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When parasocial relationships turn sour: Social media influencers, eroded and exploitative intimacies, and anti-fan communities

Mardon, Rebecca ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4199-7121, Cocker, Hayley and Daunt, Kate ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6741-4924 2023. When parasocial relationships turn sour: Social media influencers, eroded and exploitative intimacies, and anti-fan communities. Journal of Marketing Management 10.1080/0267257X.2022.2149609
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Abstract

Whilst social media influencers (SMIs) excel at establishing positive parasocial relationships with their followers, they can also provoke intense negative responses, as evidenced by the prevalence of SMI-focused anti-fan communities. Prior research does not explain how consumers’ parasocial relationships with SMIs become negatively charged, nor does it explain why this shift may fuel anti-fan community participation. Drawing from a netnographic study of two SMI anti-fan communities, we reveal that eroded reciprocal and disclosive intimacies, as well as exploitative commercial intimacies, can lead consumers’ positive parasocial relationships with SMIs to become negatively charged. We demonstrate that anti-fan communities provide opportunities for consumers reluctant to sever ties with the SMI to sustain their negative parasocial relationship by rebuilding eroded intimacies whilst avoiding and/or retaliating against their exploitation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
ISSN: 1472-1376
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 November 2022
Date of Acceptance: 20 September 2022
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2023 16:33
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/154343

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