The last week has seen a high-profile campaign against Black Panther, supposedly championed by DC fans. Now it turns out that may well have been a troll attempting to make DC fans look bad.
In December last year, the Rotten Tomatoes score for The Last Jedi was called into question. It seemed to be tied to a high-profile Facebook campaign to "sabotage" the film, driven by supposed DC fans. They claimed success in their campaign, pointing to the movie's unusually low Audience Score. More recently, the same Facebook pages launched another campaign - this time against Black Panther. It was widely covered in the press, and Facebook shut the page down.
It's time for another twist in the tale. The original Facebook poster has returned, and in one conversation he's revealed that he's actually trolling DC fans. Needless to say, actual DC fans are outraged at the news.
It's interesting to note that the poster claims responsibility for a fan petition to remove The Last Jedi from the Star Wars canon too.
The sad fact is that DC fans have had a bad reputation for quite some time. There's been a notable disconnect between DC fans and film critics, and this has often led to heated interactions on social media. But it seems another minority are attempting to make matters worse.
Ironically, it's possible that - for all the attention these campaigns have garnered - they may not have been quite so effective as they think. While the poster claims he launched a bot attack on Rotten Tomatoes during The Last Jedi's theatrical release, the site itself has insisted its scores are accurate. "Everything is normal," they claimed, "and we don’t see any unusual activity."
This is the heart of trolling. The DCEU has been divisive without any help, but this kind of action just makes things worse. In one counter-post on Facebook, one of the Admins of the DC Fans United Facebook group fumed:
"DC fans are being Defamed by these degenerates & the entire Fandom is being accused of being part of something ridiculous & pitiful as this."
He's got a point. It's all too easy to take social media posts at face value, but in reality motives can be far more complex than they seem at first glance. In an age of "fake news," some people have learned how to manipulate the media to their own ends. It's important that fans be as critical as possible in the face of campaigns like this.
Source: DCEU Fans United
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