Archives for the Date January 3rd, 2018

cancerously: I feel like with the new ~fandom drama~ or whatever going around, I should…


I feel like with the new ~fandom drama~ or whatever going around, I should re-introduce my favorite theory of fandom, which I call the 1% Theory.

Basically, the 1% Theory dictates that in every fandom, on average, 1% of the fans will be a pure, unsalvageable tire fire. We’re talking the people who do physical harm over their fandom, who start riots, cannot be talked down. The sort of things public news stories are made of. We’re not talking necessarily bad fans here- we’re talking people who take this thing so seriously they are willing to start a goddamn fist fight over nothing. The worst of the worst.

The reason I bring this up is because the 1% Theory ties into an important visual of fandom knowledge- that bigger fandoms are always perceived as “worse”, and at a certain point, a fandom always gets big enough to “go bad”. Let me explain.

Say you have a small fandom, like 500 people- the 1% Theory says that out of those 500, only 5 of them will be absolute nutjobs. This is incredibly manageable- it’s five people. The fandom and world at large can easily shut them out, block them, ignore their ramblings. The fandom is a “nice place”.

Now say you have a medium sized fandom- say 100,000 people. Suddenly, the 1% Theory ups your level of calamity to a whopping 1000 people. That’s a lot. That’s a lot for anyone to manage. It is, by nature of fandom, impossible to “manage” because no one owns fan spaces. People start to get nervous. There’s still so much good, but oof, 1000 people.

Now say you have a truly massive fandom- I use Homestuck here because I know the figures. At it’s peak, Homestuck had approximately FIVE MILLION active fans around the globe.

By the 1% Theory, that’s 50,000 people. Fifty THOUSAND starting riots, blackmailing creators, contributing to the worst of the worst of things.

There’s a couple of important points to take away here, in my opinion.

1) The 1% will always be the loudest, because people are always looking for new drama to follow.

2) Ultimately, it is 1%. It is only 1%. I can’t promise the other 99% are perfect, loving angels, but the “terrible fandom” is still only 1% complete utter garbage.

3) No fandom should ever be judged by their 1%. Big fandoms always look worse, small fandoms always look better. It’s not a good metric.

So remember, if you’re ever feeling disheartened by your fandom’s activity- it’s just 1%, people. Do your part not to be a part of it.

This is similar to what I’m told recently about the terror of big populations.

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