One of the best things about being passionate about movies or tv shows is that there are now online communities, such as moviepilot, where you can share your love of a show, movie, or actor and talk to others about it.
One of the worst things about it, I have come to find however, is something that has become on twitter known as "ship wars"
What is "Shipping"?
Shipping is derived from the word relationship, and it is what people "do" when they like two characters together. They may just be interested in the couple. or consider them their OTP (one true pairing) and become slightly obsessed with the couple, over analyzing every scene, making edits, and spending hours talking about them on the internet. This ranges from tv characters, pairings on shows, movie characters and even, at times, real people
What has become strongly known as "ship wars" on twitter, where the bulk of the arguments start. This is when people get nasty and over protective of their ships, starting hours long fights, sending hate to actors, writers and fans of an opposite ship of their own. Some even go so far as to tell them to kill off a character or fire one of the actors
A few examples of these can be found largely in the Once Upon a TIme and The Vampire Diaries/The Originals crowd, largely in the klaroline group vs Steroline/klamille/klayley from the vampire diaries/originals fans but there is a large group of fans in Once Upon a TIme that cause problems which is swanqueen vs outlawqueen/captainswan.
A lot of the times the writers or actors are tagged, and many times, like the above reaction, they do take it has hurtful, and it is hard to not take it personally when getting attacked.
What do the names mean?
While many might be confused by the terms I just used, those are terms used by the fandoms to combine traits, or names of characters so as not to have to write the entire names outright (most likely started because of the letter restriction on twitter). They are endearing terms to show love towards both characters in the relationship, whether real or fanmade
Things tend to get ugly in the communities, with people purposely posting or commenting in the tags for other ships to get a rise out of them. While some can be sarcastic, such as when Torrance Coombs of Reign fame poked a little fun at the klaroline fandom and was obviously lighthearted.
Then there is the outright bullying. One example is the publicized argument that William Shatner (yes THAT WIlliam Shatner) that was over the Swanqueen ship which told the writers to fire Sean Maguire because it got in the way of two characters being together
Though I do kind of find it ironic, as I have seen him badmouth Sean himself, what he says has a point. There is enjoying a ship, or characters, and then there is outright cruelty, and quite a few people don't know the distinction. While you might not like a character, to call one of the actors ugly, say they should be fired, or that their acting is bad, you have crossed a line. It is no longer about a ship or storyline that you might not like, it is personal, and that kind of hate needs to be stopped.
In the End
I myself have gotten into a tiff or two, mostly because of my sarcasm not coming across correctly on twitter. What really needs to happen is people should really just stop the hate and spread love. Ship what you will, and spread a little love not hate. Don't talk about another ship so that way it doesn't show up in their trend. Respect the writers and the actors, and if you are going to hate, just don't tag them in it. You don't know how what you're saying can be hurting or effecting them.
Enjoy your fandom, do your edits, watch your show, and please everyone, let's play nice with each other. We are all here for a simple reason:
We love the show.