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Lemons to Lemonade

It is unbelievable that pretending to be your favorite Star Wars character would cause a lot of trauma and grief on social media. But it does. Many people suffer from harassment unlike that has EVER been seen in person. When we hear of cyberbullying, we think of some kids, teasing another kid because they are “funny looking” or act like a “nerdy geek”. Today, what kids do is put that all on social media and create fake accounts meant to ridicule young people. Terrible. But they do it to adults, too. Some of these individuals doing the ridiculing ARE adults. And it is not due to being “funny looking” or being a “geeky nerd”.

This is what cyberbullying looks like during portrayal:

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The bullying accounts are fake. The person who is being bullied is not present. Even if they victim was present, it would cause a frenzied free for all attack. Reporting and delete does not stop the attack because the individuals who are doing this are appearing as creating “copy account” as “friends”. THAT means they have more than 2 accounts. So the victim does not know who is attacking them. The purpose is to make the victim leave, defeated, unable to use social media and not be sociable.

How does one NOT be sociable on social media?

You develop standards!

SWAG 77 has standards of excellence. We have these standards in place to protect people, most of them young people, from cyberbullying so that they can be creative with the genre content. So that they are free to develop content creatively without being harassed. Our first standard is all members have to pass a quiz and agree to our terms of service.

Our terms of services are outlined in these three key documents:

Privacy Policy

Terms of Service using SWAG 77 resources 

Guidelines for page use

What each of these standards have done is set the modicum of behavior we will uphold for ourselves as well for our guest fans who post on our pages. The last document is the most important one, as describe next.

Guidelines for page use were created because fans feel they are entitled to be disrespectful to anyone on social media, including the content creators. Civil discourse cannot happen when comments are inappropriately made. We are left to ban the individual and delete them, and we do, but often we find the same individuals return under the guise of different accounts to wreak havoc on our system.

So to filter that out, SWAG 77 ONLY USES FACEBOOK FAN PAGES!

We do not permit ANY fake impostor profile accounts on Facebook at all – we know who they are because they are usually characters from the show.

If a page is used and has not undergone our process of character creation, we do not accept them. They can speak to us like a fan and ONLY a fan. They cannot be a part of ANY story. All they can do is put their input and only OUTSIDE of performances. They have to be a member of SWAG 77 to perform with us.

After the quiz, there is an audition for 3 weeks to determine the level of commitment to managing a decent page. If they want to create their own character on Facebook, they can do that with us, and we will evaluate them critically to help them with their fan fictions.

However we were told by LUCASFILM LTD to only portray canon characters, in the continuity of STAR WARS and within the TIMELINE! That means no Boba Fett in the Knights of the Old Republic living 4000 years.

We create canon characters so well that we had a fan table at Star Wars Celebration VI highlighting our efforts. What we found is, after the young people watched the show, and looked on the official website and Facebook, they would come to OUR pages to interact. There was some discord at first, but when we placed these GUIDELINES they stopped.

We still get some “abrasive fans” that feel they are above Mr. George Lucas, and they are good for story arc development, but they hardly get far in our system because they feel they know it all. In this business, it is best to block them so they can do something else. There is no convincing them otherwise. Engaging them is superfluous.

But when the fans are excited, read the material, and are willing to contribute, then stories are AWESOME:

Like this one – Star Wars: Kyr’tsad and the Box featuring Bo-Katan

SWAG 77: Star Wars Kyr’tsad and The Box by Isle Sanctuary Creative Artists

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Published by Star Wars Actors Guild 77

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