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Anti-fan Archive

*This Archive was collected over 3 years and compiled to provide further context and evidence presented in The Journal of Fandom Studies' 2023 article: 'Hate narratives, conditioned language and networked harassment: A new breed of anti-shipper and anti-fan – “Antis”'

Anti-fan Archive Link of Examples (Images and Screenshots): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1LVLJG5xSOkJh-C_ywmoa7lPrO7x1rcF6?usp=sharing

 

Contents:

  1. Abstract

  2. Definition of 'Anti'

  3. Definition of 'Pro-ship' and 'Anti-Anti'

  4. Sample of Direct Quotes from Antis in Archived Examples

  5. Archive of Anti Examples

    1. Examples of Anti Beliefs

    2. Examples of Antis Targeting Minors

    3. Examples of Antis Expressing Xenophobia & Racism

    4. Examples of Antis Joking about or Engaging in Bullying, Harassment, Threats, Suicide Baiting, Defamation and Prejudiced Behavior

  6. Examples of How Antis' 'Fiction Affects Reality' Arguments Mirror Conservative Groups' Logic and Rhetoric

  7. Books & Studies Deconstructing Abuse, Conservatism, Morality & Media Influence

Abstract:


In recent years hostility amongst fans based on what a person ships or tolerates in shipping has become a growing point of contention in western fandom. This has resulted in an ‘anti-shipper’ (or ‘anti’) vs. ‘pro-shipper’ (or ‘pro-ship’), ‘Good versus Evil’ dichotomy that has slowly consumed fandom communities from the inside out. At the core of ‘anti’ debates is a foundation of beliefs rooted in conservatism that what a person consumes in fiction determines their real-life behaviours. Thus, an anti-shipper who is against those viewed to be pro-shippers is already deemed more morally pure. This has culminated in the escalation of toxic vigilantism that has driven harassment, violence-based threats and the criminalization of fellow fans. This piece deconstructs this anti phenomenon and the dominant behaviours that accompany it by evaluating the traditionally conservative environments in which these ideas originated, and by exploring how antis employ hate narratives, conditioned language and morally motivated networked harassment to justify dehumanizing and abusing other fans. This examination ultimately concludes that no kind of communal fandom restoration can begin to occur until those targeted by such anti-shippers are viewed as human beings (not sub-human) and a universal understanding of fiction, reality, psychology and human behaviour based in science is established.

Definition of 'Anti':

  • "In the early 2000s ‘anti-shippers’ became known as anti-fans against specific fictional relationships or ships in media (Fanlore Wiki 2022b). Their focus was largely on a hatred of the ships themselves and not necessarily the individuals favouring them. The present-day ‘anti’ movement still centres around hatred for specific ships, but this focus has largely shifted to hatred of the shippers themselves [...] Over the years, antis have been thoroughly documented protesting dynamics they find toxic or abusive in fiction, most commonly noting depictions of rape, incest and paedophilia. While individual antis’ beliefs can vary, their most consistently expressed beliefs are that, firstly, even if intended for adult viewing, fictional media with abuse and sexual violence will cause viewers to think those behaviours are acceptable in real life and thus are more likely to be imitated. Secondly, people should not create content about characters experiencing sexual trauma as it could trigger consumers, and people who explore their own trauma in this way are actively self-harming. Thirdly, anyone who creates erotic content of a character experiencing sexual trauma (e.g. rape or dubious consent) is either tactlessly glorifying real-life abuse or is an abuser themselves. Fourthly, anyone who creates sexualized content of fictional characters under 18 are paedophiles and sexual predators in real life. Antis frequently insist consumers retain no agency and are at constant risk of becoming either victims or perpetrators of sexual violence. This belief has ultimately pressured many fans to choose sides with the overall threat from antis being ‘if you like _ in fiction, you like _ in real life’."

    • Sources: (Hate narratives, conditioned language and networked harassment: A new breed of anti-shipper and anti-fan – “Antis”)

Definition of 'Pro-ship' and 'Anti-Anti':

  • "These groups generally disagree with antis’ methods and identify themselves as being ‘anti-censorship’, ‘anti-harassment’ and/or ‘pro-fiction’. According to the Fanlore Wiki (2022a), the term ‘anti-anti’ came into use around 2015, and ‘pro-shipper’ by 2017. Recently some pro-shippers have debated abandoning the term altogether as they believe pro-shipping to simply be what ‘shipping’ itself was always understood to be until very recently – a fictional hobby with no correlation to people’s real lives or morals. While anti-antis and pro-shippers have their own unique histories, their general shared ideology is that a person’s actions towards others in real life matter more than the fiction they create or consume, and that the consumption of such media does not correlate to real-life endorsement or behaviour of said actions (Fanlore Wiki 2022a). So, if no real people are being deliberately harmed by a fan or creator, and their fictional interests do not extend beyond paper, anti-antis and pro-shippers believe fans and creators should be left alone. These two groups also understand that fans (including themselves) are allowed to feel disgust or hatred for certain media; they just believe that disgust should not permit the harassment and criminalization of others. Antis have argued that the existence of media that evokes such hate or disgust does cause direct harm as it evokes real-life (often triggering) emotional responses from them (Fanlore Wiki 2022a). In response to this, pro-ship and anti-anti groups largely emphasize that it is up to individuals to curate their fandom experiences and avoid content they dislike, not censor depictions of it."

    • Sources: (Hate narratives, conditioned language and networked harassment: A new breed of anti-shipper and anti-fan – “Antis”)


(WARNING: triggering topics and language below)

  • Below is a collection of the most common examples of anti behavior which include: death threats, threats of physical harm, stalking, suicide baiting, racism, xenophobia, misogyny, spreading disinformation, and engaging in harmful practices of obsessing over media they dislike as well as purposefully engaging with people they personally deem dangerous. ​NOTE: All conversations below are in reference to content in fictional art, literature or media. Some Images are large, please give them a moment to load; Zoom-in is also Available.

  • Images with '*Archived by host' means the Image was directly archived by myself (the author). '*Seen live by host' indicates I was present when the posts were live and saw the debate in real time, but the provided Image was not directly archived by myself (often due to these posts being at some point either locked, deleted, or difficult to relocate).

  • any visible usernames are from accounts that are now inactive

  • [[See section Direct Quotes from NCOSE' further down the page for direct belief & language comparisons]]

Sample of Direct Quotes from Antis in Archived Examples:

 

  • "Just because you don't condone it in real life doesn't mean anything"

  • "I do believe minor proshippers deserve redemption"

  • "Treat fictional characters as REAL people"

  • "You should treat fictional children like real ones"

  • "It kinda scares me that some therapists endorse proshipping [...] young proshippers need better help and adults"

  • "As a young teenager proshipping is disgusting and I'm so glad I was picked up by the right side"

  • "You must ALWAYS make sure the characters are vilified for their actions and behaviors to reinforce the fact that these things are NOT OKAY IN REAL LIFE"

  • "If you're an adult in fandom [...] you have a moral obligation to make sure it doesn't literally traumatize children"

  • "If they're under 25 [...] then it is still pedophilia because the brain is still developing until you're 25"

  • "I can get very proshipy type urges, though I suppress them"

  • "You do not have to be sexually attracted to children to be a pedophile"

  • "If a minor is a proshipper, they are undeniably a victim"

  • "The proship community is literally a groomer honeypot"

  • "If you ever see a proshipper who is a minor [...] PLEASE PLEASE be gentle with them, show them kindness, and be patient with them."

  • [25 year old anti-shipper discussing a 12 year old who left their 'recovery' group full of adults] "I'm so ashamed of her. We tried helping her leave the proship community and she was trying. We were all helping to build her up [...] Disgusting"

  • "Rape is rape, regardless of if it is a work of fiction [...] you are fantasizing about being a criminal, therefore you will be treated like one by me"

  • "It [the fiction] had an affect on reality by making someone feel a certain way"

  • [Young adults discussing a 13 year old] A:"Kid, you're fucked in the head" B:"PSYCH WARD" C:"If her parents won't do anything she needs to be driven offline by force"

  • "You are fetishizing your trauma and therefore self-harming"

  • "Those who glorify any abuse should go through it before romanticizing it"

  • "You don't get to call yourself a survivor [...] if you think it's okay to support [...] you're actively hurting real survivors"

  • "I want to let any minors know that you can always come to my DMs [...] I'm here for y'all"

  • "You are being taken advantage of. My DMs are open if you need to talk [...] It's so fucking sad seeing children fall for proshitters BS"

  • "These children proshippers deserve a second chance [...] [they] don't know what's right or wrong, we should help them [...] so they won't be going down the wrong path."

  • "When I was 13 [...] I started having intrusive thoughts of gross ships [...] the thoughts came back to me a few days ago but I told myself it's not okay, and I distanced myself from those ships."

  • [to 13 year old] "You're making the choice to be like your abuser [...] You said you are a proshipper because of [abuse] that happened to you, you are making the choice to be like that person [abuser]"

  • "You're just as bad as your abuser if you're using this to cope <3"

  • "Stop reblogging from pedophile and incest supporters; no matter how cute or innocuous their art or writing may appear to be, it will always have been tainted by their disgusting paraphilias and abuse fetishization."

  • "How can age not apply to an anime character when anime technically is just animated real life?"
  • "Adults need to learn how to grow out of fictional crushes when those characters don't age along with you"

  • "Whenever these proship minors become adults they WILL most likely qualify as pedos :(. They're like, Pedos in training. Pedo cadets"

  • "Your brain can't tell the difference between cartoons and real people which is why we feel attachment and attraction to characters"

  • "The sad thing about Cyber Tip Line is that fictional stuff is marked as spam [...] they throw out those reports. I sincerely wish they didn't"

  • "You support fictional relationships that are harmful to other victims [...] You're using the trauma myself and other victims have faced for your sick fantasies. Pro-Shippers who are victims are just as guilty and selfish."

  • "Child characters need to be protected [...] We need to protect what they represent, which is children [...] If we cut out sexualization of kids (real or fake) then we get rid of all the pedos"

  • "Anime characters are people [...] they live in their own universes with their own ideals and morals [...] jobs and goals [...] so yes they are people and fiction is still rooted in reality therefore they are still minors"

  • "Some harassment is alright if it does persist just for their own good"

  • "I don't even trust [proshippers] near their own kids"

  • "Proshippers are a mistake in the human genetic code"

  • "I think we should bring back public execution"

  • "You stopped deserving people's respect when you decided the things they went through should be seen as romantic"

  • "Fictional murder is very rarely glorified [...] but a good amount of fictional sex is shown in a positive light or brushed off without any regard for its moral implications, or used to turn you on"

  • "Good people can kill, but good people cannot commit sex crimes"

  • "Ideally, we'd solve this by education and helping people understand the impact of fiction on reality. Especially when it's minors [...] But grownass adults? Not my problem if something bad happens to them"

  • A: "I saw you relapsed" B: "I'm honestly desperately trying to break out of com/pro shipping because I feel disgusting but i always come back. I plan to delete this book and try over again [...] I wanna be a good person"

  • "Would you want a pro shipper around minors, your child, your siblings, or pets?"

  • "I'm proud! I'm also recovering from being proship and I'm glad we're both able to move forwards"

  • "How to tell if a ship is okay: Is it morally and legally okay to do in real life? If the answer is yes, then it's fine"

  • "Illegal, immoral ships normalize bad relationship and power dynamics and are often used to groom minors and vulnerable people into accepting said abuse"

Some notable controversial media that antis have defended their own personal consumption of while chastising the fanart/fanfics/ships of other fans:

  • South Park: has been argued to have better LGBTQ+ representation than work by queer Asian artists. Many South Park antis may criticize fans who ship or draw nsfw of the show's younger characters while ignoring the times in which South Park itself showed their underage characters in numerous graphic sexual situations with adults, animals, or each other. Scenes involving sexual assault, rape, sexual grooming or coercion are ignored by antis. In certain instances some gave the reasoning that South Park is 'satire' and not meant to be 'sexually stimulating' thus, it was okay for them to watch it. Other reasoning included 'South Park makes fun of everyone' when non-antis would point out the numerous instances of racism, transphobia, pedophilia, and various other 'problematic' elements of the show that antis ignored or tolerated.

  • Game of Thrones: There have been instances where certain antis would argue that their incestuous ships were more morally sound than other incest ships.

  • Hellraiser (film series): Claims that there is nothing kinky or sexual contained in the movie(s) (making it clear that it was okay for them to consume these films with graphic violence because it was horror that they believed had no sexual themes)

  • Hannibal (2013): While the psychological horror/thriller series covers topics of cannibalism, graphic violence, and abuse, antis took issue with show creator Bryan Fuller for publicly supporting pro-shippers in 2020. Antis called him a sexual predator and made threats of violence against him (see Bullying/Harassment image archive below) (article).

  • Slasher & Horror films in general

  • Violent video games in general

  • Media with gore and torture in general

[2] Examples of Beliefs

[3] Examples of Antis Targeting Minors