Yesterday, we published a quick internet deep dive essay investigating the young, Instagram-based fandom of the Lifetime show Dance Moms. Amy McCarthy wrote about this manic and self-contained social media universe: the constellations of fake accounts, password-hacking, promises to leak "secrets" about the young reality show stars, and obsessive trollish trading of facts, information, Photoshopped pictures—the vast majority of it seemingly driven by girls as young as the Dance Moms dancers themselves.
I edited the piece, and in the process skimmed many of these fan Instagram accounts, half to find screengrabs and half to fact-check whether the essay represented the fandom vibe correctly; it did, in my opinion, I have screenshots on my phone now that could probably get me arrested. Amy writes about this Instagram world:
What emerges is this weird blend of fandom, trolling, and a never-ending desperation for online attention, whether it's from famous kids or their peers caught in the same fandom web.
Her thesis has been a bit confirmed by the Dance Moms stan reaction:
"YES WE HAVE FOUND YOU BAE," this user writes. The fandom then sort of... activated?
They posted "5-10 comments per minute" on McCarthy's Instagram, who started deleting photos to turn off the notifications, which were like this:
"I don't agree that she should be told to kill herself," wrote another user, "but still what she said about us and the fact that she's a grown women fighting with a bunch of teens is immature on her part." Other Dance Moms fans chimed in, saying that even though they were getting blocked, they could use their other accounts to keep spamming. And the comments keep coming! It's beautiful. It's the most beautiful thing.
"WE WERE ALMOST AT 1K COMMENTS AND WE CAN DO IT AGAIN! WE WILL NEVEE DIE DOWN!" reads the last comment I saw.
Go girls go!!!!!