"She's a fan, but this was supposed to be scientific": Fan misunderstandings and acafan mistakes

  • Daisy Pignetti University of Wisconsin–Stout
Keywords: Anonymous Ask, Antifans, Celebrity studies, HIddleswift, Live tweets, Social media, Survey research, Tumblr, Twitter


I here reflect on my first forays into fan studies, two separate projects on fans' reactions to Tom Hiddleston's short-lived relationship with Taylor Swift. After discovering live tweets of my 2018 Fan Studies Network presentation that included yet-to-be-published survey research I collected on post-Hiddleswift fannish behaviors, some fans turned to the Anonymous Ask feature of a Hiddleston-focused Tumblr blog to interrogate the results, an article I had recently published, and me. I highlight this experience as a way to reexamine my methodological choices going forward when working with fan populations while writing for academic audiences. Ultimately, I realize future misinterpretations might be prevented by transparency as an acafan on Tumblr and more consistent interaction with fans across social media platforms.