This is an excerpt from Please Like Me, BuzzFeed News’ newsletter about influencers and internet culture. You can sign up here. In our column, Niche Drama, we discuss online community micro dramas.
Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney’s photos of her mom’s hoedown-themed 60th birthday party — where one guest wore a Blue Lives Matter shirt and others had MAGA parody hats that said “Make Sixty Great Again” — pissed people off so much that one of her fan accounts decided to quit.
"An innocent celebration for my mom's milestone 60th birthday has turned into an absurd political statement, which was not the intention,” Sweeney wrote on Twitter. “Please stop making assumptions.”
“Assumptions? Don’t gaslight your fans (many are likely young progressive people based on the content of the show that gave you fame),” author Frederick Joseph replied on Twitter. Other users argued that the imagery at the party was inherently a “political statement” and shared memes about the event.
Days after sharing photos of the party, the admin of @sydneyfiles announced she wanted to sell the Sweeney fan account. Melina, who didn’t want to share her last name online, told BuzzFeed News that a mix of “current events” and a general lack of time made her want to step away from managing 155,000 followers.
“Having an updates account is a huge responsibility when you do it on your own and more with a huge count of followers,” she said. “It takes time and effort and dedication. I’ve had it for almost 3 years now … I know people who want to buy it and will make use of it.”
Another fan account accused her of being a fake fan. “You never really supported Sydney Sweeney,” they tweeted. “If you don't like Sydney, delete the account, don't profit and make money with that person.”
Is it so bad for fans to sell out, literally?
“People are being so weird about this tweet. They’re not obligated to run a stan account. Maybe the last few days were stressful for them so they quit. Y’all are weird, being a fan is not a job, if they want to quit twitter, then that’s their choice,” wrote @ruebennetsss.
“Making a fan account and selling it when they get cancelled is genius actually,” @riceballs tweeted.
Administrative changes within a niche account with influence can stir drama, especially when users have developed an attachment to the posts. Last week, a “meme war” ignited when other Chrisitan meme accounts assumed the admins had been pushed out of the @memesforjesus account.
K-pop stan account admins who no longer want to share content often tweet as little as “[closed]” and quietly stop posting. Last year, the BTS fandom in particular had a bizarre surprise, after a fan account closed and then reappeared under new management posting content about cryptocurrency and doing album and merchandise giveaways where fans were only eligible when they followed cryptocurrency Twitter users.
Perhaps hoedown-themed account takeovers will be next.