K-pop fans have emerged as valuable allies in the advancement of current social issues in the U.S.
For years, followers of multiple fandoms have used their numbers to influence changes within the industry, but pressing matters in the last several weeks have united them to take action beyond their love of music.
Our Anonymous K-Pop division is now attacking the #BlueLivesMatter hashtag.
— Anonymous (@YourAnonCentral) June 3, 2020
Here are five recent times K-pop fans exercised social activism on the internet:
1. They deliberately suppressed trending K-pop hashtags to make way for #BlackLivesMatter.
We request everyone to please stop using the Sour Candy celebratory tag. Instead, let us pay our respects to George, Breonna, Ahmaud, and all of the victims of this inhumane violence and injustice.
— BLACKPINK Asia #HYLT (@BLACKPINKAsia) May 28, 2020
K-pop-related hashtags almost always dominate trends on Twitter. After George Floyd’s death on May 25, K-pop fans rallied behind the Black Lives Matter movement by posting supportive messages using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
Blackpink fans, affectionately known as Blinks, especially contributed to the cause. Instead of tweeting about Lady Gaga and the quartet’s “Sour Candy” — which came out three days after Floyd’s death — they came in solidarity with Black Lives.
2. They flooded the Dallas Police Department with fancams to stop cops from tracking protesters.
here’s a video, i’ll dm you some morepic.twitter.com/VihMsrI81M
— sterre ✿ (@marvelous70s) May 31, 2020
Amid demonstrations against police brutality after Floyd’s death, the Dallas Police Department asked people to report “illegal activity protests” through its iWatch Dallas app.
Apparently, K-pop fans got wind of the call, so they spammed the app with fancams, or fan-recorded videos of K-pop performances, to protect protesters.
The following day, Dallas police announced that the app suffered “technical difficulties,” though they did not cite what caused them.
Due to technical difficulties iWatch Dallas app will be down temporarily. pic.twitter.com/zksA1hkVhV
— Dallas Police Dept (@DallasPD) May 31, 2020
3. They spammed hashtags used to antagonize #BlackLivesMatter.
— ♡︎ gigi ♡︎ (@gigi_hadidn_t) June 3, 2020
While many have expressed support for the BLM movement, several slogans emerged to criticize it. These include #AllLivesMatter, #WhiteLivesMatter and #BlueLivesMatter.
K-pop fans came to the rescue by using the hashtags to spam, yet again, fancams. As a result, the original messages endorsing those hashtags were drowned out.
4. They matched their idols’ contribution to the BLM movement. Literally.
— Variety (@Variety) June 6, 2020
BTS made a $1 million donation to the BLM movement. Soon after Variety reported the good deed, ARMY, the septet’s legion of fans, managed to raise $1 million for Black organizations.
One in an ARMY, a charity-focused collective, tracked the incoming donations.
“We’ve run big projects before, but the amount of support for this project is overwhelming,” a representative said in a statement. “We truly didn’t know whether the goal would be reached. We’re so proud that ARMY have once again channeled their power for good and are making a real impact in the fight against anti-Black racism.”
.@BTS_twt fans match BTS’ one million dollar donation to Black Lives Matter.
— One in an ARMY⁷ Charity Project (@OneInAnARMY) June 8, 2020
5. They teamed up with TikTokers to embarrass President Donald Trump.
Many of the people who signed up for tickets to the Trump campaign rally in Tulsa, are actually TikTok users and kpop stans trolling Donald Trump.
— Covie (@roper_93) June 17, 2020
On Saturday, Trump held a campaign rally at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The venue had seats for over 19,000 people, but only a little more than 6,000 attendees showed up.
What happened? It turns out that K-pop fans and TikTokers teamed up to reserve as many seats as possible, without the intention of showing up.
kpop stans doing gods work for the tulsa trump rally pic.twitter.com/GNaXaRqlPK
— ་་ ཀྭཇཉ (@iwdfcftbatk) June 21, 2020
Feature Image (representation only) via Drew Angerer / Getty Images