Why Obsessive K-Pop Fans Turn To Political Activism


“Sometimes, they don’t even have to tell the trend, but there is so much that sometimes they accidentally trend of random words,” she said. “They are really, really passionate people who just fight for what they love. These characteristics translate well when you look at the social issues.”

A spokesman for Twitter said that K-pop has been the most tweeted about music genre in the world, with more than 6.1 billion tweets in 2019, an increase of 15% compared to the previous year. BTS was the most tweeted about artist for the past three years, the company added. TikTok and Facebook declined to provide data.

The recent turn to political activism in the united States also follows a concerted effort on the part of K-pop fans in recent years to bring about positive change in mass, in part as a reaction to the reputation of superficial, silly and even threatening the crowds. As the most fervent fan bases of American pop stars — including Justin Bieber Beliebers, Beyoncé’s BeyHive or Nicki Minaj’s Barbz, known collectively as the “stans” after the Eminem song about an obsessive stalker — K-pop followers have been accused of harassment piling on the criticism or rivals. In South Korea, they have also been considered to be too obsequious, and even cultlike, regroup, for example, to buy gifts like luxury watches for famous singers.

But these days, the philanthropic donations to controversial causes such as the poor, the old or the terminally ill — are often made in the name of the chosen artists — are the most frequent. “It was a way to do a remake of the fandom in the eyes of the public,” Ms. Saeji said.


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