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Synonyms: anti, antis
See also: noromo, notp, ship war, shipper, anti-anti, Purity Culture in Fandom
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Anti-shipper is a fannish term that has been around since X-Files fandom in the 1990s,[1] but has taken on different meanings in different contexts.

Original Use

Originally it was a synonym of Noromo, a fan who wanted Mulder and Scully's relationship (in canon or in fanfic) to be platonic.

Current Use

As of 2016 in tumblr fandom, anti-shipper has been used by some observers to describe a very specific phenomenon—fans who attack a ship and its shippers with arguments that it is "pedophilic"[2][3][4] or promotes abuse IRL. Fail_Fandomanon was discussing the phenomenon as early as October 2015, but the term itself may have appeared later. See the Fail_Fandomanon wiki entry.[5] Closely tied to the concept of anti-shipper are "purity wank" and purity culture; see AO3 Content Discussion (2016).

Tumblr user wrangletangle relates the origin of Tumblr anti-shippers to the long-standing Tumblr etiquette of "don't tag your hate":

The “anti” problem arose because Tumblr has no functional community structure, meaning people started using the tags themselves to replace the communities from back on LJ. In that context, tagging a negative post with the tags that apply was making the posts show up in the only viable community structure, which was a violation of LJ etiquette (where communities were self-selecting and moderated). This was exacerbated by the lack of functional cut tags, so everything was all completely visible, and you had to scroll past every post in its entirety. The culture of “don’t post anti in the tag” was a social concept developed to deal with Tumblr’s non-functionality for fandom purposes.[6]

In March 2017 an anon on Fail_Fandomanon elaborated on this origin story, explaining that the antishippers were told go to their own anti[ship] tag, which they did, and where they only interacted with like-minded people and therefore ended up radicalizing each other.[7]

In February 2018 tumblr user and anti-antishipper freedom-of-fanfic argued that anti is a self-designation. A reblogger commented, "I’ve seen people describe themselves as 'an anti' in the meaning 'I am against pedophilic/incestuous ships and I will actively argue against their right to exist on the internet'."[8]

Example Ships

Examples of pairings where anti-shippers have been active:

Meta/Further Reading/Discourse


  1. Usage of the term on on 11.08.96 in the discussion Scully and Pendrell? by Angela D. Troiani
  2. Either because there's a canon age gap between the characters, or because the fan created a fanwork depicting an age gap with one character underage, or because the fan created a fanwork in which one character arguably looked underage maybe, or because the shipper is an adult whereas the characters are canonically teens, or because the shipper is an adult whereas the characters were canonically teens at some point...
  3. For example: "pedophilic ships exist. for example gravity falls: shipping mabel with pacifica is fine. they are both 12 and as long as no one posts any nsfw thats fine. however, shipping mabel pines with gruncle stan is pedophilic and people who do are pedophiles." comment by odetcyou, archived, on 29 August 2016.
  4. "jaytim is a perfectly fine ship. it doesn’t involve pedophilia or anything. jason is 21 and tim is 17 if im not wrong. even if there is a slight age gap doesnt mean that its pedophilia, okay? ive seen many people being mistaken over this and it’s not pedophilia. what is pedophilia is shipping bruce/batkids." tumblr post by frostedemma, 27 August 2016, with commentary in the reblogs. archived.
  5. old wiki; dreamwidth backup
  6. wrangletangle. Yes, you can tag your dark or triggery work on AO3 with the characters and ships that are in it, archived, posted to Tumblr 26 September 2016. 1,829 notes as of 19 October 2016.
  7. 2017-03-07 comment
  8. PSA: ‘antis’ named themselves. please stop accusing everyone else of naming them., Archived version reblogged by into-september, Feb 15th, 2018
  9. See Your Vagina is a Bigot; My Vagina is a Saint.
  10. archived, with 10,340 notes as of 27 August 2016.
  11. archived, with 9,516 notes as of 27 August 2016