Why fandom wars aren't helping pro-Palestine organizing

Over the last six months, young, digitally active people have been using any means necessary to show their support for victims of Israel’s bombardment on Gaza, from filter fundraising to online takeovers. Many have also adopted the decades-old Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), and anti-colonial movements on behalf of the Palestinians. While they’re implementing standard algorithm-gaming techniques to keep Palestine trending, some have co-opted the movement, using it to validate which celebrities they stan and which should be recipients of a cancellation barrage in the name of human rights. Examples of unhelpful fan response to the bombardment of Palestine include Swifties claiming ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn’s Artists for Ceasefire pin is a performative response to the recently released Tortured Poet’s Department, as well as criticisms of Billie Eilish for shopping at Starbucks, a grassroots boycott target unsanctioned by the BDS movement. Just last month, Twitter users were using the term “divest” to call for the firing of Scooter Braun from entertainment company HYBE, reportedly because of his pro-Israel ties.  SEE ALSO: How ‘blue comments’ turned the TikTok algorithm into a protest tool Meanwhile, as fandom’s “keyboard warriors” take to the timeline, students across the country are taking over their campuses and demanding their universities divest from Israel. Student unions are galvanizing for widespread protests and possibly strikes. Celebrities, for the most part, stay mum. TikTok, a hub for information sharing, faces a government ban if its Chinese parent company doesn’t divest from the platform in the next year. Can we turn the fandom fervor…Why fandom wars aren't helping pro-Palestine organizing