One Direction fans often get a bum deal. There is no doubt that One Direction fans are loyal, passionate, and even protective of Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, and Liam Payne, and on occasion, that passion spills over into unacceptable behavior. The growth of social media in recent years has seen a huge growth in so-called “pop fandoms,” and One Direction fans are a huge part of that part of pop culture.
There can be no doubt that the internet has been a huge boon, as it allows instant communication across the world. This instant connectivity allows music fans to connect with like-minded people across the planet with ease. One Direction fan accounts proliferate, and the band members have many millions of followers each.
That said, no one would deny that the internet has a dark side. Cyberbullying has become a real problem in general, and the One Direction fandom has not been immune from this insidious and distasteful behavior. Of course, One Direction fans are by no means unique in this respect. In the 1980s, the U.K. and Europe were swamped by a plague of soccer hooliganism. Rival fans engaged in extreme violence that, on occasion, ended in death. In 2013, a Channel 4 documentary, Crazy About One Direction, caused outrage for its warped portrayal of One Direction fans.
Of course, many would argue that every stereotype is underpinned by a grain of truth and, as was reported by the Inquisitr earlier this month, a group of One Direction fans recognized that truth and made the decision to confront it head-on. As a result, One Direction NDA [No Drama Allowed] was born.
— OneDirectionNDA (@OneDirectionNDA) December 27, 2015
The concept of One Direction NDA was a simple one. The aim was to create a “safe space” on the internet where One Direction fans could interact freely and where fans were encouraged to stand up against cyberbullying. The results have been nothing short of outstanding. In less than a year, many thousands of One Direction fans have joined the drive to stamp out bullying within the One Direction fandom.
As a result, One Direction NDA was nominated for an award by cyberbullying charity Cybersmile Foundation, which recognized the One Direction fans standing against bullying. To date, over 77,000 One Direction fans have come together to stand against bullying within the One Direction fandom and beyond.
Sadly, the mainstream press has largely chosen to ignore the remarkable efforts of these dedicated and inspirational One Direction fans, although Sugarscape did report that One Direction NDA had scooped the Extra Smile award.
— OneDirectionNDA (@OneDirectionNDA) December 21, 2015
As is so often the case, it seems that bad news is more newsworthy than good news. One Direction NDA has demonstrated that the internet and pop-culture fandoms can be a massive force for good. By encouraging One Direction fans to stand against bullying, the group of fans who formed One Direction NDA can justifiably be proud of their efforts, music can and should be a unifying force, a force for good. Music should bring joy and love into people’s lives, and these One Direction fans have demonstrated their determination to ensure that this is the case.
One Direction NDA is not the only One Direction fans who have been busy doing good things. Over the past few years, another group of One Direction fans has been busy raising money for charities supported by the members of the band. To date, 1D Fans Give has raised over $168,000 for a variety of causes. Most recently, a charity drive raised over $28,000 for the Eden Dora Trust in honor of Louis Tomlinson’s 24th birthday on Christmas eve.
These big-hearted One Direction fans show no sign of slowing down anytime soon. The latest drive in honor of Harry Styles birthday on February 1 has already raised over $17,500 of its $22,000 target. This year, the proceeds will again go to the London LGBT Switchboard, a service Harry has supported in the past.
The people behind the One Direction NDA have launched a new project that is sure to be of interest to One Direction fans. 1D History NDA is a new project that aims to chart One Direction’s journey from X-Factor hopefuls to international super stars. Centered on the Twitter account @1DHistoryNDA the team hopes to harness memories from One Direction’s career to date and as such they are sharing videos, photographs and stories from the very beginning. This sounds like the answer to a One Direction fans dreams and will certainly help fans to get a daily dose of One Direction whilst the boys are on their well-earned break.
[Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP]