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Popularity Poison

How Toxic Fans Can Ward Off a Normal Fanbase

Wesley Bunn, Managing Editor

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With many great things like good music, strange oddities, great shows, and intriguing movies, a fanbase forms. This fanbase can consist of anyone who just enjoys the content, to someone who claims the content as the only true thing and probably obsesses over the said content. The second person happens more than you might think, and with more things than you might think.

Let’s say there is a new, interesting show on Netflix, and you’ve been waiting for it to come out for a while now. You watched the trailer for it a while back and have waited to see how things unfold on the show. On the day of the show dropping, you sit down and start to watch.

After finishing the season, or a few episodes, or however much you just watched, you decide to go online to reflect on what you’ve just seen. Maybe you go to Facebook and see that other normal people are enjoying the heck out of the show, just like you. Then you see it, a meme, a simple joke that some sad teenager probably made. This is usually the first sign that a fanbase is about to turn toxic. This single meme means that a bunch of other memes are probably on their way, meaning other angsty teenagers will publicly turn to a meme about the show for their gratification.

A week later, you’ve finished the show. You get back online to reflect again and you see a bunch of the memes you saw last time. They’re everywhere. Each one focused on a different incident in the show. Some are sort of humorous, but they’re all very simple.

With all the attention the show is getting, you notice people are claiming they are long time fans of the show even though they might’ve said they had no idea what it was yesterday. This point of the fanbase is the headsman’s axe falling on the neck at the execution block. People claiming to the content for attention and approval.

Fans start to do things outlandish, and not normal. This weird behavior drives off most of the genuine fans from the show. This leaves a hollow fanbase, a shell. Everyone focused on getting approval for watching and making jokes of the content. Then someone starts to watch something else. Some other good show comes out.


This show that you hypothetically started to watch, the one you observed the building and execution of the fanbase, has had its five minutes of fame. The rise and fall of its popularity is complete. Now the only people left watching are those who were diehard fans, and those who just have yet to realize they won’t get attention for this show anymore. This is how toxic fanbases have worked. They chew, and they spit up.

Don’t be a toxic fan, if you want attention, find a community to be part of. Find a group of legitimate friends. Talk to your family. There are many wholesome ways to receive attention. Take part in those, and don’t be ashamed to like something once the hype of it is gone.

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Popularity Poison