It’s 11:45 a.m. and Richard Armitage hasn’t tweeted in almost 30 hours. After over a week of consecutive, multiple tweets, where is he? I remember the days when fans fretted over a week or so of @RCArmitage Twitter silence, but those one-sided Tweets or selfies were nothing compared to the prolific and personal sharing of recent days. Uniquely, too, the appearance of two-way conversations.
He’s quiet because I think Richard Armitage is waiting for some political results. I don’t think the reason is fan-related. It has nothing to do with the heat of the past few days during which some protectors fans, seemingly collectively, bombarded some Armitage-critical or inquiring tweeps. Without a specific timeline, I don’t know if the defenders ratcheted it up before or after the man himself threw himself back into the discussion.
Before reading, one should know, Perry is an Armitage fan who is in favor of Richard Armitage keeping out of our fandom, who has a centrist view of whether I want him on Twitter, doesn’t think he’s got it right, and she votes “anti-delete,” ( with the occasional pass or explanation, now and then. I understand it, I just wish he didn’t do it.) Most importantly, I want him out of the fandom because I think some of his Twitter behavior has a deleterious effect on the fandom. I’ve said this in posts and comments – his perceived way of addressing Twitter unpleasantness by his fans, is usually to delete the tweet causing the issue, and thereby sweeping away the flare-up, but not disposing of it.
Occasionally, in some public statement, he’s reminded his fans of the social media behavior he wants, sometimes by cybersmiling.
His approach isn’t working. He seems to express his will by curtailing the fan arguments through deletions (commonly read, something like, “Richard deleted because he wanted to stop the attack against one or more Tweeps,” and that very act has the effect of stirring up a new argument ( about deleted tweets, about whether he’ll stop tweeting, about whether fans are infringing his right to speak).
What I’m saying here is nothing new. Richard Armitage achieves the wrong result when he sometimes tries to manipulate what he sees as objectionable conduct by his fans. It always causes additional conflict. Every time, and every time, it’s the same Apache dance.
Richard Armitage’s newest tactic isn’t working either. Answering fans directly, while I sometimes find satisfying to witness, hasn’t stopped the problem – especially if he then deletes the tweets. We saw that occur this weekend, and as I wrote, I’m not sure if the direct approach made things worse – but they didn’t make things better as far as conflict and blame are concerned.
Here’s something that might work better: I don’t know if readers here saw this posted by Servetus: (Title: Me and Richard Armitage: Apparently there are ways to say these things)
Richard Armitage, “just say no,” and don’t delete it.