Saving Dark Matter – reductive hashtags and a late night for the UK

By ·September 9, 2017 12:13 pm

The guys at the Twitter account @DarkMatterFTLbacked regularly by Joseph Mallozzi – are continuing to helm the campaign to save Dark Matter. The account comes up with the hashtags choices themselves and keeps them secret until the final moment (usually around 45 minutes before the tweet barrage is set to ensue).

Their intentions are honourable, but I’m not on board with their methodology. It would be much more inclusive and friendly to get the consensus on the choice of hashtags from the fandom (you know – the masses of fans who matter most), rather than this ‘Dark Council’ monopolising the ideas.

On top of this, their choice of hashtags have been somewhat reductive and inappropriate so far. Thursday night we saw a ‘dry run’ play out, then Friday’s real tweet event followed. Below I explore the hashtags that were used for these two events.

Anthony Lemke and Zoë Palmer rocking the Raza for real in All the Time in the World.

Thursday – #BoobsandBlasters

Although this was a ‘test run’, which means you could argue this hashtag was just for fun, I think this choice of hashtag is reductive, damaging and even a little misogynistic. It’s a reference to The Android’s “boobs, boobs, boobs” moment, which means a lot to fans, but which won’t mean anything to external eyes.

Instead it reduces our intelligent show to sounding like nothing more than an attempt to ogle some breasts and get some cheap blaster thrills at the same time; i.e. making it come across as cheap SF. This is far from what Dark Matter is about and it damages our fandom in the eyes of Netflix and whoever else might be watching.

Friday – #RocktheRaza

For the real tweet assault last night, the guys went with #RocktheRaza. This was definitely better than the previous night’s hashtag (this time, the cast felt OK to jump on it too), but it’s still a flawed choice. Sure, it’s fun and Netflix will probably realise what it refers to once they take a moment to do some research, but it’s missing that crucial component: getting our motive across.

Hashtags like #SaveDarkMatter, while boring, definitely get the point across that we want our show picked up. Even #TeamRaza was brilliant, as it was a reference to getting Netflix to join our immense and passionate team (fandom).

I’m all for having the hashtags be deep pulls from the show – these make for the very best hashtags – but these two are neither. I’d much rather the guys behind this account had found short, real quotes from the show, which also doubled up as meaningful way to implore Netflix’s help. Or that they had stuck with #TeamRaza.

2A.M. – making it tough on the UK

The UK are known for having one of the strongest fanbases for Dark Matter. Joseph Mallozzi reiterated this recently when he spoke about how SyFyUK will miss the show:

You know who also loved Dark Matter?  SyfyInternational.  I’m talking SyfyDE, Syfyla, Syfybr, SyfyAU, Syfy_Spain, SyfyFr, SyfyPT, SyfyME and especially SyfyUK.  In fact, they loved it so much that they gave fans their very own after show, After Dark.

The previous campaign (before it was scrapped), #TeamRaza, it was set to happen at 8P.M. UK time (and the equivalent times around the world). This was perfect for us and it worked for the US too (6P.M. and 9P.M.).

The revised campaign instead shifted the time to 2A.M. for the UK, making this far less convenient for us – one of the most important Dark Matter fanbases. Many UK fans stayed up for this anyway, because they’re just great like that, but for those with families or other things going on, it was a little excluding. There’s no time that would suit all regions, but there were better choices that this time slot.

Was it successful?

Thankfully, it looks like it did work, in the respect of hitting the numbers and drawing attention:

Getting the show picked up is what’s important here, so I’m happy that the guys at @DarkMatterFTL so far seem to be achieving our end game goal, even if the path they take to get there is a little off. So I still urge you to support this campaign – it’s the only one we have and we need to save our show somehow.

Don’t forget that next Friday this will all happen again, presumably with a brand new hashtag.

What do you think of the hashtags that @DarkMatterFTL are using? Do you they work in your eyes, or would you rather something different? Are you UK-based and did you stay up until 2A.M.? Let us know in the comments section below.

Image credits: SyFy

Written by Christopher Hart

Lead Writer and Copywriter

Chris is a Copywriter for a major bank. He an MA in Publishing and a BA in Comparative Literature. He's also a self-published author (Altered Stone).

His areas of interest include LOST, The Leftovers, The Prisoner, Y: The Last Man, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, BioShock, Supergiant Games and Josh Malerman.

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