Star Wars: Russian Bots May Have Derailed The Last Jedi

Star Wars: Russian Bots May Have Derailed The Last Jedi

Of the haters, Bay identifies three different camps: political operatives, trolls, and "real fantagonists".

According to a new study, a significant portion of online trolls who have directed angry messages towards the cast and crew of Star Wars: The Last Jedi may be internet bots who aim to create a polarizing rift amongst the community in similar ways to how the technology influenced the 2016 presidential election.

To explain this discrepancy, Bay argues that the Trump-era that the movie came out in was a time when people's attitude toward political discourse had been primed to run counter to the values expressed in "The Last Jedi". "The likely objective of these measures is increasing media coverage of the fandom conflict, thereby adding to and further propagating a narrative of widespread discord and dysfunction in American society", states Bay.

Monday afternoon, Bay tweeted out the final draft of his paper entitled "Weaponizing the haters: The Last Jedi and the strategic politicization of pop culture through social media manipulation". "Persuading voters of this narrative remains a strategic goal for the US alt-right movement, as well as the Russian Federation". So guess what? About half of those naysayers were Russian trolls, as it turns out. "This is specifically about a virulent strain of online harassment".

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Bay fails to note that The Last Jedi was heavily criticized in reviews, and not just social media, with only 45 percent of 201,084 Rotten Tomatoes reviews having "liked it".

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Bay analyzed all the angry tweets sent to director Rian Johnson over seven months immediately following the film's release. He doesn't believe that the studios are doing anything wrong with the series in terms of what they've turned it into.

There's no denying the divisive reaction to Star Wars: The Last Jedi seen in the Star Wars fan community since the film's release but a new study by researcher Morten Bay reveals numerous accounts targeting the film's director Rian Johnson as well as the cast are in fact bots. As noted by THR, director Rian Johnson is openly promoting it on his Twitter page. You can ready the full study at Research Gate.

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