Mailbag: Bad Fans
Q: This morning I was surprised to find that a reader had commented on almost all of my comics and messaged me on Twitter. They were even decent comments. As this is a rare occurrence I was excited to show my co-author. This is when we both noticed something odd. The commenter’s name had a hash tag after it — #WR — which is used by white supremacists. It now appeared on every page of my comic. Looking through his feed, it was littered with racist and sexist messages.
This revelation really took the wind out of my sails. Now I was torn between respecting a person’s free speech and distancing my comic from political affiliations that I’d rather avoid. In the end we agreed to delete the comments.
I’m interested in your thoughts on the matter and if you’ve had to deal with similar situations?
On a related note, I was wondering about stalker-y fan behavior. I’ve had mildly stalker-like followers before, but nothing that forced me to make a stand. They eventually faded to the background, but what concerned me was the difficulty in maintaining good fan relations vs. distancing yourself from invasions of privacy.
A: Whew! There’s a lot there to cover! Let’s take it from the top…