One Direction Fans Stand Against Bullying: Our Story
With 4 albums under their belt, millions of albums sold and 4 world tours One Direction is one of the most popular bands currently on the music landscape. The fanbase is mixed with both younger and older fans. The diversity of the fanbase is not limited to age though; it involves all possible aspects of life including beliefs and ideals. Being the fanbase so diverse, opinions are bound to largely differ from one fan to the next, often causing discussions on social media. Unfortunately, more often than not, discussions are not respectful but rather angry and bordering on bullying. The angriest discussions observed often involve the private lives of the boys. The four of us came into the fandom at different times and independently observed that music was really the only element that brought all of us together across generations and ideals. We thus decided to start an update account that would focus on One Direction’s music and professional endeavors only, while calling for respect of the boys’ private lives as well as for respecting all other fans. The account was created on January 3rd 2015 and currently has over 16,000 followers. We have received a huge amount of support from the fans who feel safe and heard when they are interacting with us and each other on @OneDirectionNDA. We also feel that our account brings back into focus what brought most of us together: the music! Below are the stories of what inspired us to start @OneDirectionNDA.
“I had been following one direction for a while when I created my personal fan twitter account. I was immediately struck by the passion of the fandom on twitter but also by some troublesome behaviors including poor respect of the boys’ private lives, families and friends, as well as poor respect for each other exhibited by the fans. I often observed bullying towards fans and the boys, and I was a few times a victim of bullying myself. Strikingly, bullying came often from groups that proclaimed to stand for unity within the fandom. In the last few months I found myself interacting more and more with the other 3 administrators of @OneDirectionNDA, finding that we shared exactly the same views of wanting a better place to love One Direction’s music. On a twitter exchange that will go down in history, we decided to create @OneDirectionNDA. All 4 of us had been using the #1DFansStandAgainstBullying in our tweets on our personal accounts, so we started to use it on @OneDirectionNDA as well. Shortly after, we came up with the idea of the logo against bullying that we added to the icon picture and that is now on some of the fans’ icons. The logo idea came from the “brightness” key of the keyboard, since we are hoping to brighten the fandom, twitter and the internet in general. We are so happy for the support we are receiving which we believe speaks volumes of what fans have been craving for. But even more importantly, we are happy to have created a positive place where everybody is welcome.” YM
“As a fan of One Direction, I had always been struck by the amount of anger that exists within the fandom- to other fans, the band members, and their family and friends. Differences of opinion seemed to be not allowed, and many of the fan accounts focused more on the private lives of the band members than the music. After being caught up in that side of the fandom, I noticed that some of the fans had begun to develop platforms to create unity while scolding others for disagreeing with their point of view. This seemed counter-intuitive and it was then that I decided I needed to change my own stance as a fan. This led to me meeting a group of 3 other great individuals who shared like thoughts, and it was as a group that we decided to start the #1DFansStandAgainstBullying campaign and the @OneDirectionNDA account.” JG
“For as long as I have been a fan of One Direction, the fans treatment of each other has been horrid to witness. Most big accounts in the fandom have little respect for the band, their families and friends, not to mention other fans. They think nothing of sending hateful messages to each other and think it’s cool and that what they say doesn’t affect people because it’s only words on a screen. This isn’t true and is why we came up with #1DFansStandAgainstBullying. I met my lovely 3 admins and we all shared similar views. We wanted to take it back to what it was about- the music. We wanted to be respectful of the boys and their families and we wanted to show fans that a fan is a fan regardless of their age, gender or sexuality. It’s about the music. So we started @OneDirectionNDA.” CL
“Being a part of NDA has been very rewarding for me. I became a fan of One Direction nearly from the start and have watched their fan base grow and change over the years. There are many very positive things their fans have done for the band by voting on awards, raising money for charities, and getting the word out for fan projects before a concert or event. But there has always been inappropriate behavior such as tweeting horrible remarks to each other or to the boys’ families and friends, posting private pictures, and even where some update accounts seemed to promote stalking of the band by posting their whereabouts when traveling or posting private things about the band when they are on break.
So, we 4 came together to change some of that. @OneDirectionNDA provides a safe environment for fans to interact about the music. I have had the experience through our account to hear firsthand, how much the fans enjoy having a safe, bully-free place to chat. In just two short months, @OneDirectionNDA has grown to over 16,000 followers, which is a great indication of how much an account like ours was needed. There have been remarks sent to us about how the #1DFansStandAgainstBullying campaign has helped them stand up for themselves with knowing we had their back. They have taken this initiative we started with that hashtag and applied it to their lives in school. This is just one example of the very many we hear about how @OneDirectionNDA is turning the One Direction fandom around to being a powerful, positive place that can make a difference in eliminating cyber-bullying. @OneDirectionNDA also reminds us why we all became fans in the first place, which is to enjoy the music. For all these reasons I am so proud to be a part @OneDirectionNDA.” MP
The @OneDirectionNDA account currently has over 26 thousand followers! We think this is a great example of how social media can be used to create positive change within the digital community – well done guys!
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