The ultimate release of Zack Snyder‘s Justice League — otherwise known as ‘the Snyder Cut’ — is a story that truly could not be made up. It’s an epic tale that just keeps going and going, and with each new narrative addition you find yourself rubbing your eyes and going “whaa?”
But it’s all true, baby, and the story just got even stranger.
According to Rolling Stone, WarnerMedia commissioned two reports to look into the fan-led campaign to persuade Warner Bros. to release Snyder’s version of Justice League. The reports revealed a significant portion of social media accounts that bolstered the movement were likely bots. Yikes.
Here’s a quick recap of the saga.
Snyder was the original director for Justice League but after the tragic death of his daughter he moved away from the project. Joss Whedon took on the directing helm, and the original Justice League was kind of a flop upon release. A socials campaign began to persuade Warner Bros. to release “the Snyder Cut” — an apparent alternate version of the film that was true to Snyder’s original vision.
The movement became toxic quickly — beginning in roughly 2018, fans started to go after pretty much anyone or anything they considered to be getting in the way of the Snyder Cut’s release. Doxxing, death threats — the whole lot. People seemed to really want to see Snyder’s version of the film.
Well, that’s what we thought anyway. The new reports shed new light on the situation and it’s all a bit sus.
According to Rolling Stone, at least 13 per cent of the accounts that took part in the the campaign surrounding the Snyder Cut were deemed fake. For context, cyber experts generally consider three to five per cent of accounts participating in trending topics to be fake. That’s a significantly higher-than-average percentage of apparent bot activity.
This means while there were a whole lot of very real fans participating in the trending campaign, there were also a hell of a lot of bots involved, too.
And who was responsible for this campaign — and all these dang bots? Well, we don’t really know.
Multiple sources who spoke to Rolling Stone expressed the belief that Snyder himself was behind the campaign.
As per Rolling Stone, Snyder is actually blaming Warner Bros. saying it was “trying to leverage my fan base to bolster subscribers to their new streaming service”.
The plot thickens.