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Things We Saw Today: The Fantastic Beasts Twitter Account Sure Is Having a Time Hiding All Those Replies

Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander in 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' looks at a suitcase. A text box is superimposed about hidden replies on twitter.

I feel a little bad for the person behind the Twitter account for the Fantastic Beasts film franchise. They likely could not have anticipated the property turning toxic by its association with transphobic author J.K. Rowling or the casting (and then un-casting) of Johnny Depp as Grindelwald. Fantastic Beasts began its life in 2016 as a historical wizarding world romp involving magical creatures and starring Marius from Les Misérables in a bow tie, and for a while, all was well.

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These days, however, anything associated with Rowling—who has quintupled down on her now widely-known transphobia—feels cursed. Once-loyal fans have rightfully abandoned her in droves, and the second Beasts movie, which stuck with Johnny Depp despite his very public controversies, was panned as incoherent and overdone. (Rowling wrote the screenplay.) Even Jude Law in a snazzy costume as a young Albus Dumbledore couldn’t save this ungainly creature.

Some actors from the franchise have since denounced Rowling and taken stands for trans rights. But Warner Bros. is sticking to their commitment to the bit and an apparent plan for five whole movies in this universe. And so the third film recently revealed its title: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

This is where I stop feeling bad for the person or persons behind the Beasts Twitter account, because they are currently committing a cardinal Internet marketing sin. The account has been hiding lots of Twitter replies to the movie title announcement. This, of course, invokes the Streisand effect, wherein “an attempt to hide, remove, or censor information has the unintended consequence of increasing awareness of that information.”

Suddenly, everyone’s attention is being drawn to those hidden replies, and more and more people are engaging and producing content in the thread that Beasts/Warner Bros. doesn’t want seen. And by hiding the replies, the account also just makes it easier to view all of that offending content en masse for our viewing pleasure. If this is the reaction to the posting of a title card reveal alone, I cannot even begin to imagine what lies in wait for us as more information and publicity about the movie is rolled out.

The Beasts account has not hidden many critical reactions from what appears to be a legion of Johnny Depp fans incensed that the actor was asked to resign as bad wizard Grindelwald. (Mads Mikkelsen, who deserves better, is taking on the role for the third film.) So while many other replies in the title announcement thread are hidden (and some pro-Depp replies with curse words), there is a viewable raft of content like this.

If I had to see it, so do you:

Yeah. So.

Now, granted, quite a bit of the written content that was hidden was rather sexual in nature, as people (in this case, hilariously) trolled the movie. Many who are outraged about Rowling’s harmful stances are Extremely Online, and this sort of thing is what they do best. It is a losing game to try and fight it. The title centering around Dumbledore only provoked this reaction further, considering that the character is at this point bound up in how Rowling revealed that he was gay to much fanfare in 2007 (which feels like a century ago) but has done nothing to actually let Dumbledore evidence that.

Again I feel must tell the social media folks at Warner Bros. that hiding content like “the sexnuts of dunglefuck” is only going to bring more attention to “the sexnuts of dunglefuck” and cause more people to reply with things like “the sexnuts of dunglefuck.”

Here is a smattering of some of these NSFW (now hidden) sentiments:

There are quite a few in this vein! However, some more innocuous replies were also hidden—for example, this legitimate criticism:

Or legitimate plot concerns.

Or this succinct reply telling Rowling “fuck you” in Portuguese.

Or simple riffs on the title.

If you’re on Twitter, here’s how to see those forbidden replies all in one place:

We await the PR campaign for Fantastic Beasts: The Sexnuts of Dunglefuck with much anticipation.

(via Twitter, image: Warner Bros.)

Here are some other things that weren’t hidden from us today:

  • The terrible GOP-led “audit” of the 2020 election results in Arizona has found that Joe Biden did, in fact, win. (via NPR)
  • Once again: Trump definitely lost. (via Vice)
  • In other news, Rudy Giuliani has been banned from Fox News for three months. (via Politico)
  • After removing their Robert E. Lee statue, Richmond, VA has unveiled an “Emancipation and Freedom” monument. (via WTKR)
  • Two former cast members of Broadway’s Jagged Little Pill musical have accused the production of “harm to trans and non-binary communities.” (via Deadline)
  • The largest space telescope will change how we see the universe. (via AppleNews)
  • Singer Billie Eilish said she lost 100,000 followers because “people are scared of big boobs.” (via Yahoo)
  • If you must know, Elon Musk and Grimes have apparently broken up. (via PageSix)
  • Some headlines should be preserved: “James Marsters on ‘Buffy,’ a Violent Altercation with Joss Whedon, and John Barrowman’s Penis” (via Pajiba)
  • A great breakdown of the problems in Dear Evan Hansen. (via the Los Angeles Times)

A good Tweet:

Happy Friday to all who celebrate!

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.

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