Fiction: Is It Really Worth a Life?

I’ve posted about rabid fandoms before, and this is yet another one of those posts. If you’re a rabid fan, you should probably stop reading this, because I’m going after you.

Why the hell would you send someone death threats over a fictional TV show or fictional characters from a book series? Why?

I was reading my Twitter feed today and saw a tweet from someone who had received death threats from a fandom. I don’t know the whole story; I don’t know if this person had negative things to say about the fandom, or if they were a part of the fandom that had a different viewpoint than the rest of the fandom. Those types of circumstances don’t matter. Death threats. Death threats. From a fandom.

What does it say about your fandom if the members send such serious threats with such reckless abandon? Do they (or you, if you’ve been guilty of this) not understand that a death threat is no joke? No matter what the fandom, no amount of insult to your idols and made-up worlds is worth even an empty death threat.

The world of fandom has become like one of the dystopian nightmares that have fandoms of their own. Hate is slung back and forth like so many grenades on a battlefield. Minute differences in opinion spark wars that can have literal casualties. Did these fandom warriors ever consider that some people may have difficult lives, that the fandom was their one “safe place” to hide from the torture of day-to-day living? What if that person you’re sending death threats to happens to be on the brink of suicide in their non-fandom life? What do you think happens then?

Fandoms need to calm the fuck down. Get over themselves. The hive mind isn’t the be-all and end-all of life. If you see your fandom going down that slippery slope of verbal attacks, stalking, and death threats, step back. Get out. The cult mindset isn’t healthy, and a world of fiction isn’t worth someone’s life.

Just because they’re a stranger on the Internet doesn’t mean they’re not a real person. Think before you tweet.

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