Reasons for toxicity among figure skating fans

Interspectator

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No, once a celebrity has made a minimal effort to make his position known, people can legitimately claim that he has made himself clear and doesn't need to repeat it after every individual incident. It's only when the athlete has never made his position known that there becomes wiggle room for the notion that he or she is indulging problematic behavior.

Respectfully, I don't think the idea that making a statement now will subject Yuzuru to MORE criticism for not making a statement in the future doesn't make a lot of sense. Never making a statement is what will subect Yuzuru to the most future criticism. People now give him the benefit of the doubt, but if things progress in the future (which they may not) without any effort on his part to contain it, the anger from others will only grow. You see this with other types of public figures all the time, and it can really tarnish the reputation of a person.

I disagree.
Your ideas cover the realm of reasonable fans. --And the fans that engage in toxic behavior are not reasonable. Making a statement condemning specific acts by fans would legitimize them and give them the attention they crave. While this topic is supposed to be about fans in general, as usual, it's being focused on one fan group. However, to your point, Yuzu has already made his position known through an anti bullying campaign years ago. Moreover, he has no public social media account with which to engage with fans, a choice that ought to be respected. By your reckoning, Yuzu has made his statement, shows his resolve in his actions towards all other skaters and does not need to make it again.
 

Mishaminion

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So by bullying his rival, these "fans" are indeed going against his anti-bullying stance. There is no way they're not aware of his involvement in an anti-bullying campaign, so what difference would direct statements addressing the current problem make?

None

Because they actually do not care enough about anyone but themselves, and do not truly respect the man they claim to love so much. If they did then they wouldn't be so disrespectful of everything he stands for.
 

BlackPack

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Nastiness is a part of human nature. I was on figure skating boards since the 90s, and it was the same then. When there's no accountability and people get to hide under a moniker, their dark side comes out. It's like a Marina Abramovic performance art piece: she let a group of people do whatever they wanted to her without repercussion. The result was that she was defiled beyond recognition.

If you want a more constructive discussion, Quora requires people to use their real names, write thoroughly with supporting evidence, and are therefore accountable for what they write. While some manage to bypass the real names' requirement via trickery, most users are using their real identities.
 

karne

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So apparently a genuine concern for judge safety, with factual statements about actual posts made on social media by a particular subset of fans, is unpalatable discussion to some.
 

R.D.

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Just scanning through quickly but wanted to weigh in on this topic based on my past experience. Honestly, this phenomenon is nothing new, nor is it limited to a single sport, or even sports in general.

In the nearly 16 years I followed ice skating closely (Feb 2002-Feb 2018), I don’t think I’ve seen one high-profile performer that WASN’T the subject of some harsh commentary at one point. Before social media, there were online forums, and many of those sites had “anything goes” sub forums where you could vent to your heart’s content. Some of the flame wars that took place in those areas, in those days, would make today’s stuff seem tame in comparison, IMO.

But... one critical thing has changed between then and now: communication channels between the athlete and the fan. Back then (early 2000s) it was far easier for athletes to avoid these types of sites and focus on the task at hand. Outside of their immediate circle of influence, everything could be shut out, apart from perhaps the mainstream media. If, as a fan, you wanted to say something to your favorite athlete (or any athlete), you either had to a) meet them in person or b) write a letter to their manager in hopes that they would receive it, let alone write back (remember that?) Now, however, you’ve got social media where fans can communicate DIRECTLY with athletes, often anonymously. This just wasn’t the case before. Initially, the athlete had the option to avoid, but social media has now been so ingrained into the culture that it’s almost a necessary evil, if you will. It’s now almost required to get opportunities, build your brand, etc.

In summary, it’s not fan culture that has changed in the past 20 years - rather, it’s athletes’ exposure to this culture. People are going to say stuff that’s insulting, that you don’t like, etc. - that’s just the way it is, and always has been. Unfortunately for the athletes, the cat is out of the bag now. I’m not sure what the solution really is, short of censorship. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect ALL fans to tone it down, so some additional responsibility may need to be put on the athlete here to utilize the tools available should they choose to engage in social media (block, report, etc.). For younger talent, there is always the option to have a middleman (parent, agent, etc.) run their account and relay only positive/constructive messages.

Unfortunate? Yes - but it is what it is. This is the world we live in.

My long 2 cents, back to hiatus.
 
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