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McFoy

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Negative Buzz Amplified by Russian Trolls, Study Finds

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TL:DR 

This study was based on tweets specifically directed at Rian Johnson within an 8 month period after the release. It counted tweets from 967 separate users, of those 206 were negative and about 50% were from people labeled as bots/ trolls or politically motivated. In this particular sample it get's the authors point across but is a laughably small section of the actual discussion of TLJ.

Edited by McFoy

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10 hours ago, McFoy said:

TL:DR 

This study was based on tweets specifically directed at Rian Johnson within an 8 month period after the release. It counted tweets from 967 separate users, of those 206 were negative and about 50% were from people labeled as bots/ trolls or politically motivated. In this particular sample it get's the authors point across but is a laughably small section of the actual discussion of TLJ.

Political polls are usually based on a 1000 people here in the U.K. on a voting population of 45 million... laughably small or statistically enough to draw conclusions?

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Not particularly suprising given that so much traffic on the internet (and especially mainstream social media like twitter) is created by bots. The interesting part is on whose behalf the bots post, but that is very difficult to say. Sure it's russian bots, but that doesn't mean Putin wants to take down the western world by taking away our star wars. Russians just offer shady internet buisness cheaply. It is basically impossible for us to tell wether some very sad individuals need to amplify their voice to seem like a majority by wasting their money or wether there is a political actor at work.

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42 minutes ago, SOTL said:

I called it when the news broke that Russia was behind the Antivax controversy.  Russia will have been running a broad-spectrum campaign to sow and deepen social divisions across a wide range of topics.

This ^

Its not about whether its good or bad (I am firmly in its good camp) but its about the fact that Russia bots and trolls are on the internet pushing sides that they feel sow further discontent.

Considering the amount of people who were sexist/racist/general awful people on the side who hated the last jedi (I'm not saying your not allowed to hate the Last Jedi, or that your any of those things if you do, I'm just saying its impossible to argue that the anti-Last Jedi side doesnt have those people in it). Generally speaking those are the type of people who Russian bots like to enflame and push the agenda of because it causes controversy and divisions in a country. 
I wouldn't be surprised if similar things happened with Black Panther

Or in reverse with Batman V Superman. 

Heck its almost a guarantee that Russian bots help all the gamer/comic/whatever-gate people as well.

This is not a criticism of your particular dislike of the Last Jedi but just something to understand about how outrage on social media can be weaponized.

Its also important to acknowledge problematic aspects of a fanbase or group and make efforts to distance yourself away from said aspects even if their goals align with yours. Example I dislike Steven Universe. Its just a show that I was never able to get behind and where I found the overarching story a bit to convoluted at any given time. That said I understand that there is a huge part of the people who dislike Steven Universe who do so because they are sexist/homophobic. While I have legitimate reasons for disliking the show I don't blame people who question my motivations for disliking the show. Its up to me and others like me to cut out those awful people from the discourse and call them out for being terrible. If I see someone say things that are homophobic/sexist I call them out on it. I don't go "Well its also terrible" because thats not directly supporting it but its allowing it to continue. I don't know that my two cents on the matter. And I have talked to a ton of people who dislike the Last Jedi who I know aren't terrible people but I don't see enough people calling out the terrible people in the community right now, which is why I think its easy for Russian bots to utilize the community.

 

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Keep in mind that it is the trolls and other toxic fans which are the ones going out of their way to harass Johnson and the others online. The non-toxic fans which dislike the film's for more reasonable things generally aren't going around harassing the Disney staff or threatening the actors.

So of course Disney is going to assume that the only people who dislike it are the toxic fans.. Because those are the only ones they've seen voicing dislike. The nontoxic fans are largely quiet about their dislike or voice it in parts of the internet the Disney staff doesn't frequent.

Edited by mithril2098

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12 hours ago, Sasajak said:

Political polls are usually based on a 1000 people here in the U.K. on a voting population of 45 million... laughably small or statistically enough to draw conclusions?

For a political poll that may be enough but the 2016 US elections are a good indicator just how skewed and incorrect polls can be. In this particular case though they are looking at tweets directed towards Johnson specifically. As mithril2098 points out it's probably going to be the most disgruntled or purposeful people out of a wider community who are going to tweet angrily to the director as opposed to having an open conversation so I don't think the numbers are indicative of the whole. 

I suspect though if the dislike of TLJ was more numerous in the sample then the conclusion would have more emphasis on the haters being racist, sexist, white males (which was already pointed out quite a bit in the summaries of the groupings).

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This isn't about everyone who disliked TLJ. Real actual people have legitimate complaints about the quality of the film. Anyone who uses this as an argument for all those who disliked TLJ as imaginary is not understanding the situation.

This is about a foreign power or individual citizens living in a foreign nation trying to sway public opinion in the US. It is tied to the push to sway public opinion around the elections, as well as the anti-vax movement as mentioned above. Few people will stop to analyze the source of a tweet, especially if it fits with their own already established view of things. It encourages the pile-on effect. Yes, these malicious actors did not do all of this alone, yes there are people that genuinely have those opinions, but these malicious actors did have a real impact and that implies a lot about how the Internet is used and how we need to think about protecting things going forward. This is the propaganda of the Internet age (whether or not the actors were funded by their state).

And to those that think Russia stopped being our enemy as soon as the cold war ended... yeah, no. It didn't. Or maybe it did at that time but things have changed since then. We may be allies in some ways but actions speak louder than treaties, I guess.

Edited by Ixidor

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23 minutes ago, Ixidor said:

This is about a foreign power or individual citizens living in a foreign nation trying to sway public opinion in the US.

*snort* "in the US".  As if it doesn't happen all over the world.

What you're essentially describing is advertising.  It works on the weak willed.  And if you're talking about "trying to sway public opinion", bots posting tweets on Twitter is nothing compared to the demonization of entire countries and cultures that Hollywood has been doing for decades.

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2 hours ago, McFoy said:

For a political poll that may be enough but the 2016 US elections are a good indicator just how skewed and incorrect polls can be. In this particular case though they are looking at tweets directed towards Johnson specifically. As mithril2098 points out it's probably going to be the most disgruntled or purposeful people out of a wider community who are going to tweet angrily to the director as opposed to having an open conversation so I don't think the numbers are indicative of the whole. 

I suspect though if the dislike of TLJ was more numerous in the sample then the conclusion would have more emphasis on the haters being racist, sexist, white males (which was already pointed out quite a bit in the summaries of the groupings).

Math question: 1000 is what percent of 45,000,000? 

 

Yes, it's a relevant question. 

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4 minutes ago, Scopes said:

Math question: 1000 is what percent of 45,000,000? 

 

Yes, it's a relevant question. 

2.222222222222222% if I recall how to get percentages.

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