The umbrella term for these new subsets of super fans, who devotedly discuss their idols’ merits across the Internet, is “stans,” a nickname cribbed from the Eminem song “Stan” that appeared on the rapper’s “Marshall Mathers LP” from 2002.

In the song, the M.C. tells a fictional tale of a fan named Stan who becomes so maniacally obsessed with Mr. Mathers that he murders his girlfriend and kills himself by the track’s end. Now the term has been playfully appropriated to describe a new breed of celebrity zealot for the digital era: an impassioned believer who may spend days crowing about how flawless a favorite artist looked at a party for an energy drink, or refuse to admit that a lyric was flubbed on “The View.” Ask stans why the artists they champion failed to make a dent on the iTunes chart this week and risk an online threat.

“Stans are a built-in support system,” said Tamar Anitai, the managing editor of MTV’s Web site. “They are very much aware of how the public sees this person, and they are here to protect him or her.”