the “they’re just fictional characters” card was what a lot of people used to justify their tweets to lydia during the lbd’s run (scroll to the tweets favorited before feb 7th 2013 and after jan 30th 2013 for stuff exclusively about her sex tape).
it’s a really big deal that transmedia is this enabling for people’s comments, even if slut-shaming on full force in the lbd pales in scale to a few questions in a q&a video not even about the person answering the questions. but regardless of the scale, what is said matters. if you wouldn’t do/condone such a thing in real life, why does it become okay to do it to fictional characters in a real medium? i don’t have any super big conclusions out of this, because my thoughts on the question i just posed aren’t very solid either. primarily, i just don’t want to see anyone use the justification above to allow out-of-the-norm online behavior go unnoticed and not discussed.
Here’s the thing- I totally agree that people shouldn’t be jerks to real or fictional people! …but those examples aren’t remotely similar.
The biggest problem with the Lydia stuff was that tweeting nasty things to characters was begun and actively encouraged by a member of the team. It was social manipulation to make fans feel worse later on.
The Candlewasters are not being rude to and asking leading questions of their own characters, nor are they encouraging people to ask inappropriate questions.
There is such a massive difference between the situation behind the Lydia tweets and one question to Ben that he didn’t even understand enough to answer that I don’t think they can be considered at the same level.
that’s what i get for shooting my mouth off lol (sorry it’s taken me so long to reply)
i didn’t know it was super encouraged by one of the writers (i assume we’re talking about rachel kiley here though). there are still lots of things i’m in the dark about re: the lydia bennet fandom conflicts in the lbd. i probably need a primer at this point.
anyway, i agree with your reasoning. i was just worried and made the post because i saw someone use that line of reasoning i mentioned when the original post about it to the tag surfaced. it set off some alarm bells for me at first, and i thought it through and figured it wasn’t a false alarm. hence the post and the comparison. it was a bad move on my part that i’ve spent the better part of the day coming to terms with.
Oh, don’t worry about it! Tumblr didn’t even tell me you’d responded until just now!
And yeah, Rachel Kiley was who I was referring to. It’s probably best at this point to not delve too deeply into the Lydia conflicts. That way lies madness and fighting and general unpleasantness. I’m still pissed about how it was handled and how fans behaved toward other fans about it…
I totally get the being worried! I was doing some thinking about that, though, and I’ve come to the following sorta-conclusion- I think a lot of fans tend to fall into two categories:
1- They see the show as pure entertainment, aren’t into immersion, and so don’t think twice about asking super personal questions because they see the whole things as entirely fictional, and why wouldn’t you ask questions like that of an author/writer/producer?
2- They love the immersion and have fun interacting with the characters as though they are real people.
I think the biggest problem would be when people who are into immersion and treating characters like real people are the ones asking the personal questions (or being jerks to characters).
Does that make sense? Like, I feel like you shouldn’t be a person who both says “Oh, I love Character A, they’re so fun to chat with on Twitter” and “what does it matter what I say to them, they’re fictional.”
But that there are also people who don’t see a problem because they’re approaching it as asking a creator about their product and not asking a person about their friends’ love lives.
Am I making sense? It’s still a theory I’m rolling around in my brain…