In stadiums sports organisations aim to strengthen this process, for instance with the placement of mirrors, video cameras & public screens.In an online environment misbehaving fans should also be taken out of their perceived anonymity and personally confronted, on an individual basis.It’s very important to stop undesired behaviour as early as possible, because the bigger it grows, the further it deindividuates, the more people will feel comfortable misbehaving.Fans do not only connect to sports through stars and places but also through the communication and social currency it generates.This factor is critical to the popularity of fan-zones, travelling to away games, viewing parties, sports-bars and – more recently – the dramatic ‘socialization’ of the sports fan.The consequence of this socialization is a fan base that is easier to reach and harder to engage.
When disinhibition is combined with deindividuation – a loss of self-awareness and a sense of diffused responsibility – fans simply don’t care anymore about what anyone else might think or feel.
Some fans don’t even have to physically attend the game to show the disinhibition effect.
Some fans get slightly over-excited after a dunk, feel devastated after a loss, have mild anger control issues or are simply pleasantly insane by nature (that last link is from Those Lil Rabbits but its still hilarious).
It may be the fans themselves who can best prevent such incidents.
Peer pressure can curb unruly behavior before it begins to escalate.
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