How to be a Responsible Fan

As you may know, Wanderers, we’re going to be leaving you for a while, so we wanted to make sure you’ve got a quick reference guide to the kind of things we’ve been trying to promote. So, without further ado, here’s our quick run-down on being a responsible fan.

  • Respect other people’s opinions. You don’t have to agree, but you also don’t have to be rude about it. It might be that they won’t change their minds, and that’s fine. Not everyone has to agree. If something is a real dealbreaker for you, you might have to step away from the conversation, or even the person if they make you really uncomfortable, but you don’t need to get into a nasty confrontation. It’s not worth the hassle.
  • Remember you’re not entitled to anything. No matter how much you love a show, book, or film, the creators aren’t actually obliged to take it in a direction that suits you. If there are problematic elements, by all means call them out, but remember that the creators have ultimate control over the storyline and that’s OK. If your favourite ship never sails, or your ideal plot fails to materialise, that’s just something that happens.
  • Don’t use other people’s things without permission. Sure, to an extent we’re all doing that in fandom, but don’t steal from other fans, and be prepared for the fact that you may be asked to take your fan-creations offline if you’re using somebody else’s intellectual property. The easiest way to go about things is to stay within ‘fair use’ copyright laws where dealing with your fandom’s canon, and make sure you ask permission before borrowing or building on an idea or character created by another fan.
  • Remember your manners. That applies in the ‘real world’, at cons, online, everything. You know how to behave civilly towards people, so make sure you apply those rules in fandom.
  • Above all, treat fellow fans the way you’d want to be treated. Take their wishes into account, respect your differences, and offer support when real life gets hard. You’re great people, Wanderers, and we know we can count on you to set a great example to other fans by just continuing to do that.

Eleanor Musgrove (will miss you all while we’re gone!)

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