On social networks, encouraged by their favourite artists, Korean pop fans are organising themselves to expand the Afro-American activist movement.
As protests continue in the United States, a week after the death of George Floyd on 25 May when police in Minneapolis, Minnesota arrested him, Americans denouncing racism and police violence have found strong support online: K-pop (Korean pop) fans.
The specialist music site Billboard explains the phenomenon by the fact that Korean music is “an industry strongly inspired and influenced by black music and culture”. While the first to respond to the movement were Korean-American and hip-hop artists, “the impact has spread to many different artists, using their platforms and encouraging their fans to donate, act as allies and act on behalf of Black Lives Matter,” Billboard says.
We’ve seen artists like Jay Park, Tiger JK, Mark Tuan of GOT7 and Amber Liu speak out on social networks. Some have shared petitions, announced donations to the Black Lives Matter movement, and encouraged their subscribers to become informed and educated on these issues.
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Sick of making post’s like this and sick of the same shit happening over and over again. Me being inspired by black culture aside me having black homies aside just as a man and a human being.. to think how helpless he felt and how inhumane he was treated… to think what if that was my dad, or uncle or homie makes me sick to my stomach. Countless INNOCENT UNARMED ppl losing their lives and nobody taking responsibility or being held accountable. Ppl who are supposed to protect and keep the public safe don’t even have the common sense or compassion to know if they are killing somebody innocent? Police Departments and Ppl in position of power not doing anything to provoke change.. all of it makes me sick… the whole system is corrupt… and nobody wants to admit it cause they are all afraid of taking responsibility for countless years of unjust inhumane treatment. Cant even begin fathom how fed up the black community is with so many years of abuse. I Pray to God the truth prevails and i Pray to God ppl who have compassion and empathy are put into a place of power and authority and ppl who abuse their power for their own greed and ego and to feel superior all disappear. Same for the civilians abusing their privilege calling the police and LYING. Act like some Fuckin human beings and may God have mercy on ur souls. #RIPGEORGEFLOYDAdvertisement
“Racial and Cultural Awareness”.
Their fans have obviously followed them in protesting online. If this can be explained in part by the involvement of their favourite artists, Michelle Cho, a professor-researcher at the University of Toronto, also explains it by the fact that in North America “K-pop fan groups are mainly composed of non-white, considerably queer, and very present on social networks. Racial and cultural awareness is a key feature of fan conventions like KCON.
@mhc727 maybe you can weigh in on this
— Marc Steinberg (@msteinbrg) June 1, 2020
However, as the Mashable website noted, K-pop fans have decided to embrace this cause, and put all their knowledge and expertise in social networking to the benefit of Black Lives Matter. Many of them have thus decided to stop taking initiatives to promote their favourite artists (and bring them up among the most discussed topics) to make way for Black Lives Matter. “In a moment of unity, the fans of several K-pop bands decided that there were more important hashtags at the moment,” summarizes the article on the site.
Bringing a hashtag or topic to the top of the trends is not completely trivial. It’s about giving it visibility, and getting people who would never have been interested in a topic to discover and discuss it.
Confronting a Dallas Police Enforcement Application
But some didn’t stop at that. After the release of the video of members claiming to be Anonymous, anthropologist Gabriella Coleman noticed that its circulation was notably made viral by the participation of many K-pop fan accounts: “They’re the ones who made the video one of the most discussed topics on Twitter,” she explained to Le Monde. They are very good at amplifying certain subjects. They may also use bots, as Anonymous did in the past. That’s also how you can tell if a group is good at it. »
On Sunday night, some went further and attacked a Dallas Police Department application. Earlier, the Texas City Police had called on citizens to send videos of illegal activity during Black Lives Matter protests to an application.
Some responded quickly, drowning out account mentions with photographs, videos, and also photos and videotapes of their favorite artists. Others did the same on the app. A few hours later, the Texas city police said the app was no longer working “due to technical problems. As BuzzFeed rightly points out, it’s unclear “whether Twitter’s K-pop fans flooded the app with feeds, which made it stop working, or whether the police department just wanted people to stop submitting photos and videos to the app.
The protesters, however, celebrated this as a victory, before realizing that they may have been playing with fire by handing over their personal data to a police application.