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Addressing recent concerns over 'tribal' behaviour among fans of different companies.

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The Proctor

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Joined:  Sep 9, 2022
In the last few days, the main topic of gossip on this forum has been about Zaion LanZa's termination from Nijisanji. Recent revelations have sparked considerable debate and disagreement between very vocal critics of the company and a few diehard defenders. Some individuals have acted reasonably in this matter. Some haven't.

When I founded this forum, I made 'no tribalfagging' a rule. I now realize this was somewhat misguided, because it inherently assumes that every vtuber corporation is fundamentally similar, and that there will never be a case where taking sides of justifiable, either in the absolute moral sense or simply as judged by the court of public opinion.

I wish to make it clear that this rule still stands, at least in principle. I hate it when I see members take cheap pot-shots or make provocative statements towards other members just because they posted a talent video they didn't like. Fortunately this has been extremely rare, and the targets of these efforts have nearly always had the good sense to ignore it and carry on as normal.

However, the recent Zaion LanZa thread has very much been a battleground. A one-sided battleground, which eventually have rise to an angry DM demanding that I censor people who were posting what they implied was blatantly false speculation arising from a point of obvious ignorance. In effect they were accusing Hololive fans who never even watch Nijisanji of attacking Nijisanji in that thread.

My response to this accusation was very simple; I don't care. If you care, stop caring. If you can't stop caring, stop reading. If you can't stop reading, stop responding. If you can't stop responding, I don't care.

At the time I laughed at this accusation very publicly, and the overwhelming number of people in that thread agreed with me.

However. My actions set precedent, and without an actual clarification, said actions could simply be taken as 'Proctor declares open season on the nijiYamanbas, fire away!'

That's not the case at all, so I will now explain in my trademark overly verbose, philosophical manner that will only be read by approximately three people and probably fully understood by none at all.

Firstly; what do I define as tribalfagging exactly?

I originally defined this in the rules and I won't repeat what I said here. However, I also define TF (fun new acronym! Use with credit!) as any form of communication intended to antagonize another member solely due to their preference in vtuber company or talent, while implying that another company or talent is objectively better by comparison. This seems logical at first, but as recent examples have shown, there are problems which arise with nuance.

Right now in the vtuber space, Nijisanji is objectively in a worse place PR-wise than Hololive. Whether you believe the negative interpretation of recent events or not, the simple reality is that Hololive has no current equivalent of the Zaion LanZa drama. It is therefore natural and obvious that people will be more openly critical of Nijisanji, because they have nothing of equivalent importance to discuss about Hololive.

Basically, what at least some people have gotten wrong is the idea that Nijisanji watchers are somehow considered a 'lesser class' here or 'subject to bullying' because their corporation has had a major recent controversy, while Hololive hasn't. This isn't TF, it's just the natural ebb and flow of gossip on what is, gasp, a gossip site.

By their very nature, events of this sort are inherently adversarial. It is not wrong for people who like Hololive to express a dislike of Nijisanji when Nijisanji is actually engaged in visible, obvious controversy. Liking one company over another company does not somehow make critique of the disliked company invalid. If anything, you should be grateful people are wearing their biases on their sleeve, because that helps your cause. A bystander is more likely to side with a contrarian opinion if it's obvious that the majority of disagreement with it comes not from a place of intellectual honesty, but from a desire to revel in the failure of a rival institution.

I would like to ask every potential Nijifan who reads this thread one sincere question; are you defending the company because you love them for what they are, or are you defending the company because you want to pretend its flaws don't exist?

Every company has its flaws. Every talent has their flaws. The entertainment industry is brutally competitive. Vtubing does not appeal to mainstream professionals who are entirely comfortable with their own bodies and self-image. It is an industry of introverts and flawed individuals, all of whom are aware on some level they are competing for the allocation of scarce views that have alternate interests. A majority of big streamers have done something at least slightly sketchy in the past, just because their lizard brain took over and they instinctively jumped on an opportunity to make themselves bigger at the expense of a rival.

Some people might say 'well duh, this is obvious'. Yes, it should be obvious. But in the heat of the moment when people are debating and arguing, the greyness leeches out of the picture and people begin operating in binary 'my corpo good, your corpo bad' terms. Anything negative about [my corpo] is disinformation and lies, anything negative about [your corpo] is absolute hard fact, backed up by at least ten cluster-randomized controlled trials.

Now, this is a gossip website, so I don't claim the authority or the right to tell people they must always be objective and logical when talking about these issues. So let's move on to another question.

Proctor, what should I do when I'm angry at somebody posting something here?

I'd love to reply with a pithy 'ignore it and move on lol', but sometimes that doesn't work. Instead, here are some more constructive ways to deal with the issue. I've organized them neatly into their own items for better legibility.

1) Consider the implications of responding at all.
Most of the time, people post negative things just to get a reaction. If you react to them, you're encouraging them. By responding, you add fuel to the fire. If you let the fire burn out on its own, people will most likely move on and forget it ever happened.

2) If you feel you MUST respond, take the moral high-ground.
One of the reasons I reacted to the inciting incident of this announcement with such open contempt was due to the fact it clearly occurred after somebody lost their cool and couldn't handle the pushback over being laughed at. Meanwhile, let's look at another poster's contributions to the thread. If it's tl;dr for you, just look at the reaction counter. Near-universal positivity despite the relevant content running totally contrary to the prevailing opinions of the thread. Most importantly, this person didn't try to start a fight, didn't respond to bait, and didn't resort to insults. If you can't control your emotions and can't write a rebuttal a bystander would agree with, don't respond at all.

3) Don't forget, you're here forever.
You probably won't have the chance to take back what you say in anger here. People will remember. They'll screenshot you. If you show a tendency towards agitation or lash out at people who engage with you, you'll paint a target on your back. In 100% of cases where you make a fool of yourself, get upset and try to invoke executive authority to fix it, I will side against you no matter the circumstances.

4) Don't feed the trolls, ignore bad-faith arguments, etc.
There are certain people here who enjoy trying to get a rise out of others. I do not endorse this behaviour, but nor will I pretend it is a particularly significant issue. So long as nobody oversteps their boundaries and tries to force a reaction via spamming, DM harassment or other similarly intrusive methods, I will never censor individuals for simply being provocative. Give them a bonk sticker and move on. Leave them whining into the void.

I somehow doubt any of these points will make a major impact on how discourse occurs here, but I live in hope. I want people to enjoy posting here, but I also refuse under any circumstances to try and actively steer the course of public debate towards a more censored, conformist mindset. I founded TVA to get away from hugboxes. I want to cultivate a userbase that can take hits to their ego and not respond with a meltdown or weave an elaborate conspiracy theory about how their pet corpo is the online equivalent of an oppressed minority.

If you like Nijisanji, don't be intimidated into not talking about them. Just accept this place won't change in order to magically erase drama they're associated with.

If you like Hololive, acknowledge that your own corpo has flaws. If you do, don't ceaselessly demand everyone else acknowledge theirs like some edgy atheist trying to argue with his Christian parents at the dinner table.

That's all. Happy shitposting.
 
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