Mitski - First Love / Late Spring
May 6, 2023
Wanted to take this time to talk about the AOTY community rather than music, specifically toxicity in the community that’s gotten considerably worse recently. I don’t like getting super serious about issues within the community, but this is something I had to get off my chest. And no, I’m not talking about the ongoing problem with bots invading every stan-heavy album page, creating accounts to do nothing but rate their favorite albums a 100; instead, I’m talking about regular users of the website. What’s the root of toxicity? Well, it’s very complicated. For one, the influx of new users can be somewhat attributed to this issue, though I feel like many people just say this is the sole reason for it all when it’s not. There have always been a few bad apples in the community; with the user base getting larger, it’s just simple math that the number of bad apples would increase. Even if the ratio of passionate music listeners who are enjoyable to talk with vs dickbags stays the same, the loud minority gets louder. In recent years, AOTY has become a more community-driven alternative to RYM. Or at least that’s what I see people saying (and I, personally, would have said the same a few years ago), though I feel like as the focus on the community on AOTY gets larger, the toxicity only seems to increase, and it becomes less enjoyable to engage with discussions on the site.

Take, for example, some recent controversy involving a user. I won’t mention that user by name so as not to incite any more unwarranted hate, though they said some things that other users had issues with. Anyone in the AOTY community right now probably has an idea of who I’m talking about, but I’m still going to refrain from using any names so to not fan the flames of the issue. Now, I don’t believe this user is bigoted like some people are saying, I just think they said some poorly worded things. I’ve seen them treat users who are minorities with the same level of both love and hostility as other ones. But I’m not here to give my opinion on this person- as a straight white boi who comes from a relatively wealthy household and is absolutely NOT a minority I don’t think it’s my place to say whether or not they were in the right- I’m instead here to discuss people’s reaction to it.

This should go without saying, but spending all day sitting on AOTY and talking about a guy who reviews music on a niche internet platform in a negative light, going under every comment left about them to recite your point and affirm your beliefs, isn’t the healthiest thing to do. The user has a relatively large following for AOTY, but they’re not someone with millions of mindless stans posting ignorant generalizations of entire communities of people and possibly negatively influencing the minds of many impressionable fans. He’s a regular guy who has a decently popular account on a niche music site. At the end of the day, the block button is right there. If you really have an issue, giving the user attention, flooding his comments, and making the problem more widespread isn’t fixing anything; it’s only really making the lingering toxic feelings that have sprung up out of the community recently even worse. AOTY is turning into the Twitter of music-reviewing sites.

Though this is just one example- fans flocking to defend their favorite artists, throwing hurtful comments at others in the process, people attacking the opinion of others, etc. When I first joined this site, just shy of three and a half years ago, the main AOTY community was probably 30-40 people big. There were plenty of users active on the site, though the actual community aspect, with people who regularly talked, of the site itself was much smaller than it currently is. There was very little toxic arguing between users back then. Chat room comment sections have become more and more prominent on the site, and a bulk of the people I’ve seen attacking the user mentioned above are in these comment sections. I’m not saying these comment section chat rooms are all bad- in fact, I’ve met some of great friends on them- but they make people get too invested in a niche internet music reviewing site and spend too much time obsessing over a website.

What’s the point of all this probably somewhat incoherent rambling which I whopped up in a couple of minutes? It’s don’t spend too much time on this website. At the end of the day, it’s never that deep- sometimes, you’re getting too worked up about petty internet drama and it’s about time to log out. I don’t harbor any negative feelings to either party involved in the situation mentioned earlier, but people need to realize when it's time to log off, go outside, and smell the roses. AOTY is a great little community when you find the right people to talk to- don’t ruin it with an incessant barrage of toxicity. While things like bots are uncontrollable by the average user, keeping the community safe and fun to interact with is in the hands of this site’s user base to control.

Anyway, point of this little rant, stream Mitski, listen to that new billy woods album, give more melt-banana albums that orange must hear, and get sound of silver to a 90. Chode out ✌️

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Townie is better imo, but still a great Mitski single 🙏
A good and really important message that needed addressing so thanks for doing that

But also I second Windy Townie better
Yes, people are definitely on this site too much lol. I almost never take part in this site's drama but I've noticed much more toxicity in recent months compared to when I joined in mid-2021
@Windy so true
Genuinely thank you for writing this <3
First off the melt banana statement is so true and also thanks for addressing this even though I only joined about two month ago and haven’t seen too much of this toxicity I think it’s very important to remind people that we are all humans and the internet isn’t everything
oh lord Chode made another one🔥🔥🔥🔥
nailed it on the fucking head!
y'all saying townie better (which it is) as if "i don't smoke" and "drunk walk home" don't exist
real talk tho, i'm glad u brought this up, but i'm pretty sure this community will soon be as toxic as rym in a few years
wait what happened i don't go on album comments anymore
said it before, will say it again, I love you Chode
This needed to be said, thanks for saying it 🥂
Thank you Chode, this was so necessary :)
Exactly what needed to be said
WWWWW I agree completely
@rater_ratings just read the comments under remi's jessie ware review lol
Good work Chodester!
i have no idea what anyone is talking about
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