Bullying & Fan Representation

Bieber fans

College student Jasmine rants on Facebook about how important it is to not be apathetic about online bullying.

Ever since the feud between singer Lady Gaga and reality personality Kelly Osbourne has ignited this year, it’s turned fan community bullying into a hot topic issue. Aside from the topic of inter-fan bullying in these groups (fans bullying one another for their given reasons), the problem of fans behaving badly as a whole was highlighted when Kelly brought to light that Gaga’s “Little Monsters” were bullying the “Fashion Police” star on Twitter about her weight and to kill herself for insulting the Grammy Award winner’s fashion choices.

While not all fans in communities behave this way, it gives a negative image to the group when this extreme behavior is pointed out by celebrities, or in some cases encouraged by celebrities, with an example in the photo above of Justin Bieber, click to enlarge, taking an aloof stance to a fan threatening to kill people who dislike the pop star. It’s almost gotten to the point where many celebrities expect to be bullied or feel the need to correct themselves if they feel they have insulted another celebrity who has fans.

A fan interacts with TWD's Melissa Ponzio

A fan interacts with TWD’s Melissa Ponzio

A good example? Via the photo to the left (click to enlarge), a fan comments on how actress Melissa Ponzio of “The Walking Dead” stated Ke$ha would make a good zombie on the show because she’s “almost there” on The Walker Stalker podcast. Though the fan clarifies she agreed with her and stated she didn’t find it insulting, Melissa initially automatically felt the need to defend herself. Celebrities, just as fans, should not have to feel so guarded online in the face of bullying, but sadly, it looks to be a trend that won’t go away any time soon.

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About Amanda Rosenblatt

I have always been obsessed with fan stories, the origin of fanaticism and pop culture in general.
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