For various reasons, the day came when the Doom developers realised they had to push their launch date. Game developers typically struggle for years on end to create a great game — and Doom Eternal was no exception. Thousands and thousands of hours worth of development suddenly hanged in the balance.

Here’s how Id Software communicated the delay on Doom’s Facebook page:

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An example of corporate transparency.

For the developers at Id Software, this turned out to be quite the breeze since their customer base had nothing but respect and support for the decision. Here are a few typical reactions from the comment section:

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Even though the Doom fanbase on Facebook predominantly consist of a demographic (young to middle-aged white males who enjoys violent video games) regularly described and portrayed as a menace to society, the Doom fans are nothing but respectful, forgiving, and supportive. And quite eloquent, at that.

Personally, I’ve helped many brands to deal with messy comment sections filled to the brim with trolls, slander, and hate. Beforehand, most brands like to think that this is a quick fix for any social media natural; that I can somehow help them craft a clever post that will make the haters disappear. Obviously, that strategy is BS.

I regard having true fans as the zenith of having great public relations. As defined by Kevin Kelly, the legendary founder of Wired Magazine, there are something to be said about true fans:

“A true fan is defined as a fan that will buy anything you produce. These diehard fans will drive 200 miles to see you sing; they will buy the hardback and paperback and audible versions of your book; they will purchase your next figurine sight unseen; they will pay for the “best-of” DVD version of your free Youtube channel; they will come to your chef’s table once a month.”

The question isn’t, “Why are there rude people in your comment section?” The real question is, “Why aren’t there anyone defending your brand?”

The insight that should hit some community managers like a ton of bricks is that many brands have zero true fans. It’s therefore never the question of how to make bad people disappear; it’s about how to attract, reward, and empower your true fans. In short: You get the type of brand audience you build.

How many true fans does your brand have?

Photo by James Best on Unsplash.