Russian Bots Were Behind The Social Media Attack On Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s Kelly Marie Tran
Discussing Star Wars by any digital means is a tricky minefield even at the best of times, but ever since The Last Jedi released, it seems certain pockets of the Internet have been walking on eggshells. And that’s even despite the fact that Rian Johnson’s divisive sequel has become 2018’s best-selling Blu-ray by quite some distance.
But still, there are those who consider Episode VIII unworthy of the Star Wars brand, with some folks even taking it upon themselves to start a petition calling on Lucasfilm to remove The Last Jedi from canon. We kid you not. But perhaps the worst outcome of all this is what happened to Kelly Marie Tran.
In what should’ve been a dream role for the actress, her big Star Wars debut was unfortunately tainted by the hate and harassment she received in light of the pic’s release. Things became so bad, in fact, that she deleted all forms of social media during the summer. But according to a new study, it seems that a lot of the abuse was actually coming from Russian bots and not real Twitter users.
We’ve already heard about how much of the hate campaign directed at the film itself stemmed from bots, but now, we’re learning that roughly 51% of the negative response that Tran faced on social media was generated by robots. Granted, that means that about half of it was still legitimate, but it’s interesting to learn that a fairly big portion technically wasn’t even real.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi was widely considered to be Tran’s big break, too, so it’s unfortunate that the actress was thrown into the deep end when it comes to online fandom and the toxicity it can bring. Of course, not every fan is a racist and/or sexist troll, but those responsible for this should take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror. That’s for sure.