Was Zack Snyder behind the online harassment campaign?

It may have been an open secret already, but what happened at the Oscars confirmed that there was something strange about the movements of fans who support Zack Snyder from time to time. The special prizes awarded by the public, voted on social networks, rewarded two films signed by the director during the last ceremony: the film Fan favorite it was army of the deadDuring this time he moment of joy corresponded to The Flash (Ezra Miller) at the height of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. A later article by The envelope found that most of the accounts that voted for this to happen were fake, so the conclusion was simple: Zack Snyder fans rigged the Oscars.

This finding aligns, to worrying extremes, with a recent report by rolling stone which explores how the Zack Snyder-related social media fan movement works. Even before gestation Zack Snyder’s Justice Leaguemade possible by a popular outcry (gathered under the hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut) who demanded that Warner let the director make the film as he had previously conceived it Joss Whedon would support the reshoots. What is deduced from the text you sign Tatiana Siegel is that Snyder has always been in one way or another in collusion with these legions of fans, and that to bolster their claims, many robots and fake accounts.

The text has its roots in 2016, as it was published Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. the expected crossing who joined Henry Cavill con Ben Affleck was savaged by critics, and that’s when Snyder hired a digital marketing company to maintain a direct dialogue with fans, while tracking their reactions and getting a sense of how his figure was received. in these circles. A year later, the chaos of Justice Leaguewith a first version that did not satisfy Warner (especially after the media stunt of batman versus superman) and which led to the hiring of Joss Whedon to retouch certain elements.

Once Snyder had to leave the production due to the loss of his 20-year-old daughter, Whedon took over some reshoots which left the film unrecognizable, premiering in November 2017 with even more hostile reactions than batman versus superman and a disappointing box office. Before leaving Warner, Snyder had been able to take a hard drive with him with the material shot for his version, and it was then that the army of the SnyderVerse. The following year, the hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut took over social media. We already knew all of that, but there’s so much more.

Attack of the Fandoms

Besides the fact that some sectors of the fandom simply shared their enthusiasm and embraced humanitarian causes, hardly anyone today doubts that #ReleaseTheSnyderCut was (is?) a terribly toxic movement, which there are those who could compare with this furious Player Portal who, starting in 2014 and waving the flag of misogyny, put in check with the world of video games. Supporters of SnyderCut have limited themselves, for their part, to accompanying their claims with selective attacks against personalities who, supposedly, are against their cause. Sometimes falling into arbitrariness, always free.

In September 2018 Diane Nelsonformer president of DC Films, had to delete her Twitter profile after facing waves of harassment for praising the Joker of Joaquin Phoenix, a film born from the continuity of the Snyder films. In January 2021, during the production of Zack Snyder’s Justice League and three months before its premiere on HBO Max, an image appeared on Instagram with the decapitated heads of several Warner Bros. Johanna Fuenteshead of studio communications, also suffered similar attacks, and the usual ones took place review the bombings.

One of the promotional posters of
The reception of ‘Godzilla vs Kong’ was also affected by the move
Warner Bros.

Godzilla vs. Kong was attacked on review aggregators by several users who wanted to manipulate the impact of the film she was directing Adam Wingardand fearing that upon being released 13 days later Zack Snyder’s Justice League That would steal the show. When months later it was created the suicide squad of james gunn (a movie, like Joker, unaware of the SnyderVerse), something similar happened, to the point where Gunn himself took to social media to insist that all Snyder fans not be blamed for the outrages. So his strategies, based on hysterical harassment and controlling the conversation around the Snyder Cut, were easy to understand.

The same did not happen, however, with the means at their disposal. The Times Square got to have the promotion of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCutand Comic Con 2018 was flew over by a banner demanding they let Snyder direct his movie. “Why haven’t we seen a single Kickstarter campaign from fans?”asks one of the sources consulted by rolling stone. Doubts about the origin of these funds combine with the emergence of fake accounts (the very one that made Snyder’s Oscar win possible) when it comes to propelling the movement. Something that is already fully documented.

everything for snyder

Siegel concludes that the 13% accounts that participated in Snyder Cut activism are fake: a figure notoriously higher than 3% or 5% where some tend to incur trending topics artificially inflated. In its early days, the conversation was driven by a website called forsnydercut.comthat went viral hashtag in May 2018. Alethea Group discovered that the site was registered in the name of the same person who runs an advertising agency that promises its clients “cheap and instant traffic to your website”: Xavier Lannes.

Alethea Group and other consultants published a report, SnyderCut social media presence, picking up these irregularities. Your analysts “detect successive increases in negative activity created by real and fake perpetrators”as well as the presence of specific leaders on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram who promoted the hashtag #BoycottWarnerBros with the one who was once its president, Anne Sarnoff.

Although most of these accounts “they didn’t make much noise”the report clearly indicates that there was robots involved, and connects Snyder with figures such as Xavier Lannes and Fiona Zheng. While Lannes started forsnydercut.com, Zheng is a self-proclaimed huge fan who tweeted extensively in the months leading up to the premiere of Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBO Max; as it appeared in the catalog, its activity became minimal. The organization of these personalities and their supporters succeeded in obtaining #ReleaseTheSnyderCut agglutinate up to a million tweets a day.

At the same time, these sums have been so unstable that various marketing managers have ruled out that they come from real physical fans. “Just look at the fall: the hashtag time trending topic with a million tweets a day when they wanted to release the Snyder Cut. And it fell to 40,000 within days. A fall like this is not organic., reflects a marketing manager. The end result of these manipulations would have been the achievement, in effect, of Zack Snyder’s Justice Leaguegoing back to the box office failure of the previous film, and resulting in an investment of $100 million for Warner.

Zack Snyder's Intensitometer
Still from ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’
Warner Bros.

To what extent is Snyder responsible for this? The director denied any association with Lannes and Zheng, and apparently when Godzilla vs. Kong suffered bombing review Wingard himself asked him to appease his fans. “I don’t control my fans. They have their own will and their own opinions, you really give me too much credit.”Snyder responded However, other sources echo strange situations and statements regarding the Snyder/fans duo. They believe the filmmaker has been for months “like Lex Luthor wreaking havoc” on social media, and others confirm that, in the final days of the film’s production, the director directly alluded to the control he has over his fandom.

It happened before the refusal of Geoff John there Jon Bergproducers of Justice League that they had confronted Snyder before his initial exit from the project, to remove his name from the credits of the new film intended for HBO Max. Snyder insisted that these be removed from the film, and in the halls of Warner he was heard screaming “Geoff and Jon give me the creeps when it comes to removing their names from my edit. So I’m going to destroy them on social media.”. Afterwards, Snyder assured that if anyone took advantage of his fans on the Internet, it was Warner, and not him, because the studio would have tried “Use your fan base to build subscribers to your new streaming service. diffusion”.

Today the case is buried in the media because of everything that happened after the launch of The Justice League. Upon its release, fans remodeled the hashtag to #RestoreTheSnyderVerse and applied to Deborah Snyder, producer and wife of Zack, as President of DC (#DeborahSnyderForDCStudios). They didn’t get anything solid, since Snyder left Warner to work at Netflix (with whom he is developing the saga army of the dead and prepare a future film, rebel moon), and some of the executives considered enemies of the SnyderVerse (like Sarnoff) left Warner after its merger with Discovery.

To all this must be added the disgrace of Joss Whedon according to the actor Ray Fisher assured that his behavior during the reshoots of Justice League had been abusive and triggered an investigation within Warner as well as complaints against the director by other personalities. Whatever happened inside the #ReleaseTheSnyderCutit seems that the movement no longer gives of itself.

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