Few months ago, 1 British youtuber named Marina Joyce download from the Internet a video called “Give yourself some outfit ideas”. Technically, the content of this video was no different from others he had already made public and which had served him well to gain a few hundred thousand subscribers. However, something strange caught the attention of part of the audience.
Within hours, some of Joyce’s followers started leaving comments calling attention to the attitude and the apparent psychological state of the YouTuber. He seemed absent, some said; others directly claimed to show the symptoms of a drug addict.
It was the start of one of those cases the fan phenomenon was going to manifest itself in a more spectacular way, And overwhelmingly.
Save Marina Joyce
Stories based on speculation were quickly created. Some users have come to the conclusion that the YouTuber is in danger, kidnapped by someone, and that was trying to send an encrypted message without his captor or captors realizing that he was asking his followers for help.
In this way, very detailed theories were raised about how Marina Joyce’s partner he could have kidnapped her, Or another unknown person, or directly the Islamic State. Other people created other equally unfounded theories that Joyce suffered from a serious mental disorder or was planning to kill herself.
All this made, among other things, that the police would visit the girl’s house after insistent calls from fans and, in addition, that the hashtag #savemarinajoyce was a trending topic worldwide in just a few hours. By the way, the video that sparked suspicion has surpassed 23 million views and the number of subscribers to his Youtube channel has skyrocketed.
But things didn’t stop when the first objective signs arrived that Marina Joyce was doing well, including police statements. Fans of the young woman had created a self-criticism of the facts that fed, And all the objective data that did not correspond to this was manipulated so as not to deny the legend that had been created around the youtuber. Reality has been forced to adapt to fiction.
The problem was that even Marina Joyce herself couldn’t maintain her credibility on what was going on in her own life.
When they do, that’s part of the problem
When the YouTuber claimed she was fine on one of her social media profiles, many of her fans didn’t believe her. Marina Joyce was still discovering signs of danger, rummage through their messages, videos and photos.
Some were convinced that the young woman’s body was full of bruises and injuries produced by her captor, and others were looking for key messages left by her as clues, as if they were obvious signs that something hiding. A lot of information about the YouTuber was disseminated and analyzed in order to better understand her intimate life.
There were many who said they wanted defend Marina Joyce from a danger that existed only in her own imagination. However, in doing so, they violated the young woman’s privacy and negated her ability to use her social media normally.
The obsession with celebrities and the internet
The phenomenon of the fans is not new: it has existed since the welfare societies and the mass media began to produce celebrities, the image has been disseminated by the media and at the same time enough audience with free time to obsess over these celebrities.
However, the increasing use of the Internet has taken the phenomenon to a new dimension. The case of Marina Joyce is an example.
Previously, there was no possibility for an influencer to connect with their audience in real time, but neither was it possible for fans to be in constant and massive contact with each other.
In the case of the myths about Marina Joyce, what happened was a mixture of various psychological phenomena.
Creating the myth of the conspiracy
First there is the obsession: The fact that someone is famous causes a lot of other people to spend more time thinking about it, and it increases the chances that someone will find a weird connection between two ideas at the slightest hint. It is a question of probability.
Second, animal husbandry, a phenomenon studied in social psychology. Due to the large number of fans that a person can have, it is possible that from a small spark a real movement is born in a herd that is not based on what is directly observable in reality: it is based only on fantasies and speculations.
Interestingly, thousands of people can agree on a surreal version of events without anyone trying to get them to post. The delusional explanations of what could happen fed on each other.