What did Dan do in 2012 that was so bad?

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What did Dan do in 2012 that was so bad? Image

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]
It's worth to note that 2012 might have a worse reputation than it deserves sometimes:
Catallena wrote:As someone ~who was there~ I do think 2012 gets exaggerated a lot. It wasn't all terrible. Even looking back on it, it was mostly.. weird, confusing and awkward. One moment Phil would try to get Dan to come closer only to get in the damn shot and he'd get pissy, the next they'd be singing The Phantom Of The Opera together. 2012 was literally just 'One step forward, two steps back' all the time, but it wasn't the apocalypse people make it out to be.

It wasn't exactly fun to have Dan going off at us and have the rest of the phandom see phan shippers as the actual reincarnation of Satan but we all survived. We quite enjoyed taking the piss out of their hypocritical no homo shit as well. Which might be mean when you now think about how stressed they might've been about everything but different times yo.
captainspacecoat wrote:I think the people freaking out about a potential return to 2012 weren't actually around during that time. I started watching them in 2012 and was majorly obsessed through 2013 (before getting bored and then returning last year), and can say with surety that they really have nothing to fear.

Firstly, I think a lot of people who've started watching more recently have a skewed view of what '2012' (which I think also refers to 2013) was actually like, and tend to overdramatise it as this awful period of intense turmoil between the two, so much so that they panic at the slightest perception of potential tension between dnp.

Having said that, there is a reason that 2012 has the reputation it does and I really have no idea how anyone could look at the way they're behaving in 2017 and liken it to the insecurity and deep discomfort that came with dnp's newfound fame in 2012, and the way that manifested as an over-the-top effort to both reject the idea of phan and imply heterosexuality. 2012 wasn't all bad, but the negative aspects people are thinking of were (in my opinion) in part a result of the fragility of their careers (what with a rapid spike in subscribers and new opportunities with the BBC), the breach of privacy that was the vday leak/s, and the way those things intersected as a desire to keep their relationship private in the face of an insatiably curious audience.

The way dnp behave now doesn't reflect that at all, they're more open and comfortable than they've ever been before. I mean god, I have a vivid memory of Dan wiping his shoe against Phil's leg in a radio show back in 2013, and tumblr went wild with how incredible 2013 phan was and that it couldn't possibly get better than that. It just baffles me that anyone could watch their current videos, where they're so comfortable with touching other and looking at each other and showing affection, and worry that they're going to return to some sort of on-screen discomfort or tension.
Here is a timeline of major changes that occurred in Deppy's private and professional lives in 2012:
oqua wrote:March 2nd - Phil hits 200,000 subscribers
May 5th - Phil starts the Mutual Friend Lie
May 23rd - Dan hits 200,000 subscribers
Summer - No Homo Howell kicks into high gear and Dan starts making explicit "I'm not gay, I like boobs" denials in liveshows
August 1st - Dan hits 300,000 subscribers. (By this point he has surpassed Phil in subs)
August 25th - Phandom finds Dan's brother's social media and he deactivates for the first time
August 28th - Phil hits 300,000 subscribers
September 9th - Dan announces the Customer Service Department tumblr blog
September 16th - Dan starts publicly answering questions on the Customer Service Department blog, in response to rumblings in his tumblr tag about Voldy and a rumored Phan kiss in the background of a vlog
October 31st - Voldy leaks for the second time and circulates on Tumblr (the first time it leaked was September 17th, 2011)
December 25th - D&P do their second BBC Radio 1 Christmas Special, in 2013 they will have their own weekly live radio show
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.
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