A study from WarnerMedia reportedly found that the bulk of support from the fan-led #ReleasetheSnyderCut social media campaign was fueled by bots.
Snyder’s four-hour cut of Justice League was released on HBO Max in March 2021, after a viral fan-led campaign calling for Warner Bros. to #ReleasetheSnyderCut. The original 2017 Justice League was completed by Joss Whedon after Snyder left the project. As reported by Rolling Stone, two reports commissioned by WarnerMedia found that a disproportionate number of the social media accounts that participated in the campaign were fake or “inauthentic.”
The WarnerMedia reports found that 13 percent of the accounts participating in the online campaign demanding the release of Snyder’s Justice League were fake. According to experts, the reported normal amount of bots seen on trending topics ranges from three to five percent. Twitter’s own public reports found that less than five percent of active accounts on the platform can be considered “false or spam.” While this doesn’t diminish the amount of real, human fans that bolstered the release of Snyder’s Justice League, the campaign was disproportionately pushed by inauthentic accounts.
Multiple sources involved with both the 2017 Justice League and Snyder’s version have also stated their belief that Snyder helped to manipulate the overwhelming online response, with one source claiming, “Zack was like a Lex Luthor wreaking havoc.” Apparently, the reports were commissioned by Warner Media from a third-party cyber security firm in January 2021. The decision was reportedly in response to an increasing amount of disturbing social media posts directed at WarnerMedia employees, including Geoff Johns, DC Films president Walter Hamada and former Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich.
After researching online conversations about the Snyder Cut of the Justice League‘s release, specifically the hashtags ‘ReleaseTheSnyderCut’ and ‘RestoreTheSnyderVerse’ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, [the analysts] detected an increase in negative activity created by both real and fake authors,” the report stated. “One identified community was made up of real and fake authors that spread negative content about WarnerMedia for not restoring the ‘SnyderVerse.’ Additionally, three main leaders were identified within the authors scanned on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram — one leader on each platform. These leaders received the highest amount of engagement and have many followers, which gives them the ability to influence public opinion.”
There is currently another call from fans to #RestoreTheSnyderVerse, demanding Warner Bros. bring Syder back to helm the subsequent Justice League movies he had initially planned. Snyder has directed three DCEU films, including Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Zack Snyder’s Justice League.