Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things

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The people on the Internet who complain about the show were going to hate it no matter what I did, so I don't really care about their opinions.
Seiji Mizushima, Director of Mobile Suit Gundam 00

Related to Dear Negative Reader and Writer Revolt, this is when someone who is involved in the production of a work and is known for interacting with the fans by, for example, writing a production blog or answering fandom's questions, or regularly appearing at conventions, stops doing so because, at least in their opinion; some fans become so thick and heavy (and ugly) that their previously fun activity has become a burden and is no longer enjoyable.

The fans complain to and about the creator, hassle them to an unbearable level, constantly asking questions that the creator has already stated he will not be answering, and constantly doing unspeakable things. Because a small handful are ruining it for everyone else, the creator stops whatever fun interaction with the fans they were doing. This tends to give people the impression that said creator is a Nice Character, Mean Actor (or just a nice work, mean creator in general), even though it wasn't the fault of the creator at all.

Even worse, the fans in question tend to somehow feel they have a right to run completely roughshod over the creator, and that any complaints from him are not only unjustified but deserve to be punished by further bad acts.

This is especially bad towards things that people actually do as a hobby, or out of personal enjoyment. Many a rant has been made by harassed creators/producers/personalities/celebrities who state that they actually could be off doing better things and not putting up with Fan Dumb / Hate Dumb, or that their life is already stressful enough with their other job(s) that they really don't need to come home from a long day's work just to be hassled by entitled bastards. And many a rant towards pirates have been made saying that they actually need to make money or else they won't be able to produce further installments.

Complaints often arise up from Schedule Slip. It's been pointed out that very few people who do web comics (for example) actually make money off of them, with most of them doing it as a hobby. When things in real life pop up such as health issues, it's always the web comic that has to go first.

Corollary: As usual, caveat emptor. Playing the Victim Card is quite possible here. Pouting at "some bad readers" became a cheap excuse for any unpopular act an author/designer/publisher is intended to do anyway - especially in defence of clumsy plugs and removing old materials (whether embarrassing failures of the past or whatever underscores how much of an embarrassing failure the series became lately). Internet is huge, and as a rule, not only likely to include people daring to disagree with you on any particular subject, but has at least one monkey flinging poo without any particular reason whatsoever at any given subject or persona, without exception. Obviously, those who truly are too much of Shrinking Violets to deal with this reality either leave it or lock themselves in their warm fuzzy hugboxes - the people who climb on a soap box to point accusing fingers are those who don't worry about the next wave of rotten tomatoes.

A Sub-Trope to Why We Can't Have Nice Things. Common tropes that result in this include Unpleasable Fanbase, Internet Backdraft, Fan Dumb, Hate Dumb, and GIFT. Be Careful What You Wish For is often invoked. Can sometimes result to an Internet Counterattack and Complaining About Complaining, making things worse. Very often a case of Nice Job Breaking It, Hero on the part of the fanbase. In some cases, this tends to induce into a Creator Breakdown, with the most extreme cases ending in a Take That from the author to the fanbase within the work, sometimes in the presence of a Straw Fan.

Examples of Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • This story from Mark Waid (it begins about halfway down the page). He did a phone interview with a Vermont radio station and, after the interview was done, was invited by one of the interviewers to visit their comic shop in Vermont for a signing and meet-and-greet with the fans. Waid agreed, and after all was said and done likens it to the movie Misery and explains that he has warned all his fellow authors to be wary and make sure they are not deceived by the same fans. He does not say anything about never meeting fans again, but you can bet he is a lot more reticent about it.
  • Alan Moore is said to have stopped attending comics conventions because some fans at a United Kingdom Comic Art Convention followed him into the washroom to seek his autograph.
  • The early 2011 comments shutdown at the blog The Source at DC Universe was the direct result of a flame war about who was faster: Superman or The Flash.
  • Fred Perry went on a short hiatus after a rabid fan pushed an old lady and her grandson out of the way and threw down some cheesecake when he tried to deny he "took commissions for that sort of thing".

Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • Fanfiction authors have sometimes been known to remove fanfics due to flame wars and Ship-to-Ship Combat happening in their reviews, or being sent offensive emails about ships the mailer does not like.
  • People on deviantART have closed their galleries or stopped posting altogether due to offensive comments that fanfiction or fan art is not art and accusations of plagiarism and tracing.

Film[edit | hide]

  • Brian Lee O'Malley, creator of Scott Pilgrim, was constantly harassed on deviantART by people who criticized his art style and movie deal causing him to close his account after only a few months.
  • Following the successful hacking of AACS (the content protection system for Blu-Ray) in 2007, Fox and MGM lay dormant with Blu-ray for several months after releasing Night at the Museum, skipping some titles completely and going straight to Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and The Day After Tomorrow when they resumed Blu-Ray releases. Most of the skipped titles have yet to see a high definition release (though Pathfinder was quickly released in an unrated version more than a month later). And all because some hackers managed to crack the AACS code.
  • George Lucas has supposedly said that the end of the Star Wars franchise was due to his Fan Dumb and the fact that they never shut up.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Harlan Ellison's essay "Xenogenesis" is a catalog of harassment, mistreatment, larcenous behavior, and in some cases downright assault on science fiction writers by their fans. It is a bit of a horror story that culminates in writer Alan Dean Foster's story about how, at one convention, a disgruntled "fan" threw a cup of warm vomit in Foster's face.

"And you wonder why Stephen King never shows up at science fiction conventions anymore..."

  • J. D. Salinger supposedly went Reclusive Artist, and supposedly kept writing but refused to let anyone see his work, partially because he was so peeved over the way popular culture took to a 'misreading' of The Catcher in The Rye (Holden Caulfield was evidently intended as a much different character than how many people see him).
  • Terry Pratchett had to publicly leave alt.fan.pratchett in 1998, not because of intentional nastiness, but because fans would not stop speculating about future books, despite his pointing out it put him in a difficult position. He's popped back on occasion, but when he seemed to be settling back permanently, something similar happened.
  • Spider Robinson pre-empted this in the case of the alt.callahans Usenet group, an early virtual community based on his Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon series. While he gave it his full blessing early on, mentioned (and hence promoted) it in a Callahan’s story, and made the odd official contribution from time to time, this was always done offline and/or through third parties -– if he has ever posted to the group, it was never under any alias that could have been penetrated. This careful policy probably owes something to the aftermath of Pyotr’s Story (published 1981), which was set on Callahan’s weekly riddle night, and ended with an invitation for readers to write in with answers to the unsolved riddles. Result: sackloads of mail, and while the flow did tail off, it never ceased entirely. He's also publicly said that he's seriously worried that if he got involved with the alt.callahans, he'd spend too much time there when he should be writing more stories.
  • Stephenie Meyer had been planning a book called Midnight Sun, which was a re-telling of Twilight from Edward's perspective. She even posted the first chapter on her website, to whet fans' appetites. Then a half-finished manuscript appeared on the Internet, posted by someone else. Meyer was so upset that the book is now "on hold indefinitely," as if she wrote it in her current state of mind, she has said, the evil vampire would succeed.
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley was one of the first writers to run into this in regards to fanfiction. She used to edit occasional anthologies of what she thought were the best fanfics for her Darkover setting. There's a bit of confusion over what precisely happened, but at some point her reading those fanfics resulted in the cancellation of a novel set at the same time as one such fanfic. This has become a precedent for many authors to not even read fanfic.
  • Karen Traviss of Star Wars Expanded Universe fame/infamy had been involved with the fandom, but contention arose over her supposed establishment of the Grand Army of the Republic consisting at a mere three million clones. Some people took issue with it (which is reasonable), but they almost exclusively blamed her (which isn't). The result was a massive multi-board Flame War that included both sides insulting each other, hate sites, Dear Negative Reader posts, coining of derogatory nicknames for their detractors, accusations of favoritism/nepotism/sexual bribery, and ultimately culminated when one nutjob made a machinima video of himself brutally murdering a mock Traviss and her fans over his concern for the numbers (and disingenuously called it "satire", which made the StarWars.com board moderators nuke everything associated with the... discussion, but it didn't completely end, as some people tried to collect all of her posts in an archive in an attempt to showcase her "irrationality" over this). The really sad thing is that all this was because no one, NO ONE involved (except maybe the continuity minions who gave Traviss the numbers in the first place) bothered reading the Attack of the Clones novelization. It gave statements on what they meant by a "unit" (it was a unit of production), what they meant by "a million more well on the way" (a million clone warriors [1]), and by extension, you can infer what they meant by two hundred thousand units.

Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • This "stepping back" blog entry (spoilers for Torchwood).
  • Warren Ellis' critically acclaimed Global Frequency was turned into a critically acclaimed Pilot which was leaked and heavily torrented to fanbase acclaim. The sheer speed and amount of piracy, of course, understandably had network execs worried about things like advertising revenue. To this day, some fans still blame The CW for not producing the show, though there was news in 2009 that they ordered another pilot.
  • iCarly: Before Season 3 had started airing, Dan posted a script fragment from a future episode. He took it down quickly, but it was reposted on various sites. Naturally, shippers from both sides went nuts, especially on LiveJournal. After heavy criticism about Dan ruining the fandom and the LJ communities with his interaction he quit and deleted his LiveJournal, without warning or notice (meaning the fandom lost a lot of interesting interaction with him), and eventually set up his own blog site, which he claimed was for better control, but his first post was about being pissed off with responses to his script.
  • One speculated reason for why Legend of the Seeker wasn't renewed for a third season was that fans of the Sword of Truth books were so vocal about the changes that were made that the networks were afraid to advertise the show.
  • Whiny fans who never stop complaining about "imperfections" is why Steve Roberts of the Doctor Who restoration team stopped writing articles about the Doctor Who DVD restorations.
  • Back in the late '90s, before Lexx developed a fan base that was rabid when it came to Michael McManus, who portrayed Kai on the show, he was known to dote on the fans, even the squeeing fangirls. There is an especially cute story of him leaving an autograph session, announcing that he wanted a beer and inviting a nearby group of fans to join him. After a few years of non-stop stalking and harassment at the hands of fangirls with no respect for boundaries, McManus eventually stopped interacting with fans all together, becoming almost reclusive.
  • Joseph Mallozzi, a writer and producer of the Stargate series in general, has had a blog on and off over the last decade. Each time he comes back, the blog is more and more regulated toward the fan hate and complaints that had eventually flooded his last blog.
  • TV mega forum Television Without Pity: Aaron Sorkin's experiences on the site during The West Wing's heyday led him to roundly mock it on an episode. Rob Thomas, the creator of Veronica Mars, also avoided the show's fandom after run-ins on TWOP.
  • There is some speculation within the Merlin fandom that the derailment of the Merlin/Arthur relationship from a homoerotic bromance (complete with shared destiny, near-hugs and general male bonding) to a quasi-abusive relationship (in which Arthur does little but yell and throw things at Merlin) was a result of the writers' irritation with the tin hatters who would not stop insisting that the relationship between both characters and actors was a sexual one. Tellingly, writer Julian Jones dismissively said that "we don't pander to that lot" when asked about the Merlin/Arthur shippers (though the interview was later re-edited to be less inflammatory). It's open for debate, as though the Merlin/Arthur ship has somewhat floundered, season three also introduced Gwaine, who seems to be written as in love with Merlin.
  • CBS limits Audience Participation on the American version of Big Brother after the earlier attempts at Audience Participation wound up with the Boring but Practical players left and people from the players' hometown repeatedly calling in to save their person. In 11, they held an audience vote to decide who would receive the power of coup d'état, which would be a Game Breaker to whoever got it. During this vote, texting would cost $1 a text but you could vote on the site for free. Ronnie's wife botted the site in Ronnie's favour and then posted instructions on how to bot the site for Ronnie's sake. People took this and made counterbots to the site so that Jeff or Jordan would win the power. CBS then made it so that you could only vote a maximum of five times, and then, on consecutive votes, randomize the houseguests positions on the map so you couldn't just mindlessly click on the same spot and then vote a hundred plus times.
    • And for America's vote, they put in efforts to limit bots. You had to have an account and could only vote ten times total. This didn't stop a bunch of people from making Sock Puppet accounts and voting in Brendon to compete against Lawon in a totally balanced and fair competition to return to the house, though.
  • The Price Is Right. Drew Carey opened his own personal blog on the show's website and within days (not weeks as was expected), ruthless fans (most of them from Golden Road.net) began attacking him. One took his commentary too far and pushed Carey into disabling comments temporarily. Since July 3, 2008, a lot of users over at that website had been hurling all sorts of invective at Carey and Fremantle Media over the firing of Roger Dobkowitz and various other things. When Carey disabled comments, he made a blog entry announcing that he had disabled them, and in this blog entry he stuck it to the fans by calling them "telephone pole screamers".
  • Miley Cyrus deleted her first Twitter account, not only as she reportedly lost her privacy and was addicted to Twitter, but due to death threats she recieved for posting pro-gay rights statements on her account. At the time, her account had over 1,300,000 followers. She's returned, of course, but posts less frequently and more discreetly, and certainly sticks up for herself more tersely. (She also asks her fans not to flame those who criticize her.)
  • Alton Brown of Good Eats had this problem, no less than twice. First when he decided to open up an Email portal on his website and was promptly rushed with all sorts of unsavory things. The portal was closed down. Years later, he finally relented and opened up a Twitter account with similar results. He seems to have returned to Twitter, however.
  • Before and during the run of Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski was very active on Usenet, Compuserve & GEnie forums dedicated to the show, with well over 10,000 posts from 1992 through 1998. Constant harassment by a few fans led him into several ill-advised flamewars. Claudia Christian's departure from the show led to middle-of-the-night phone calls and death threats. He's never been as active online since, though he does have a Facebook fan page now.
  • Dish customers won't be able to watch AMC anymore (and that includes The Walking Dead) due to an unrelated lawsuit involving Dish.

Music[edit | hide]

  • Trent Reznor declared he would stop most of his Twitter usage due to various unpleasant posted comments. He still posts plenty of updates, but most of them tend to be news-related rather than personal now.
  • Yoshiki of X Japan was pretty much chased off the internet for much of 2009 and half of 2010 in a massive flare of Fan Dumb, Hate Dumb, GIFT, Internet Counterattack, and Internet Backdraft that originally started when he canceled a planned concert in Paris and continues to burn even now, though it may finally be beginning to subside.
  • In a related phenomenon, The Beatles stopped touring in 1966. The complexity of some post-Revolver tracks exceeding what could be performed live was part of it, but another factor was that their fans went so crazy whenever they showed up that they couldn't hear themselves play over the sound of the hysterical shrieking, were trapped in their hotel rooms by mobbing fans whenever they went anywhere and had to be ferried around in armored cars to prevent being torn apart in the near-rioting that surrounded them.
    • There was also another factor. The crazy anti-Beatles Hatedom that emerged after John Lennon's "we're Bigger Than Jesus" comments, complete with record burnings, boycotts and picketing of Beatles concerts, convinced the band that touring the US wasn't worth it, as they'd just have the Moral Guardians dogging them at nearly every leg of the tour.
  • Disturbed, for a time, used to answer fan questions on message boards, spending the most of their time being badgered to prove who they are. The sad thing is, this was started by their lead singer with the other band members saying it wasn't worth trying till they eventually warmed up to the idea at the singer's urging. With the relationship soured, they'll probably never do this again.
    • As of 2011, their lead singer is tweeting and still getting stupid/rude questions. One of the more common ones is "Will Dan/Mike/John get a Twitter?". His response is "They've expressed a strong interest... not to."
  • This is, quite likely, the reason why most music-formatted radio stations no longer freely play song requests. Of course, this doesn't stop the frequent complaints of "you never play this song" coming from the listeners—but it is now easier for the radio programmers and disc jockeys to ignore them, and just program what they want to play.
  • John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats now destroys all his outtakes, the result of an (especially embarrassing) unreleased album being leaked.
    • He also destroyed an entire planned EP due to repeated requests for illegal mp3s on his own forum.
  • Randy Blythe of Lamb of God explains why he had to deactivate his Twitter account. It came down heavily in part to this trope.

Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes would occasionally sneak signed copies of comic collections into his local bookshop. He stopped when they started showing up on eBay.
    • One of the reasons Watterson stopped doing Calvin and Hobbes was because his "fans" effectively stole the trademark for Calvin away from him. You know all of those cutesy "Calvin is praying" or "Calvin is Peeing on Something" stickers you see on the back windows of all those trucks and cars? Yeah... they weren't authorized by Watterson (who licensed a very small amount of merchandise, and nothing like those stickers). By the time the cartoonist found out about them and moved to stop their production, they'd become so ubiquitous and widespread that a judge told him he'd effectively lost his own trademark because he didn't act fast enough. Nice going, folks.
    • The Other Wiki states that people selling such things were forced to change the caricature to avoid infringement. Not that it would have changed his anti-consumerism stance on Calvin and Hobbes goods and general strong intent to have the "brand" fade away as much as possible.

Sports[edit | hide]

  • Athletes will occasionally take potshots at their fanbase or former fanbase once they leave. Willis McGahee infamously antagonized the city of Buffalo by claiming the team should move to Toronto because Buffalo was boring and poor, and that the women were ugly.
  • By the same token, some athletes refuse to sign autographs since a lot of memorabilia dealers use children to solicit them from athletes and then run home and put the item on eBay.
  • Likewise, some athletes refuse to talk with fans after certain fans trash stadiums or engage in hooliganism.
  • Sports statistics web pages sometimes have these. One semi-popular page has had its sole webmaster consider shutting it down because of some fans who regularly harass him when he doesn't update on time, especially due to real life issues. One time, his wife (and even his son!) felt like responding to some of these emails saying "Sorry we've not updated - the funeral's on Friday if you want to pay your respects."
  • Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace ace, has taken to snapping at people on Twitter (and plans to leave the site altogether) after losing his temper with a group of abusive, unpleasable fans.

Toys[edit | hide]

  • Minor example but it still counts: Bionicle's Big Bad had No Name Given, instead known by his title of "Makuta". When an entire group of Makuta were introduced, head of story (and fandom's resident Word of God) Greg Farshtey went ahead and revealed that his name is "Teridax". The fans weren't exactly thrilled with this name, and said so in no uncertain terms. As a result, Farshtey canceled plans to reveal the name of the other big No Name Given character, the Shadowed One, rather than deal with backlash again.
    • A less minor example, similar to the Transformers one below: Bionicle set designers did intend at times to join BZ Power's forums (where Farshtey himself posts), but decided against it, not wanting to expose themselves to the immense fan hate whenever a new line of sets is revealed. But this is more of a "Why certain fansites can't have nice things", because set/piece designers do visit other boards where they don't have to worry about being attacked.
  • Transformers designer Aaron Archer used to be a regular poster on a message board, with his own section where he would answer questions. Then someone had to go moan at Hasbro, allegedly because Archer was unprofessional and rude, almost certainly actually because the complainer was jealous that another board had such a major draw. Hasbro promptly declared that it was over.
    • Bob Skir of Beast Machines also had a closer relationship with the fans than most official entities, but the on-line community was so harsh towards the series he co-wrote, that he decided to break up. He didn't attend the fan conference he and his partner Marty Isenberg were invited to either (nor did Marty). Thus, they are both still among them.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • City of Heroes developers have been known to take sabbaticals from the forums due to particularly intense fans. The original powers designer was permanently driven from the forums due to extremely rabid fans.
  • This trope is often cited, though not by name, in the official World of Warcraft forums, as reasons why Blizzard refuses to reveal specific details of upcoming plans for the game, up to and especially including release dates for new content. It's an open and possibly unanswerable question whether fans of the game are driven crazier by lack of information or by being given information.
    • Moderator burnout is apparently a very real problem due to the game's vast Unpleasable Fanbase. There have been highly publicized outbursts by certain controversial mods in response to particularly Egregious instances of Fan Dumb that reportedly got them taken off the staff. Many serious players refuse to read the official forums entirely, preferring to read the official Blizzard posts through third-party aggregators. Case in point, With a jar of ashes.
    • Blizzard developer and forum "bad cop" Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street deals with the community exclusively through blogs now, partly for this reason.
    • In the game itself, originally the Forsaken could speak common (the same language as alliance races) but this was removed because they used it for verbal griefing, causing them to switch to a new language with no justifying lore.
  • Mike Pollock, the current voice of Dr. Eggman, once used his Eggman voice in a fan interview to say "Snooping as usual, I see" and "I hate that hedgehog!" by request. Once he figured out the significance of the former, he declared he would not do vocal requests again.
  • Part of the reason that Half-Life 2 got delayed for so long (aside from Valve's usual punctuality) was that after it was debuted in several trailers, some bright light decided to steal the source code.
    • Valve has had much better dealings in face to face encounters; when Gabe Newell encountered a couple of protestors sitting in front of the Valve offices bearing plaintive placards asking where the hell Half-Life 2: Episode 3 (or just Half-Life 3) was, he just explained he couldn't tell them and it was cool, though someone else did have the cops escort the folks off on loitering charges.
    • Valve is currently beta-testing Dota 2, and used to send people more than one invite so they can give it to their friends. However, after these invites started popping up for sale on eBay, Valve stopped giving more than one invite.
  • Crysis, due to its high requirements, was widely pirated, often just to use as a benchmark. When the sequel was announced to be not only on the PC, but the Xbox 360 and Play Station 3 as well, the series PC fans cried bloody murder, worried that the lower capabilities of consoles would result in a lower-quality PC version.
    • Especially when they cried about a 50% pirate rate.
  • Demigod had faith in its fans and released the game sans Copy Protection. The result? An estimated 93% piracy rate that choked the servers to death and caused review scores to plummet thanks to untold amounts of lag and connection issues.
    • For that matter; a lot of Copy Protection and DRM in general, as you can see from several other examples on this page. It used to not be as intrusive as it was; yet because of people who decided to pirate the game anyways, and then the "heroes" sticking it to the man who pirated it out of spite pirated it anyways to "justify" their piracy, thus further "justifying" DRM. So thanks a lot, guys, nice to let developers know they can trust us.
      • The big problem is the standard Ubi/EA-driven style of DRM often treats all users like pirates, and as such hurts legitimate buyers far more than actual pirates, who completely rip that nonsense out. Smarter devs have begun making the checks game-internalised however, instead of dropping the barrier at installation or startup, such as the infamous Batcape not working in Batman: Arkham Asylum. Samurai Deeper Kyo on the Game Boy Advance had an excellent trick as well, a hidden check on the ROM would flip a switch making all bosses invulnerable, which had the unintended result of people nabbing the pirated version just to show how long they could last for bragging rights. Essentially it turns out the smartest implementation of DRM is just Shareware with no nag screen.
  • Sadly, we won't get an English translation to SaGa 3 nor to a Summon Night game. Crimson Nocturnal has shut down due to whiny jerks complaining about slow updates and requests.
    • Some sources claim that the real reason CN has disbanded is because of their leader's large ego combined with internal drama over translation styles, and this isn't the first time he has broken up the group (which almost caused the death of the SaGa 2 translation.)
  • Capcom of all people has really turned against fans in the last year or so,[when?] after cancelling the much anticipated Mega Man Legends 3 and Mega Man Universe. There was a huge backlash for it in which they claimed it was the fans' fault for not joining the Devroom program and contributing to it. However, when the game was first revealed, they never disclosed that part and just added it as a way for fans to help out but never said it was an integral part of the overall game. There have been several petitions reaching almost 50K followers to bring the project back, but to everyone's disdain, they have dismissed it and said that that they have no plans of bringing it back. To make things worse, Mega Man himself wasn't included in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Capcom later decided to add "Bad Box Art" Mega Man in Street Fighter X Tekken. Some fans believe that this was Capcom's responses to the criticism.
    • "Bad Box Art" Mega Man was actually requested by Inafune himself, not as a mean-spirited joke, but that it was "interesting". The timing of the reveal, though, makes it come off as an attack.
  • Jagex stopped holding holiday events in RuneScape for years because people constantly complained about not getting what they expected.
    • They also tend to no longer state release dates because of the same reasons other companies do, miss one day and the forums flood with complaints.
    • They also bound event items to one's account after the party hat accidents.
  • League of Legends doesn't often hold IP boosts to get a special skin and only really holds skin & champion sales because their already bitchy fanbase kept whining about it.
    • Also, it's not entirely uncommon for the devs to be driven from the forums due to rabid fan dumb. For example.
  • Surprisingly averted with Minecraft. After Fan Dumb DDoSed the multiplayer servers, they're pretty damn lucky Notch didn't just give them the middle finger and took them down permanently. He was also surprisingly okay with update 1.8 being leaked early, as it gave the fans a chance to find bugs so that they could be fixed before the official release. In fact, ever since that leak, Mojang themselves have been regularly leaking the updates early.
  • CliffyB of Epic Games announced that the sequels to the original Gears of War would not be released on PC, as the PC version of the first game had been so thoroughly pirated.
    • This seems to be a bigger problem with FPS than anything else, as FPS is perceived by the general public to be the 'easiest to make,' followed by certain styles of RPG. You just don't see such piracy numbers pulled for RTS, strategy, or simulation unless the company adds a draconian DRM, in which case people who would never buy the game in the first place see it as a way to 'fight back,' as what happened with Spore. Another factor is the fans of those two genres who actually come online seem to be among the most vicious, as a trek through any BioWare forum will show. Sometimes the creators themselves have to step in and lay the smackdown on especially racist/sexist fans.
  • Many gaming channels on YouTube won't do Minecraft videos because of the monomania demonstrated by Minecraft Fan Dumb, who keep downvoting videos and demanding that they do minecraft videos.
  • Devil May Cry creator Hideki Kamiya will not answer Twitter questions regarding games in that series past the first title, due to Capcom's burning bridges with him and most of staff of Clover Studios, as well as the fact that DMC questions would oversaturate his Twitter feed. He will either respond with a terse "whatever," pretending he doesn't know what the asker is talking about, or (in the case of persistent questioners) will curse the asker out.
  • Though not a reason for him stopping work on the original game (that involved a real life disaster), Noa was displeased over the response Elona Shooter got on Kongregate, and also the amount of idiot it brought to the main boards. Many of the people coming in after the first couple weeks really were obviously 12 year old boys and would not have the patience to properly learn Elona controls and quirks, or any other Roguelike for that matter.
  • Battlefront, makers of beloved wargame Combat Missions, simply want no more to do with ww2 as it gets so many armchair commanders dropping into the site to tell people whom actually served (either then, or any war since then) how terrible their tactics are despite how problematic logistics were or any number of other factors. (A mild subversion as this has nothing to do with fan vs creator but the disrespect amongst the fans to each other) They had been planning to drop it for their other lines for some time and make more modern wargames, but the flame wars were the final catalyst.
  • For that matter, the exploitation of a Good Bad Bug in a multiplayer game could be considered this because people would report it, causing it to get fixed in an Obvious Rule Patch the following week. (Sometimes even hours or days.) However, your mileage WILL vary on this matter - for every person who stormed on the boards complaining about an exploit being fixed, there were about one or two others thanking people for fixing it.
  • People who stream their games live have been known to stop doing so because someone they were playing against came into their stream and used it to spy on them. (This is especially prevalent in games like Star Craft 2, Defense of the Ancients, and League of Legends)
  • After the "Hot Coffee" scandal with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the "Second Edition" rerelease removed mod support entirely.
    • This case is unique because this time the fault is entirely with the creators. Unlike what many officials claim, the "Hot Coffee" scene is in the game files, and a particularly clever modder found out only a single bit needs to be changed to see it. That's like flipping a light switch on. Needless to say, he was accused by the officials of having put porn into the game.
  • Video game magazines who release trial CDs of games or special promotional codes often have to either give people codes or release it in a plastic-bag because people would go into the store and take the CDs or codes out of the magazines so they get it all for free, when these perks were to reward people buying the magazine.
  • Mario Kart DS had decals players could show off on their kart and could be drawn to be anything they desired. Naturally, everyone made crudely drawn breasts and penises. Nintendo removed the custom decal feature in all Mario Kart games after that and has the karts use the character decals instead.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Brooke McEldowney had Comics.com turn off the commenting feature for his 9 Chickweed Lane comic after a few Trolls made persistent homophobic and misogynistic remarks while another posted links to 9CL strips with pornographic dialogue substituted for the original.
  • This is a major problem for artists in the Furry Fandom; one of the biggest sources of furry drama will invariably be about an artist being driven out due to their art being stolen and reposted elsewhere, usually because they're too lazy to buy the artwork from the artist, themselves. Sometimes, however, they actually have people taking credit for the artwork. Some of the places where the artwork is being reloaded will help the artist out by putting them on a DNP (Do Not Post) list and punishing those who break it... but that's small comfort when most of these cases are followed up by Internet Backdraft over the artist leaving, making a bad situation worse. Other times, artists have to shut down their messages or commissions due to obsessive trolls and drama that breaks out whenever they open commission slots and are immediately filled by people who apparently wait all day for journals like that and then snipe the journal. Or, some people were just remarkably bad customers. Furries have been harassed at conventions and have said they would not be attending future events.
  • Tessa Stone, the mind behind Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name, revealed a spoiler on the true nature of Ples Tibenoch to a select few fans, confident that they wouldn't go and spread it around the fandom. Three guesses what happened there.
  • This is the reason why there is no more forum for the VG Cats web comic.
  • Tom Siddell, author of Gunnerkrigg Court, used to occasionally make GC-themed desktop wallpaper for the fans—sometimes a larger version of a panel from the latest page, and sometimes completely new art. When some fans complained that he wasn't also making widescreen versions of these pictures, he decided to stop altogether.
    • Tom also used to respond to reader's queries on a "Questions for Tom" thread on the Gunnerkrigg Court forum. He stopped, not so much because people asked the same questions, but rather because other readers would jump in and answer the questions themselves, making it a "Questions for Whoever Feels Like Answering" thread. He took his question-answering to a formspring account. However, when fans began repeatedly asking questions on topics he had stated he wasn't going to answer — and then getting combative over his not answering — Tom deleted his formspring account. Fortunately, some months later Tom decided to give it another shot and reopened his formspring account.
  • While he permits it to be written, the author of Tales of the Questor makes it a deliberate policy to never, ever read fanfics of his comics, because he knows he would go mad from the desire to dive in and re-edit.
  • Ratfist: When political discussions in the Shout Box started turning into flame wars with every new page, Doug Ten Napel disabled comments below the pages. However, this led to the creation of an off-site Ratfist forum.
  • It's been rumoured the Flind arc of Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic was designed to introduce furry characters, then brutally murder them at the end of the plotline, as a result of constant questions about the strange lack of 'furry presence' in a D&D comic. Outside of the minotaur and the sphynx there's really nobody else who'd count as 'furry' and it seems like it's going to stay that way.
  • Moon Over June is possibly an example of this, with Woc having recently disabled commenting on her newest strips. This change came quietly, but after a short story arc which was met with much criticism by the readers.
  • When RPG World began to lay fallow, the artist was content to leave the site running until it became a haven for an exceptionally rabid collective of trolls. When the trolls retaliated at the author's later input to the site, he took down the archive entirely.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Ricky Gervais expressly pointed out that they were no longer going to give The Ricky Gervais Show away for a period before charging for it, because they were getting annoyed at fans whining that they had missed out. So they just started charging upfront.
  • Super Mario Bros Z creator Alvin Earthworm is constantly being asked on Newgrounds and on his deviantART account (among others) when the next episode of the series is coming out. This is something he does as a hobby and (to his own admittance) didn't expect it to take off like it did.
  • Matt Wilson, the creator of Bonus Stage, ended the series and pretty much dropped off the Internet in part due to the fans, who were by turns screamingly negative or creepily obsessed.
  • Little Kuriboh had mentioned his bisexuality on his livejournal, and someone who knew him personally took that information to his parents. LK has since stated that he will be much, much more cautious in posting personal information in the future.
  • This is often the motivation for uploaders disabling comments on YouTube, far more so than Orwellian Editor reasons. Case in point, WWE's official Youtube Channel. However, knowing the IWC (Internet Wrestling Community), one would only be able to guess how many comments they would receive about Ring of Honor, TNA, Chris Benoit, or the myriad of other "We Do Not Speak Of Such Things" topics that they would undoubtedly be inundated with.
  • Retsupurae used to have a comments section on their channel but removed it after their viewers wouldn't stop either bickering amongst themselves or posting links to videos for the guys to riff on, even after it became apparent that Retsupurae ignored said links. After much clamouring in the videos the comments were reinstated only for the same thing to happen again and this time it seems they're gone for good. The suggestions may have also been partly responsible for the removal of their Formspring, although it may have been a temporary thing in the first place. It did not help that someone posted a fandom secret of pairing the guys up, or the person who uploaded a video consisting of nothing but Slowbeef's laughter strung together for ten minutes, intensely creeping them out.
  • As an April Fools' Day prank, Maddox changed The Best Page in The Universe into One of the Better Pages in the Universe. Most of the fans didn't get the joke and thought either it was a serious new direction, he had a girlfriend imposing the changes, or he was hacked. After reviewing the emails he received reacting to the prank, he declared, "I seriously contemplated taking down my site and just posting links to animal porn for you retards. You're all idiots, and I've lost what little respect I had for you."
  • A lot of That Guy With The Glasses contributors used to have FAQ threads on the forums where they would answer any question. Not only have those gone because of questions that got too personal, rude or creepy, but most of the people have even fled the place altogether because of the culminating mess of white-knights, stalkers, trolls, sexist homophobes and death threats.
  • The Spoony Experiment once spent months campaigning for votes to win "Funniest Person to Follow" at the Mashable Open Web Awards. After some rather nasty comments about his "Thank You" video, he pulled it and replaced it with "An Appeal For Manners". Spoony also publicly called out his fans for making his fellow TGWTG contributors hesitant in doing crossovers with him since said fans would inevitably cause a ruckus.
    • There's also been at least one occasion where fans have shown up unannounced and uninvited in Cosplay outside of Spoony's house (and apparently have done the same thing to his parents), and refused to leave until the police showed up. Considering that his brother is a police officer who has had people try murder him Noah was very unamused.
  • Furry image board site Fchan had played an April Fools prank on its viewers by making every link always direct to a specific category of images instead of the section people intended to click on. People complained loudly about this, causing the admin to revolt by shutting the site down for a day because, in his own words, "People don't know how to take a joke."
  • Artists have been known to remove their galleries from art sites due to harassment from fan dumb and other such stuff. Due to some of the troublesome nature, many prefer to remain anonymous or only speak through their friends nowadays. Some examples include:
    • Someone opening requests and winding up with people obsessively asking when their requests were done, or winding up with so much they can't do it anymore. Other times, artists have only opened up certain commission slots depending on the comments posted due to "snipers" only to get constantly complained at. Artists have been known to limit commission slots or put restrictions on the content because people would post within ten minutes and buy off most of the slots, etc.
    • Seeing their work posted on other sites without their permission, traced, ripped, etc. Sometimes even worse when they got accused of it and got banned by the art thieves because of bribery, nepotism, and corruption on art sites favouring the thieves.
    • Het Is Ew mentalities. Extreme fans have been known to send hate-mail to creators (even JK Rowling!) because they made a heterosexual pair canon, or drew pictures of hetereosexual couples. This has happened numerous times on deviantART, Sheezyart, and even Fur Affinity. An anime-artist known for drawing Yaoi once decided to draw a picture of her OC making out with an OC of her real life boyfriend. Her fanbase proceeded to flood the comments section saying how disgusting it was and saying she was skimping on them. She proceeded to delete her account because people begun to make misogynistic comments without taking into account that the artist was female in real life.
    • There's also one comic that shows the inverse cause, but same result of this trope. An artist in the Furry Fandom (complete with Furry Avatar) posts a picture, asking for comments. One of the comments heaped on the praise, but gave too much information. This shifts the artist out of the furry avatar state, cue a couple of Beat panels, and he's trying to get to sleep with "Sweaty with arousal" running in a loop in his head.
    • Some artists have been known to close commissions down after people harassed them. Either stuff happened in real life and commissioners harassed them about when their pic would be done, terrible customers would ask them to constantly redo the pic because they messed stuff up, people stiffing payment, etc. Among these "terrible customers" were a real life professional artist (read: Someone who draws art for a living) who had to put stiff requirements on commissions because she had to spend up to $100 in supplies for a troublesome customer only for him to stiff her and cancel the job when it was already done. She put it in her portfolio anyways, but proceeded to see that pic put up in that customers' gallery and treated as a "Request". Another artist reported a troublesome customer asking him to redo the pic numerous times and found every rejected sketch uploaded to that customer's gallery.
    • In almost any art web site, artists who grow popular tend to be cautious in revealing their contact and messenger information due to people either trying to mooch off of them for free art or harass them over anything.
  • Many IRC-channels have been removed due to harassment and flame wars. The same applies to websites as well; before Serenes Forest became the new go-to place for Fire Emblem information, other sites had served the purpose and were later shut down because the moderators and administrators got too tired of dealing with the raging Fan Dumb.
  • The Tropes Mirror Wiki originally was open for anyone who wanted to sign on and edit. But then a handful of jokers from This Wiki decided the folks over on the Mirror needed to be "punished" for daring to actually exist as a website and started spam-bombing the Mirror by creating new pages that were titled from the old wiki (using actual trope titles of pages that hadn't been imported yet), but filled with porn spam, or ads for erectile dysfunction drugs, or cheap cigarettes, and the like. As a result, new editors have to now be approved by the Admins before they can do anything on the wiki. When one of the spammers was tracked down and confronted, he admitted to doing it as a "Fuck you" to the Mirror on behalf of Fast Eddie and TV Tropes, despite the Mirror's existence not violating any law, rule, regulation, or standard of behavior.
  • PostSecret opened an iPhone app at the end of 2011 so people could take photographs and edit them quickly to make their own secrets and send them to a separate secret section that other app users could see. While mostly secrets similar to those found on the website people started to send in generally hurtful secrets, often about other secrets sent through the app. PostSecret is known for sending in the most personal secrets people have so rude comments aren't looked upon kindly. This started a huge fight between those being rude, trolls and those trying to defend those being attacked. Actual secrets got pilled under all of these. The creators tried to set up a system where they would screen every secret sent in, which was at an average of 30,000 per day. This quickly proved impossible and the app was closed on the first day of 2012, lasting a total of four months. A lot of the secrets near the end of the app commented that the app and the "secrets" involved were proof that people really can't govern themselves.
  • Rubber Fruit was one of the most prolific GModders on YouTube, but stopped making videos after December 2011 to show his displeasure towards his subscribers, particularly for constant demands for new videos as well as the habit for fans to spam lines of his works on videos for music he used.[3]
  • Video Games Awesome used to have it where anyone could communicate with them in their chat room during their playthroughs, but after one too many instances of trolls spoiling the game for them, they made it so that only donators who contributed at least $50 could participate in the chat, which pissed off some long time fans who couldn't spare the money.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Todd Kauffman, character designer/director for Total Drama Island and creator of Sidekick, had a chatbox on his blog which he used to answer questions for his fanbase. Then, despite — or perhaps because of — his warnings not to imitate him or else he would delete the chatbox, a huge ginormous number of impostors went on all at once one day in May 2011. The chatbox was deleted soon after, but he started a new one in early June.
  • Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi used to host regular AIM chats with the fandom, and post Q&A sessions on certain Ren and Stimpy message boards. Some chats and question sessions went well, at least at first. However, after a large amount of "heckling" and being drowned out with constant clamoring requests of "Do you like this show? What do you think of this show? What's your opinion on anime?", etc. (Mostly done for the purpose of troll-baiting his opinionated statements against animated shows he doesn't like) and even moderation not helping matters of people getting somewhat out of hand, he dropped this method of communication altogether. However, he later would created his own self-moderated blog to talk about various subjects and drawing and animated character theories, and does participate in comment discussions there. But he has lessened considerably himself from making as many overt statements about cartoons he does not like, quite as much, focusing more of his attention on simply praising the inspirations he does admire.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode The Last Roundup was originally broadcast with a full-fledged appearance by fan-favourite background pony Derpy Hooves, complete with her being referred to by name. Unfortunately, some complaints that the character was making fun of mentally handicapped people reached the ears of Hasbro, so the episode was taken off of iTunes and replaced with a new version, in which Derpy's name is not mentioned, her voice is changed, and her trademark crossed eyes are corrected. The bronies were not happy.
    • It should be noted that Derpy still appears with eyes crossed in other episodes that aired later without incident.
  • Greg Weisman, creator of Gargoyles and The Spectacular Spider-Man, ran a blog called "Ask Greg" for years with little to no incident. Fan could ask questions about the kinds of details that never make it into shows (like "What are Gargoyle marriage customs like?"). When he began work on Young Justice, the blog was positively deluged by questions blatantly asking for spoilers from upcoming stories, questioners being incredibly rude or demanding, masking criticisms or flames as questions, duplicate questions etc. This led to a temporary closing of the question form and new rules on what could be asked. Things calmed down, but the March 2012 airing of episodes in Turkey before the U.S. has led to an influx of questions basically asking for summaries of the dialogue in those episodes, so only time will tell how long Ask Greg will remain open.
    • As of April 2012, Greg has openly stated he is on the verge of shutting the blog down completely.
  • The production crew for The Simpsons now ignore (often justified) complaints of Seasonal Rot because of the unpleasable fans that used to frequent alt.tv.simpsons and nitpick perfectly good episodes.
  • Tress MacNeille once had to cancel several convention appearances because of a creepy stalker obsessed with Babs Bunny who sent her several disturbing letters that gave the impression he planned to rape her. This was later parodied in an actual episode where Babs is screaming and running away from a creepy Tiny Toons fan.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man's critical reception eventually resulted in the fanbase attacking the creators and Jeph Loeb. After a certain amount of time, Jeph or Marvel ended up taking down Jeph's Facebook page.

Other[edit | hide]

  • Microsoft blogger Raymond Chen deleted an entire backlog of stories about one coworker after people ignored his request not to try to guess his identity.
  • Some people who upload series to Keep Circulating the Tapes on sites such as YouTube may delete their channels to encourage people to buy the DVD set. Occasionally, they wind up chased off of the site by Fan Dumb who doesn't want to pay for official DVD sets. In particular, one user whose identity shall remain anonymous dedicated a lot of time to keeping the tapes circulated for old shows that had not been given a DVD release. In particular, they uploaded the entire Daria series to their channel and mirror channels, and deleted them when the DVD release finally came around; but then they deleted their accounts after rabid Fan Dumb begun to yell at him for asking them to buy the DVD release and telling others where to find torrents of the series. When s/he shut down their channel, they took a dozen series that never had a DVD-release with them.
  • Hotels that are commonly booked for business meetings or conventions have sometimes even turned away congoers/attenders because in the previous year, they trashed rooms, stole things, harassed hotel staff/other guests, or raised ruckuses.

Troping Sites[edit | hide]

  • Both All The Tropes and TV Tropes have a Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement meant to prevent any Flame Wars. (Read that page for more detail.) Unfortunately in some situations, some tropers completely ignore this rule, leading to mods locking pages, most likely for good... which means nobody gets to add and edit future tropes. A few pages at TV Tropes have also been locked to stop persistent vandals who are too savvy to be simply blocked.
  • In extreme cases, TV Tropes has the Permanent Red Link Club, in which the tropes are so misused, become a magnet for racial slurs and personal attacks, and the like that not only the page is locked, the page (and in some occasions, the entire trope) gets deleted, never to be used again. Forever.
    • And in less extreme but still unfortunate cases, Real Life examples can be cut and prohibited from a page if things get controversial enough. On that note, there's also the Example Sectionectomy, for which examples are either cut entirely or relegated to a separate area such as Darth Wiki or the Discussion tab if things get nasty.
  • Previously, the only pages that were cut and locked on TV Tropes were Permanent Red Link Club members such as I Am Not Making This Up and So Yeah. However, as tropers were continuously attempting to revive redundant and unnecessary tropes placed on the Cut List, nowadays pretty much anything that was cut is now autolocked. However, unless it's on their "Permanent Red Link Club" page, it can be unlocked if the page can be proven to be useful on YKTTW and the like.
  • This is the reason why Fetish Fuel and Troper Tales no longer exist on either TV Tropes or All The Tropes. Some people couldn’t resist putting controversial and creepy content in Fetish Fuel and Troper Tales, which lead to these sections being sent off to separate off-site wikis.
  • TV Tropes used to have a "strikethrough markup", but it was eventually disabled as people were using it simply to sneak in Take Thats and such. Texts that were previously striked are now hidden texts. The strike format is still usable in the forums, though.
  • Headscratchers used to be called "It Just Bugs Me", but was renamed because people kept misinterpreting it as "Why does <insert anything here> suck so much?".
  • The Archive of Bellicose Lexicon Entities was a series of articles listing tropers accordingly to their visions on trope naming, images, example lists and the like. However, since it was determined that these articles, rather than serving their purpose as fun places for like-minded tropers to associate, were inspiring antagonism and factionalism among the TV Tropes user base, they were discontinued.
  1. Seriously, it's there in chapter 18
  2. In reality, their code was on that dead server, and their coder was chased off during the first April so there was no one to repair them anyway.
  3. which did lead to a few comments sections of these videos being blocked, notably those being used for Paini's Cupcake's background music