fawning fans vs. legions of fan-fiction enthusiasts
March 15, 2020 7:30 PM   Subscribe

A Brief History of China’s Epic Online Fan Wars.
It all started when a user on Hupu — a popular sports and lifestyle forum — posted an unflattering, un-autotuned video of Kris Wu singing live... along with the words “How many seconds (of listening to this) can you endure?”

Within hours, Wu’s massive fan base had flooded the forums with posts defending their idol and insulting Hupu users — in many cases buying Hupu memberships to do so. They accused the users of having “straight man cancer — a common term in China deployed against men with chauvinistic views.
posted by spamandkimchi (14 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Ah, fans are truly terrifying the whole world 'round. I'm trying to imagine being the agent who gets to explain to a star that they're losing endorsements because their fans got a (truly great) fan fiction site banned because that site...ah, well, maybe you just don't go into it?

I think I prefer "straight man cancer" to toxic masculinity, which is technically a more useful term but maybe sounds a little fancy for shit posting purposes? Just a thought.
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:51 PM on March 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

I want to hear the original clip but I can't seem to find it. Anyone else have better luck?
posted by glonous keming at 7:54 PM on March 15, 2020

"straight man cancer" omg yes it eats away at you, it's life destroying itself
posted by Lyme Drop at 8:48 PM on March 15, 2020 [3 favorites]

I think people with actual cancer don’t need more derogatory connotations added to their disease.
posted by Segundus at 11:07 PM on March 15, 2020 [6 favorites]

Stan culture is universal (and fucking awful).
posted by tobascodagama at 5:57 AM on March 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

people with actual cancer don’t need more derogatory connotations added to their disease.

Uh, in my reasonably extensive and personal experience, people with cancer already think of it as a bad thing???
posted by joyceanmachine at 6:31 AM on March 16, 2020 [10 favorites]

I think I prefer "straight man cancer" to toxic masculinity

I dunno; I think it obscures the fact that LGBT+ people can do toxic masculinity, too. But this FPP is about online fans being awful online, so maybe we should talk about that....
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:57 AM on March 16, 2020 [3 favorites]

I wonder if quarantining is increasing the amount of bad online behavior, as bored and frustrated people without other options for entertainment decide to make some of their own. I realize these stories predate the current situation, but, if this is how people behave when their days are full....
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:36 AM on March 16, 2020

This "Brief History" article is indeed brief. For days I've been inundated with Weibo posts on the Xiao Zhan fans vs. AO3 story. Some incidents mentioned in the article, like the "Jay Chou’s Mighty Middle-Aged Army" one, are merely funny, but the AO3 ban really touched a nerve for a lot of people who are not even engaged in online fandom due to larger issues with censorship, the inevitable abuse of the insidious 'reporting' (举报) mechanism, the ruthless capitalization of fandom of these 'high-traffic social media stars' (流量明星), and the sexual politics surrounding Chinese boys' love romance novels and TV shows derived from such IPs.

(When popular web-serialized novels make it big and become mainstream, they are called Internet Properties, i.e. IP.)
posted by of strange foe at 9:02 AM on March 16, 2020 [3 favorites]

I think people with actual cancer don’t need more derogatory connotations added to their disease.

...do they need positive connotations added to their disease?? I'm not sure "having or having had cancer" is an identity thing we should fret about.
posted by GoblinHoney at 9:40 AM on March 16, 2020

I don't think I like the phrase "straight man cancer" because, aside from any hassles it may create for people with cancer, it implies that the condition isn't based on personal choices, and may or may not be curable, again, not based on personal choices.

I don't like comparing personal choices (even ones strongly influenced by society) to a disease. Cancer isn't something you do; it's something that happens to you. And it might be fixable, or might not, and while your actions can make a difference in that, it's ultimately not your decision whether it stays or goes. Also, cancer is only directly harmful to the person who has it; one person's cancer doesn't poison their environment.

I like the "toxic masculinity" metaphor better. Toxins can be neutralized, and they can be dangerous to anyone touched by them. They may or may not have occurred directly because of choices, but it's irresponsible to ignore them or let them grow. And if a toxin can't be neutralized, it's reasonable for other people to contain or avoid it.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:49 AM on March 16, 2020 [4 favorites]

Lots of these fanwars are kpop fans tho... It's built into the kpop business model to enlist fans into fanwars so I guess it's not surprising, or maybe the author is kpop- adjacent and knew more about those dust ups than others. Apart from the first and last ones all these blurbs mention the kpop band EXO, or Produce 101, a Korean TV show.
posted by subdee at 4:29 PM on March 16, 2020

..oh good, the "originated in the US" is an historical article about the original origins of the flu (in1918). I was scared for a sec that this was another conspiracy theory...
posted by subdee at 4:53 PM on March 18, 2020

Kris Wu!! his fans are still stirring up shit even nearly a decade later, the devotion, I wonder if SM ever regrets releasing EXO into the world lol
posted by yueliang at 5:59 PM on March 19, 2020

« Older Would I Lie to You?   |   The Writing Simulators Waging War on Loneliness Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments