It was said that The Snyder Cut’s online fan base was full of bots and bad-faith actors.

Because fans are known for being mean, Warner Bros. started looking into cybersecurity.

Even though there were a lot of real people campaigning for #TheSnyderCut to come out before Warner Bros. said it would come out in 2021, new reporting from Rolling Stone suggests that a lot of the movie’s social media buzz was caused by bots and fake accounts.

When Warner Bros. said last year that it was going to release an extended cut of its 2017 Justice League movie, many people saw this as both a victory for director Zack Snyder and his very online fans and a sign that Warner Bros. was giving in. Snyder’s supporters said for years that the movement started because people saw the cut that Snyder’s replacement, Joss Whedon, made and didn’t like it. But Rolling Stone got copies of the multiple cybersecurity reports that Warner Bros. asked for and found that at least 13% of the conversations on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram about the Snyder Cut were written by “fake authors.”

The 2021 report found that “one identified community was made up of real and fake authors who spread negative content about WarnerMedia for not restoring the “SnyderVerse”.” “Also, among the people the authors looked at on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, they found three main leaders, one on each platform. These leaders got the most attention and have a lot of followers, which gives them the power to change people’s minds.”

It’s not surprising at all that bots and networks of accounts pretending to be real people were part of the throbbing mass that worked hard to make the Snyder Cut happen. What makes you think twice, though, is Rolling Stone’s suggestion that Snyder used his fandom to make it look like there was a Snyder Cut when there wasn’t one, and to get Geoff Johns and Jon Berg’s names taken off the film’s credits when it was finally made.

The situation with Zack Snyder’s Justice League was made worse by the fact that a lot of new footage had to be shot and money had to be spent in order to finish it, even though the movie was originally billed as a director’s cut. Instead, Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which was made by Warner Bros., spent an extra $60 million on post-production and editing costs, even though the DCEU had already moved on from the story where the Justice League fought Darkseid.

It’s hard to believe that Warner Bros. is happy with its decision to spend millions of dollars to reshoot a movie that came out four years ago and that people didn’t really like to begin with. But it’s easy to see how Rolling Stone’s report could make other studios rethink how they try to tap into rabid fandoms, especially at a time when it seems like all it takes to get movies back in theatres is for mediocre memes about them to go viral in a big way.