Let's go on an adventure. Imagine that you're tweeting about an attractive celebrity. Maybe something salutary, perhaps thirsty, maybe even something about their latest project — it doesn't much matter. A minute or so passes. And then you check your mentions. Lo and behold, you've been retweeted and/or responded to by a stranger with an avatar featuring the face belonging to the celebrity about whom you just tweeted.
OK, now click into the profile and are greeted by an endless scroll of photos, retweets, and fantasies about the movie star in question. It's like a digital altar, feverish and excited and celebratory. What is this place? Well, old person, you've just discovered the world of celebrity stan Twitter. Welcome.
On an internet weighed down by negativity, stan Twitter provides a gulp of fresh air, allowing and even encouraging pure joy (even if it can get a bit creepy). There are endless stan Twitter accounts, generally operated by bots (they just retweet stuff) and young women, who add a Gen Z twist of hyperbole to photos, fanfiction, and customized memes.
Because the hosts of The Fandom Files are very old (both of us), we invited two Twitter stans on the show to discuss their emerging art form. Fans of Jake Gyllenhaal, go follow an account run by our first-ever guest named Jordan; Tom Hiddleston fans, you'll want to check out Abby's account. You're welcome.