Toxic Fandoms

The toxic community each fanbase suffers from

There have been many great works of Entertainment to have come out in recent years, these all led to the birth of a variety of new fandoms. Let’s say you’re a fan of a thing you really like, a band for example. You would make AMVs, Fanart, and talk about it with friends and other fans about it too. Then there comes a person who trash talks you saying you’re not a real fan and that your fan art sucks compared to theirs. This is what we call a “Toxic Fan.” Toxic fans are people who hate on others who don’t share the same opinion as them over a specific interest and alienate newbies away from possible new interests. But if there are healthy fans most of the time, what causes the hate found within toxic fans?

What is Toxicity and what separates it from Friendliness? According to google, toxicity defines someone as “the quality of being very harmful or unpleasant in a pervasive or insidious way.” Toxic fans have 3 common traits, possessiveness, entitlement, and a feeling of superiority over other more casual fans. These types of people tend to make others feel beneath them. Jaden Neri, Grade 10 “There’s a sweet spot to supporting a fanbase; being hateful is obviously bad, and obsession can lead to overreacting fans and a general unwelcoming stigma to it.” A great example of this is the Rick and Morty fandom, people have made multiple memes where someone would ask about their intelligence and they would say they have a bigger IQ than Einstein because they watch Rick and Morty, which is an example of them showing their superiority over the “normies”.They make their own headcanons about certain franchises that they enforce to be act ual canon to others. If one person disagrees with them, some toxic fans will sometimes even go as far as to send them death threats. 

The difference between healthy and toxic fans is that healthy fans are both friendly and approachable. Emily King, Grade 10 “ Toxic fans basically fight over everything, they only look for fights with people that don’t agree with them. They’re abusive to other fans of the same content of what they are a fan of, it’s all negative.” Healthy fans are those who will understand and won’t get personally offended if you were to tell them politely you’re not into a specific fandom or that they never heard of something before or it’s not really their taste. And they’ll be okay with that and not show any hate towards this person! They’ll respect your own interests and opinions. Unlike Toxic fans who will make their presence known and say that their opinion is wrong and ferociously explain why they’re in the right. 

With that being said, what is the cause for the creation of toxic fandoms in the first place? One word, bullying. People who openly start to rain on people’s parades. Gavin Young, Grade 9 “ Well bullying is like the main definition toxic and the more that happens inside of a certain fanbase, the more that fanbase will be considered toxic.” If an outsider comes into this group of people unknowingly, most likely it’ll result in them being rudely “educated” and possibly kicked or banned. This is where the cult-like type of fans known as the toxic community begin to form and grow to the Toxic fans we all know them to be.

In conclusion, if you’re someone who likes something and you think that’s cool, you keep being you. No one will judge you or think any less of you for it. However, there will always be those people who will try to bring you down and make what you once loved turn resentful and more of an embarrassment than an interest. There are people who will always tell you that they don’t agree with you or don’t care for your opinion, and that’s okay. Associate yourself with the right crowds and you’ll find your footing away from the toxicity and enjoy your likes in peace.