In October, with “Chromatica” having registered as a modest hit, Grande’s personal new album, “Positions,” leaked on-line earlier than its official launch. Cordero, who appreciated Grande effectively sufficient however discovered her new music to be missing, shared a hyperlink to the unreleased songs, a lot to the consternation of Grande followers, who apprehensive that the bootlegged variations would injury the singer’s business prospects.
Taking on the function of volunteer web detectives, Grande followers proceeded to spend days enjoying Whac-a-Mole by flagging hyperlinks to the unauthorized album as they proliferated throughout the web. But Cordero, bored and sensing their agita, determined to bait them even additional by tweeting — falsely — that he’d subsequently been fined $150,000 by Grande’s label for his function in spreading the leak. “is there any way I can get out of this,” he wrote. “I’m so scared.” He even shared an image of himself crying.
“They were rejoicing,” Cordero recalled giddily of the Grande followers he’d fooled, who unfold the phrase far and huge that the leaker — a Gaga lover, no much less — was being punished. “Sorry but I feel no sympathy,” one Grande supporter wrote on Reddit. “Charge him, put him in jail. you can’t leak an album by the world’s biggest pop star and expect no consequences.”
This was pop fandom in 2020: aggressive, arcane, sales-obsessed, generally pointless, chaotic, adversarial, amusing and slightly horrifying — all taking place nearly completely on-line. While music has lengthy been intertwined with web communities and the rise of social networks, a rising faction of essentially the most vocal and devoted pop fans have embraced the time period “stan” — taken from the 20-year-old Eminem song a couple of superfan turned homicidal stalker — and are redefining what it means to like an artist.
On what is called Stan Twitter — and its offshoots on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Tumblr and varied message boards — these devotees evaluate No. 1s and streaming statistics like sports activities followers do batting averages, championship wins and capturing percentages. They pledge allegiance to their favorites like essentially the most rabid political partisans or spiritual followers. They arrange to win awards present polls, increase gross sales and lift cash like grass roots activists. And they band collectively to pester — or harass, and even dox — those that could dare to slight the celebs they’ve chosen to align themselves with.