Lady Gaga has announced the launch of LittleMonsters.com – a social networking site for Gaga fans.
Though the site is still in beta, and is invite only, the premise is that it will be similar to Reddit or Pinterest. Fans can flag up online content that they enjoy, share photos and make videos. Though monsters can currently chat on forums, or fansites, this will be the first Gaga-only location for fans to interact.
However, despite Gaga’s message of love and tolerance, there are concerns that LittleMonsters might foster a more sinister atmosphere. There have been several occasions where Gaga fans have become aggressive in their fervour for the singer- the most noted of these was the Lady Gaga Project, which came to a head earlier this year.
Founded by a fan calling herself Monster Stephanie, the Lady Gaga Project was “where Little Monsters come together to help Mother Monster with her music and causes”. However, it became apparent that the site’s approach was to bash all other female acts – often using racist and bigoted language.
The main recipient of the site’s fury was Madonna, and during what the site termed ‘International Monsters Against Madonna Week’, the site offered money to fans to trash Madonna online. Fans were paid between five and ten cents to post disparaging comments about Madonna on news sites such as the Huffington Post.
The comments were encouraged to touch on one of the below topics:
Here’s an example from an Idolator news story during ‘Monsters Against Madonna Week’.
Fortunately the reaction to ‘Monsters Against Madonna’ was largely negative – so much so that the blog was shut down at the beginning of this month. Main fansite GagaDaily dismissed the Lady Gaga Project as trolling, with user Born Brave noting that:
One person behind a computer screen does not equal to the whole fanbase. This is embarrassing for the majority of Gaga’s fans that don’t act like this.
This isn’t the first time that Gaga fans have gone off the leash. In November 2011, Adele was the target of a Twitter hate campaign, which Gaga quickly quashed. Her representative stated: “Lady Gaga does not approve of bullying anyone for their physical appearance, it goes against everything she stands for. A tiny handful of fans may be letting her down.”
Meanwhile, Gaga told Radio 1 that, “I didn’t speak to anyone in particular, but anyone who would say anything negative about Adele, I wouldn’t support. I love her immensely. She’s very sweet. We’ve exchanged emails about our mutual love”.
Whether Gaga will personally moderate each post on LittleMonsters remains to be seen, and a few rogue blogs hardly speak for an entire fanbase – but when a community operates under a banner of love, tolerance and respect for all, a code of conduct needs to be drawn up, and swiftly.