|Elitism in Fandom
|Trufan, Fake Geek Girl
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Gatekeeping in fandom is the act of trying to control fan activities, limit access to certain information or define who is, or isn't, a "real" fan of a certain thing.
While fandom elitism may seem accidental or as a consequence of one group of fans having more power/resources than another (such as fans of a lower income feeling that fans with higher incomes are elitist because they can afford higher-end cosplay material, or afford to travel to conventions), gatekeeping in fandom is often purposefully designed to exclude certain groups or beliefs. This can be expressed through a number of means, however a common tactic of fandom gatekeeping is stating that one group of fans aren't "true fans," such as furry lifestylers to more general furries, or dedicated fans to casual fans. Gatekeeping can also be more literal, with fans purposefully excluding other fans for things such as amateur art styles or usage of free vs. paid software (in YouTube Multi Animator Project communities), their tastes in characters or ships ("problematic" vs. more accepted characters/ships), or the social media websites they prefer (such as Twitter and Tumblr, which are sometimes at odds).
Gatekeeping can sometimes be seen positively by those doing it, as they may believe by gatekeeping they are curating their community into a better one. For example, do not interact lists, which are designed to keep certain groups of fans away from a person, are often seen as a means to making one's online experience more tailored to their preferences, despite the negative connotations of the word gatekeeping. However, for other forms of gatekeeping, such as the long and tumultuous relationships among shippers and what they ship, or arguments about how the age of a fan might or might not affect how they interact with fandom (see Ageism in Fandom), the supposed benefits or damages may be much more contentious and complicated.
See feral fans and the role of gatekeepers in early (pre-internet) fandom.
|Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.
Gatekeeping in Wider Fandom
- Gatekeeping of geek culture and sports culture by male fans
Gatekeeping Within Transformative Fandom
- Fic archives having requirements to control the quality of fic posted. See: 'Elite' archives?, Betaing as Quality Control
- BNFs gatekeeping information in RPF fandoms. See: The lines between the public and the private are blurring, and often converging
- Deciding who is allowed to write what story.
- Fic writers wanting to control who is allowed to podfic their stories. See: Podfic Permission, audition.
- Shaming of old(er) fans. See: Ageism in Fandom
- Rejection/policing of Casual Fans
- Gatekeeping at Urban Dictionary
- Why Fandom Gatekeeping Needs to Stop by Kris Keall at mugglenet.com, March 5, 2017
- The Anime Fandom Just Got Real About Its Gatekeeping Woes by Megan Peters at comicbook.com, March 6, 2018
- Obnoxious Star Wars Fandom “Gatekeeper” Is Told Off By The Co-Writer Of Star Wars Books by Robertas Kisickis at boredpanda.com, 2020
- Gatekeeping who is allowed to write queer stories on r/gatekeeping, 2020
- You Shall Not Pass: Fandom & The Gatekeeping of Femme Fans by Yali Perez at fandomspotlite.com, Jan 1, 2021
- Stop gatekeeping girls from their fandoms by Aimee Lew at villainesse.com, Feb 15, 2021
- The difference between gatekeeping and defending a fanbase by Jaden Oberkrom at ntdaily.com, July 29, 2021
- Viral Tweet About Fandom Gatekeeping Proves We Still Have a Male Geek Problem by Kate Gardner at themarysue.com, Sept 23, 2021
- ‘Get out of my fandom newbie’: A cross-fandom study of elitism and gatekeeping in fans by Plante, Courtney N.; Reysen, Stephen; Chadborn, Daniel; Roberts, Sharon E.; Gerbasi, Kathleen C. in The Journal of Fandom Studies, Volume 8, Number 2, 1 June 2020, pp. 123-146(24)
- Fans as transcultural gatekeepers: The hierarchy of BTS’ Anglophone Reddit fandom and the digital East-West media flow by Kimery S. Lynch in New Media & Society, (September 2020).