotten over the fact that some people think it’s weird, I’d rather just have a few fan friends I can trust, honestly. :/

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