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Zack Snyder Praises ‘Smart’ Use of ‘Snyder Cut’ Bots

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For Zack Snyder, a win is a win. Earlier this year, Rolling Stone uncovered a WarnerMedia report revealing that fans used bots and other inauthentic users to boost the campaign for the release of the director’s four-hour-long cut of Justice League. The bots were allegedly part of a social media movement that turned toxic and resulted in online attacks, cyber harassment, and death threats toward Warner Bros. executives. Looking back on the situation in a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Snyder brushed off any criticism or concern about how the so-called SnyderVerse legion operated, saying all that matters is that his film eventually came out.

“The truth is? It doesn’t matter. The movie got made,” Snyder said. “If they were smart enough to employ bots in this thing, then they won. That movie has no business existing — and it does.”

The 2021 rerelease ultimately earned Warner Bros. more than $100 million.

Becky Wanta, chief information officer and chief technology officer at the cybersecurity software company Q5id, examined SnyderVerse-related data from the months leading up to the film’s HBO Max release. “There are certain patterns that bots give off that we saw here,” she told Rolling Stone last year. “They arrive at almost the same time in huge numbers. And many times the origin of thousands or even millions of messages can be traced to a single source or two. Sometimes, they can be traced to unusual servers in remote countries. And their content will be precisely similar.”

In January 2021, WarnerMedia commissioned a series of reports from a third-party cybersecurity firm out of concern for the safety of its employees. At that time, gruesome and threatening images had started to surface in the online community backing Snyder, whose original 2017 Justice League release was unfavorably received. According to two reports obtained by Rolling Stone, at least 13 percent of the accounts that took part in the conversation about the Snyder Cut were deemed fake, well above the three to five percent that cyber experts say they typically see on any trending topic.

Those reports, however, were quietly kept, so much so that their general existence became something of a myth within Warner Bros. The main report, dated April 2021 and titled “SnyderCut
Social Media Presence,” offered a chilling glimpse inside the powerful movement. 

Trending

“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 read. “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.”

Snyder did address the legions of real fans behind the #ReleasetheSnyderCut campaign, telling the Hollywood Reporter: “I’m not going to comment on the details of whether they are good or bad, whether they are toxic or bullying. That’s in every chatroom. It’s what comes with the internet. But I do know that the work they did on some level was good. I can say for a fact that they did good. That is undeniable.”


For Zack Snyder, a win is a win. Earlier this year, Rolling Stone uncovered a WarnerMedia report revealing that fans used bots and other inauthentic users to boost the campaign for the release of the director’s four-hour-long cut of Justice League. The bots were allegedly part of a social media movement that turned toxic and resulted in online attacks, cyber harassment, and death threats toward Warner Bros. executives. Looking back on the situation in a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Snyder brushed off any criticism or concern about how the so-called SnyderVerse legion operated, saying all that matters is that his film eventually came out.

“The truth is? It doesn’t matter. The movie got made,” Snyder said. “If they were smart enough to employ bots in this thing, then they won. That movie has no business existing — and it does.”

The 2021 rerelease ultimately earned Warner Bros. more than $100 million.

Becky Wanta, chief information officer and chief technology officer at the cybersecurity software company Q5id, examined SnyderVerse-related data from the months leading up to the film’s HBO Max release. “There are certain patterns that bots give off that we saw here,” she told Rolling Stone last year. “They arrive at almost the same time in huge numbers. And many times the origin of thousands or even millions of messages can be traced to a single source or two. Sometimes, they can be traced to unusual servers in remote countries. And their content will be precisely similar.”

In January 2021, WarnerMedia commissioned a series of reports from a third-party cybersecurity firm out of concern for the safety of its employees. At that time, gruesome and threatening images had started to surface in the online community backing Snyder, whose original 2017 Justice League release was unfavorably received. According to two reports obtained by Rolling Stone, at least 13 percent of the accounts that took part in the conversation about the Snyder Cut were deemed fake, well above the three to five percent that cyber experts say they typically see on any trending topic.

Those reports, however, were quietly kept, so much so that their general existence became something of a myth within Warner Bros. The main report, dated April 2021 and titled “SnyderCut
Social Media Presence,” offered a chilling glimpse inside the powerful movement. 

Trending

“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 read. “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.”

Snyder did address the legions of real fans behind the #ReleasetheSnyderCut campaign, telling the Hollywood Reporter: “I’m not going to comment on the details of whether they are good or bad, whether they are toxic or bullying. That’s in every chatroom. It’s what comes with the internet. But I do know that the work they did on some level was good. I can say for a fact that they did good. That is undeniable.”

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