Since it was announced that classic Spider-Man villain Venom would appear in his/its/their own movie, said movie has had lots of obstacles to overcome: a toothless PG-13 rating, a chronic lack of webslinger, and worst of all, general fan apathy. But it seems that with its release around the corner, Marvel's big bad symbiote has finally managed to grab the attention of one rabid fanbase -- and they are set on destroying it.
To highlight the absolute nadir that is the post-summer blockbuster slump, October 5 sees the release of both Venom and a remake of A Star Is Born starring Lady Gaga and directed by Hangover hot hobo Bradley Cooper. And even though the latter movie has garnered rave reviews and early opinions of Venom reflect the rich tradition of other movies in which you barely see Tom Hardy's mouth (that is, ranging from mediocre to extremely painful (for you)), Gaga fans are still worried that the unstoppable Marvel machine will keep "their" movie from reaching the top spot at the box office. So in order to prevent that, Mother's Little Monsters decided to take the big bad Marvel Monster down a peg or two the only way that counts: by being mean about the movie on Twitter.
Right before the review embargo on Venom had even been lifted, terrible audience reviews started flooding social media. But some people's Spidey senses started tingling when they noticed stark similarities between the hundreds of complaints -- the most suspicious of all being the plugs trying to convince Marvel fans to go watch a movie about a drunk country star trying to bone Lady Gaga instead. It quickly came out that a splinter cell of Gaga fans was making fake accounts to ruin Venom's word of mouth and dissuade people from seeing it.
This practice is known as "brigading" -- the way too cool name for when gaggles of dweebs play at being the Cheetos-stained Algonquin Table of the internet by manipulating things behind the scenes and making everything worse in general. Sometimes vote brigading can be a force for (chaotic) good, like that time the British public came together and renamed a royal ship Boaty McBoatface, or when Pitbull asked fans to vote on Facebook for which store he should make a surprise appearance at and people successfully sent him to the most remote Walmart in Alaska. But mostly the tactic is deployed in the service of online harassment, like when fanboys and/or bots tried to tank Star Wars movies with not enough white dudes in them.
This isn't even the first time Gaga fans have been caught launching brigades to bolster their Sparkly Leader's career. In 2016, the Little Monster squad was caught telling tweens to create scores of fake "soccer mom" accounts to tweet at radio stations and request Gaga's new single. They knew it'd be suspicious if anyone clearly under 30 would pretend to know what a radio is. So when you next think of badmouthing Lady Gaga, remember that her fans are legion, and they will gladly sacrifice every recess planning your destruction.
For more of Cedric, you can follow him on Twitter, where he's currently being hunted for sport by a bunch of 13-year-olds.
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