There’s been a lot of unusual activity surrounding the YouTube trailer for the new Ghostbusters movie, and I’m not talking about the spooky kind. The trailer has received an incredible number of dislikes, and the comments section… well, you’ve got people who are complaining about censorship while going on about SJWs and Hitler. You’re getting moderated? Jee, I wonder why…
You know, of course, why all these little men are so upset: somebody – oh no – has made a film. A film that stars women. Not just that, of course. It’s a film starring women that happens to be based upon a film that starred men. A film that was made a really long time ago. The horror.
Of course, I could just be a silly old feminist or, perhaps worse, somebody who wants to see a film that nobody else gives a stuff about. I might also be seeing outrage where none exists.
So let’s investigate. Today, because I’m bored, I’ve visited YouTube and looked at the trailers for thirty films. Most are from some of the highest-grossing films of all time, and I’ve also thrown in a few others that I’ve actually managed to go and see. I’ve taken a note of the views for those trailers, plus the likes and dislikes for each one. I’ve then calculated the percentages of likes and dislikes per trailer and put all that through the mill to see what it throws up.
For the likes I’ve produced a graph for the films excluding Ghostbusters, and then a graph for all of the films. Sans Ghostbusters we get the following. It’s a small sample but you can see a (very) rough bell curve – normal distribution, as you’d expect:
And with Ghostbusters in the mix we get this. Again, a bell curve. Nothing odd here. A small percentage of people liking stuff in a very normal way:
So that’s good, isn’t it. Normal distribution when looking at a bunch of different trailers. In the like department everything is fine and groovy.
Now let’s have a look at those dislikes. First up is a graph excluding the Ghostbusters dislikes. Once again we get a (really very rough) bell curve. Hey, this normal distribution thing is great. Just what we’d expect from normal behaviour across a population:
And the dislikes graph including Ghostbusters:
Ah… It’s hard to see what’s actually going on there, so you can click on that graph to enlarge it. I know, I know, it’s still not very clear. Basically, that small blip on the right? That’s the new Ghostbusters trailer’s dislikes. And the small cluster on the left? Oh that? That’s the bell curve of the other 29 films. Well shit, that’s a bit… unusual, right?
Looking at it another way, the mean and median likes (excluding Ghostbusters) are 0.37% and 0.36% respectively. The mean and median likes including Ghostbusters are 0.38% and 0.37%. In other words, Ghostbusters doesn’t buck the like trend.
However, the mean and median dislikes (excluding Ghostbusters) are 0.015% and 0.014% respectively. The mean and median dislikes including Ghostbusters are 0.708% and 0.014% respectively. And it’s that mean which gives the game away. 0.708%. That’s not the result of a random increase in the numbers of trailer dislikers just happening to visit at the same time. It’s a massive statistical anomaly and it’s indicative of an orchestrated hate campaign.
Lots of people are putting out the old “we don’t hate women, we just think the film is crap” routine, but ever since the female Ghostbusters was announced there’s been nothing but hate. And, also, nobody has seen the film yet. Oh people can cry “SJW” as hard as they want – it means nothing (it grew out of Gamergate – enough said).
You know, there’s something strange in this part of the internet neighbourhood. It sounds like Ecto 1 but it’s just a bunch of silly little people going “wahhh wahhh wahhh”. As Paul Feig said, this criticism is “vile, misogynistic shit”. Your childhood has not been ruined. Get over it. Watch something else.
For the rest of you, enjoy the trailer:
Wikipedia – 2010 in film – Highest-grossing films
Wikipedia – 2011 in film – Highest-grossing films
Wikipedia – 2012 in film – Highest-grossing films
Wikipedia – 2013 in film – Highest-grossing films
Wikipedia – 2014 in film – Highest-grossing films
Wikipedia – 2015 in film – Highest-grossing films
All links accessed on 6 March 2016.
Film trailers watched: Alice in Wonderland, Ant-Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Bridesmaids, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, District 9, Frozen, Furious 7, Ghostbusters, Godzilla, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Inside Out, Interstellar, Iron Man 3, Jurassic World, Man of Steel, Men in Black 3, Minions, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Pacific Rim, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Spectre, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Hangover Part II, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, The Martian, Thor: The Dark World, Toy Story 3.