The Revelation of the internet anti-fan


There is an interesting post over at The Telegraph by Tom Chivers called "The rise of the Internet anti-fan," about those people who just love to hate you.

Important note: this post and the video embedded here contain language some people might find objectionable.  They are just words, and us, can do no harm.

So what is an anti-fan?  Are they a troll?  An asshole?  Or are they something different?  It is sad, that in this day and age, I feel that is necessary to diagnose different types of hate.  Truth is, if you realize what kind of hater you are dealing with, you will have a better idea what to do about them.

Jeff Jarvis in a Medium post called, "Defining the Troll," cites the book, Assholes: a Theory, and uses their definition of an asshole to classify the troll as a sub species of asshole, along with "the jerk, the boor, the cad, the schmuck, the douche bag…" We have a lot of words for people who are essentially unpleasant, but each of these define a special kind of insensitive person.

Trolls, in and of themselves, are interesting creatures.  They say and do terrible things to engender a response.  They crave attention and do not differentiate between positive and negative attention.  Most of the trolls that I have encountered, actually thrived off the negative attention.

The anti-fan is a related but separate phenomena.  Like the troll, they have not learned to distinguish between positive and negative attention; but unlike the troll, they want to participate in the community.  Part of them is drawn to something in the community.  They simply do not know how to participate in a way that is constructive.

The anti-fan, unlike the troll, can be reformed.  It is not easy and requires a lot of attention, correction, and effort.  Once they learn how to engage the community within the norms it has established, they can become a productive member of that community.  There is no formula for this conversion.  It takes time, and the gradual commitment on the part of the anti-fan to start abiding by the rules of the community.

While you are thinking about that, here is a little video dedicated to the haters of every ilk.