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Do fandoms encourage bullying?

11th-18th November 2022

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41192

Total votes

13502

5-11 votes

27690

11-16+ votes

Fandomonium or Community?

To mark Anti-Bullying Week, our voters considered the role of fandoms and whether they encourage or discourage negativity, primarily in but not limited to, online spaces. A fandom can be described as a community of fans of a particular person or thing and the rise of social media has strengthened their ability to communicate as a collective. Conversely, our youngest voters discussed the role of the individual in different scenarios and whether it is difficult or not to stand up against bullying.

What did our students have to say?

Primary school

"Having a lot of passion for the celebrities can lead to bullying because you are sometimes too passionate and feel the need to be mean."

Secondary school

“Although I’m a part of many fandoms, some people are quite toxic and can’t enjoy others opinions, but most people are incredibly nice and are great people to share your views with.”

College

“Particularly within social media, maybe influencers need to be more considerate of the content of their posts and how these can often 'spark' comments which can lead to bullying and harassment online."

  • The vote was incredibly close this week!
  • 'Yes' edged out in front in all age groups but the closeness of the vote and the comments we received shows their isn't a consensus on what constitutes 'bullying' within a fandom.

  • Our 5-7 VoteTopic was equally close.
  • We asked them "Is it difficult to stand up against bullying?" and whilst 'Yes' had the higher vote count, there weren't many votes in it.

  • The almost tie appears to be because of two reasons: the definition of bullying and that the negativity in fandoms comes from a relatively small pool of the overall fandom.
  • The negative energy that can occur in a fandom wasn't collectively viewed as 'bullying'.
  • For some, this meant that fandoms do encourage bullying as they provide a platform for people to spread hate.
  • For many, fandoms bring community and warmth and our 'No' voters believed this positivity was a more dominating force than the pockets of bullying, or negativity, within.

Fanfare for the results...