The Critical Analysis of Twilight spot has always been controversial. Twilight fans frequently report distaste with the spot, thinking it’s a hate spot. The response is that it’s not a hate spot but sometimes antis get carried away and antis should watch to make sure they don’t intimidate Twilight fans, but that Twilight fans should grow a tougher skin. Normally I would agree with this sentiment, but I feel that C.A.T. has become more of an anti-Twilight spot that is largely unfriendly to the Twilight fan. I think the fundamental problem with the C.A.T. spot is that it tries to be for everybody, when it should be specifically for those who want to critically analyze Twilight.
Hate spots are not allowed on Fanpop. If you go to create a spot/club, it says in red bold “And we don’t accept any hate or ‘anti’ clubs because that goes against the spirit of Fanpop!” Since Fanpop keeps C.A.T. around, it must presumably be for qualities that C.A.T. has that are not hateful in nature. This doesn’t mean that C.A.T. isn’t hateful, just that it’s not supposed to be. Indeed, the subject suggests intellectual discussion rather than childish attacks on Twilight. This is what C.A.T. should be.
In its current incarnation, however, C.A.T. is actually a hodgepodge of intelligent discussion and childish attacks. Given the sheer number of such attacks, it makes the place look like an anti spot. The image section abounds with simple little pieces of humor tailored for people who hate Twilight. Some of these are clever and even as a Twilight fan, I laugh, but the great majority is composed of anti material for people who have made up their minds that Twilight is horrible. Much of this humor involves homophobia, the character Edward being ridiculed for having traits supposedly indicative of being gay. I find mainstream anti-Twilight humor contains a lot of homophobia and misogyny. Because C.A.T. does try to be better than just an average anti site, the worst of the anti-Twilight community doesn’t get in, but a lot more homophobic sentiment gets in than I would care it to. Even without the especially problematic traits of anti-Twilight humor, though, it’s still anti and unsuitable for the spot unless it offers something particularly relevant to discussion. Basically, humor satirizing the books by playing Edward as a stalker is legitimate criticism, but simple statements that Twilight sucks (which can be illustrated in various ways) are just anti and inappropriate.
I think the problem derives from how the spot is described in the tagline and banner, where it isn’t clear that the spot should only be for critical analysis of Twilight and not an anti site. The tagline reads “If you're a Twilight fan looking for intelligent discussion, or a person who doesn't like Twilight, OR simply someone who wants to get away from all the hype...this spot is just for you!” Why is intelligent discussion in only one of the options? Why not instead “If you're a Twilight fan, or a person who doesn't like Twilight, OR simply someone who wants to get away from all the hype...If you’re looking for intelligent discussion, this spot is just for you!”? As it is now, antis aren’t required to be looking for intelligent discussion. The banner goes on to say that it doesn’t matter what Twilight team you are, you belong either way. It cites way more than the usual teams and goes into anti territory with teams like Team Tyler’s Van (i.e. that Bella should have died at the start of the first book). It concludes with the statement that “Free Speech is for everyone”. Is free speech really the sentiment that should be encouraged here? A lot of hate speech is excused because it’s not against the law to be a bigot. “Free speech” is the language used by those who dish out vile thoughts and ignore criticism. I understand that’s not how it’s meant here, but this combined with the unclear tagline, combined with the rampant unintelligent anti-Twilight statements, strikes me as problematic. What should be stressed is that the spot really is for critical analysis of Twilight, not ‘hey, antis, by saying we’re for critical analysis we can fly under the radar’.
Ultimately, though, the fault lies with the members of C.A.T. who don’t actively discourage items that are simply hateful. This includes me. I just find the weight of all the anti-ism very intimidating. I suspect that if I approached each one individually, I’d just come off as a whining Twilight fan and be ignored. So this is me doing my part with a standard-sized article to make my perspective clear to C.A.T. as a whole.
I propose a reform of the C.A.T. spot, where there can be an actual focus on intelligent discussion and not have the spot be a reservoir for simple restatements of the phrase “Twilight sucks”. I understand that the Twilight Series spot is more or less a reservoir for simple restatements of the phrase “Twilight rules”, but the answer to shallow fangirlism is not shallow anti-ism. This should be a place for coolheaded expression of ideas and debate. I am a pretty big fan of Twilight, but I sometimes engage in debate with some intelligent antis via the creation of articles on this site, and I respect them even though we disagree. This spot would be so much better if people like them were responsible for the majority of the content. As it is, it’s mostly mindless hate with a small section of intelligence in the corner. Please, can we fix this?