The phandom often refers to "2012 Dan" and the awful times that were had in the phandom in 2012. What's that all about?
Short summary: Mainly in 2012 but also early 2013, as they got suddenly more popular, Dan and Phil had a tense period in relation to their fans, where they openly denied phan, acted defensive about their sexuality, and demanded more privacy in general from their viewers. Both of them participated in this tenseness but Phil mostly did so by ignoring the issue and talking about other things. Dan on the other hand was very vocal about it and often came across as very defensive, so he's much more remembered for his reaction. Most infamous is his now deleted "customer service blog" on Tumblr where he answered viewer questions, often bluntly and many times resorting to ridiculing people for believing phan was real. Many who followed Dan (and Phil) at the time took offence at his tone, and to this day the year 2012 has a lingering bad reputation within the fandom. Different people of course view the way he acted differently.
As opinions are divided, here are some common ones:
- 1. Dan was rude in 2012 and never acknowledged it or apologised for it, for all I know he's still an ass.
2. Dan was rude but it's understandable, he had his reasons, and he's not like that anymore so that's fine.
3. Dan wasn't rude or was completely justified in being rude - other people were being rude to him!
4. [special snowflake option]
Here is a timeline of major changes that occurred in Deppy's private and professional lives in 2012:
Customer service screenshots for reference:
Video compilation of Dan denying he's gay for reference:
Pro tip! See The Dan Attraction Playlist for a comprehensive, impartial collection of Dan's statements about sexuality and relationships, not only in 2012-2013 but before and after that, too. It makes it easy to it's changed over time. See also The Phil Attraction Playlist.