Report: Snyderverse Fandom Driven By Bots, Maybe More

Report: Snyderverse Fandom Driven By Bots, Maybe More
Screenshot: Warner Bros.

Well well well. Internal reports by WarnerMedia discovered that a disproportionate amount of those calling for the creation of Zack Snyder’s Justice League and the return of the director’s vision for the DC Extended Universe of movies were allegedly online bots.

Rolling Stone obtained these reports, which found “at least 13 per cent of the accounts that took part in the conversation about the Snyder Cut were deemed fake, well above the three to five per cent that cyber experts say they typically see on any trending topic.” Clearly, that leaves plenty of real fans, including those toxic enough to send death threats to the Warner Bros. executives who seemed to be standing in the way of Snyder’s version of Justice League. But it also points to concerted efforts to convince the studio there were more people who wanted the film than there actually were.

Who was behind the bots? Rolling Stone contacted Alethea Group, which investigates social activity and authenticity, which found “the domain — which claims to have made the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut hashtag go viral in May of 2018, and became the landing hub for efforts to bring Snyder back to the helm of the DC universe — was, at least at one point, registered to a person who also ran a now-defunct ad agency” named Xavier Lannes. That hashtag racked up more than a million tweets in March 2021, when Zack Snyder’s Justice League was released on HBO Max — only to drop to 40,000 a few days later, which an unnamed digital media executive called “inorganic.”

The Rolling Stone article is an absolute must-read, as it details all this and much, much more. Go check it out here (if you have access, at least).


  • Are these the same cyber experts that are blaming every sneeze on Russian bots? Being that Rolling Stone’s covering it with their usual level of professionalism, there’s some doubts.

  • Lol this expose was an utter joke. The criteria they used to define what was a bot was so broad and faulty it was no wonder they found that amount. Not to mention the authors both have a history of having an agenda against the re-release. Tweets from these authors in the past showed an obsessive hatred of the hashtag and the fans pushing for it.

    This is nothing but a butthurt media being mad about fans getting a chance. The Rerelease happened and it was successful and that made certain types in the media mad. What a joke of an article. The lack of professionalism in both the rolling stone article and the dimwitted journalists uncritically sharing and boosting it is laughable.

    • I mean the fact this came out right at the same time as the digital release of the cut is very telling. This isnt objective reporting, This is “Reporters” with an agenda trying to shit on something because they didn’t get their way.

      They spent the whole time during the hashtag howling about how this movement is abhorrent and trying to attach anything and everything to the movement in a vain attempt to delegitimize it. Only to fail entirely and fail even more so when the cut came out.

      What a joke

    • If Kotaku were morally consistent they should be pro-Snyder Cut. By all accounts Snyder is an incredibly respectful director who is a adored by actors. OTOH Joss Whedon is a confirmed pervert.

      They should want Whedon to be forgotten.

  • I think the interesting thing here is WB doing an investigation to begin with.

    Either things didn’t go as they’d hoped or they have no bloody idea where to go from here.

  • And? Because I’m still waiting for the point of this expose to come up.

    Unless the point is some ‘journalists’ apparently seeming quite pissy upon realising they don’t actually control what people think, because I saw that pretty quick.

    Especially since the 13% figure, the accuracy of which is very much in doubt, still isn’t close to some majority in a situation like this.

    Hell, even if it was a 100% bot driven campaign responsible for it, I wager most would agree the Snyder cut was much better than the original release and they’re glad they got to see it.

    Or perhaps I too am a bot, perhaps we’re all bots… And we don’t yet know it.

  • Despite being 13% of the population, bots create and drive 50% or greater of the social media conversation trends.

    What could possibly be the “maybe more” other than bots?

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