[NSFW] Online Cultures: sharing stigmatic status – “weeabos”

I am not a “weeaboo” but continuing with the collection of notable sub-cultures and communities I’ve encountered on the web over the years, I thought to include something about an online community for which participation requires identifying with a culture entirely different to that which you live in. With apologies to anyone who doesn’t read the NSFW tag as “not safe for work”, this content has profane language, and is presented as dark comedy which may not be to everyone’s liking.  I include it as a stark example of the following quote:

“Because of their online community experiences with others who shared their own stigmatic status, they considered themselves less different, benefited from the increase in self-acceptance, and felt less socially isolated”. Kozinets (2010)

This video encapsulates the above statement on at least two levels

  1. There’s a stigma associated with the YouTube content producer TVFilthyFrank
  2. The subject is about a group of people who benefit from the internet bringing them together, and providing them with the means to enjoy and enforce their cultural norms. (see Kozinets 2010, p28)

However, the YouTube content challenges the acceptance of the “weeabo” culture, and in doing so, draws attention to it, and potentially furthers awareness and draws more people in to it. The language could certainly be seen as derogatory to those participating in the culture. This raises a question about morality online, if online community can form around any subject, is it also fair that any community is open for satire, critique and comment? If the internet is an enabler for creation of community, can it also bring about the reverse for an online community? I also note that the content producer is putting himself up for being laughed at (rather than with) so perhaps there’s some consolation to the weeaboo community there.


Kozinets, R. V. (2010) Chapter 2 ‘Understanding Culture Online’, Netnography: doing ethnographic research online. London: Sage. pp. 21-40.


“Three decades of research have revealed…..”

….. that online gatherings follow many of the same basic rules as groups that gather in person.” ( Kozinets 2010, p25)

People are people. However, anonymity and the ability to switch off (or on) your community at the flick of a switch or at least a few mouse clicks, shows up in some research as being a factor when considering the activity of individuals within the community.

I will take a view on this during my microethnography, however, my experience of online communities suggests that this point will be borne out. I’d be surprised if I find otherwise, particularly with my choice of online course: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/e-learning-health/2/todo/7955.


Kozinets, R. V. (2010) Chapter 2 ‘Understanding Culture Online’, Netnography: doing ethnographic research online. London: Sage. pp. 21-40.