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 percent of the accounts that took part in the conversation about the Snyder Cut were deemed fake, well above the three to five percent 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 forsnydercut.com 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).
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