Critique or cyber-bully?

In the vibrant world of fandoms, where enthusiastic supporters unite to celebrate their favorites, there exists a fascinating counter-trend known as "anti-fans." These individuals, often passionately engaged, take a strikingly different approach. Rather than embracing their chosen fandom, they find themselves on the opposite end of the spectrum, vehemently critiquing and opposing the very subjects that captivate others. Ahead, we delve into the intriguing dynamics of anti-fans, shedding light on the impact within these dedicated communities.


In August, former K-POP group Jewelry member Lee Ji Hyun made a guest appearance on a South Korean radio show. During her appearance, she introduced her latest song, "Get It On, Put It On," which draws inspiration from the Spice Girls' hit "2 Become 1." The title of her song, when translated in Korean as "Gari long, puri long," had initially been used as a mocking term by anti-fans. Over time, Lee Ji Hyun decided to reclaim this term, recognizing that the anti-fans' comments stemmed from a certain level of interest in her. Consequently, she chose this provocative title for her new song, which includes lyrics seemingly directed at these detractors, with lines like "Don't leave hate comments, don't you have kids? Even if I can't sing, mind your own business."


During this NHL season, a father-daughter duo gained attention for their unique way of cheering against the Toronto Maple Leafs. They'd wear the jerseys of Toronto's opponents and even briefly adopt these rival teams, researching their players extensively. This unusual approach was rooted in a desire to avoid being long-suffering Leafs fans and instead support winning teams like the Montreal Canadiens. Despite the potential for conflict with home fans, they maintained a respectful approach, adhering to a "no trash talk" rule and avoiding antagonizing locals.


The Barbie movie enjoyed record-breaking box office success, but it was also not without its detractors. Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro and others argued that references to the patriarchy and the portrayal of Ken warranted a boycott of the film. Shapiro even released a 43-minute YouTube video burning Barbie and Ken dolls. Despite this, he followed up with an hour-long video titled “Barbie Is Garbage, But You’re Not Allowed To Say So.” However, some observers noted that these "anti-woke" critics seemed to adopt the tactics they once criticized in "social justice warriors," focusing excessively on potential problems.

For more on fandoms, such as how 81% of Millennial parents have passed down a hobby or interest to their child(ren), check out Cassandra’s latest report, The Eras of Shared Fandom, available to members.