Thin line divides haters and fans

By Lizzie Yin Source:Global Times Published: 2014-4-14 19:03:01

You might not be familiar with the term "anti-fan," but I bet you know about people who root for one sports team and hate another, who draw insulting comics about Barack Obama and other political leaders, and who look down on fans of the popular Twilight book series.

Anti-fandom is a cultural and social phenomenon that comes along with fandom itself.

Anti-fans gather in online forums and websites to share their mutual hatred.

Extreme anti-fans spread rumors saying their target uses drugs or meets prostitutes, and even hack fandom websites to post contemptuous comments or pictures.

I have a list of celebrities I hate, who I won't name to stay out of trouble.

I am no extremist, but when I browse online and see forum discussions about the people on my list, I do often sign in and give my own acidic comments.

Why are there antis at all? It seems to me that the more popular a celebrity gets, the more easily he or she attracts anti-fans.

Inappropriate comments easily bring about hatred. The comments don't even have to be wrong, but just need to sound offensive.

There are many reasons to hate a person, but I know I will hate a woman who is not "good enough" for my favorite male singer, hugging him or even going near him.

There are many other things that have created anti-fandom, like a lack of talent. Singers with flat voices, actors with wooden faces, and supposedly ugly models all draw ire.

But I'll admit that I once used to like some of my targets. From my perspective, many of the anti-fans out there have a history like me. They used to like somebody or some band, then they grew out of it, and felt embarrassed or ashamed of that past history, since they later found those people "uncool."

Exactly like the fans, the anti-fans also spend a great amount of time, energy and resources in hating somebody, passionately.

And they gain pleasure from it. As the old saying goes, it's a thin line between love and hate.

That's why among the fans and antis they say, "The more fanatical you are about someone, the more likely you are to become an anti-fan someday."

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.

Posted in: Twocents-Opinion

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