If there’s one rule on social media that people can agree on, it’s this: Don’t cross K-pop stans. With tens of thousands of K-pop fan accounts posting over six billion tweets last year, they have become one of the strongest forces on social media.
Now, following George Floyd’s death, K-pop fans are using their power on the internet to rally around the Black Lives Matter movement.
Floyd, 46, died last week in police custody after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest. His death has sparked nationwide and international protests.
Hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter and #BlackoutTuesday have been trending on social media as Americans demand justice for Floyd. But many who oppose the BLM movement have been countering those hashtags with their own, such as #WhiteoutWednesday.
So K-pop fans did what they do best: Post countless memes and videos of their favorite groups, this time using the anti-black hasthtags to drown out those voices.
Now, when people look up the hashtags #WhiteLivesMatter, #WhiteoutWednesday and #BlueLivesMatter on social media platforms, they are met with endless pictures and performances of Twice, EXO and other hot K-pop groups.
“Police arrest that boy for stealing my heart #BlueLivesMatter,” one tweet says with a fancam of SuperM’s Lucas performing.
“The only blue thing that matters is Namjoons hair #blueLivesMatter,” another tweet says referring to the BTS rapper.
K-pop fans spammed a police app
On Sunday, the Dallas Police Department asked people on Twitter to submit video of “illegal activity from the protests” to its IWatch Dallas app. But instead K-pop fans flooded the app with fancams.
That afternoon, the police department tweeted, “Due to technical difficulties iWatch Dallas app will be down temporarily.”
Even after the app crashed K-pop fans replied to Dallas PD’s tweet with more K-pop videos.
The police department said the app was back up and running on Monday and that the cause of the “temporary interruption” is “still being determined,” according to a statement.
When asked for further comment, the Dallas Police Department referred CNN to its statement.
K-pop stars are speaking out
While they might be thousands of miles away from the scene of where Floyd died, numerous K-pop stars have used their platforms to speak out on racial equality.
“We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence,” the popular boy band BTS posted to its Twitter account. “We will stand together. #BlackLivesMatter.”
Rapper Jay Park, GOT 7’s Mark, DAY6’s Jae, and rapper pH-1 have all announced on social media that they have donated to the Black Lives Matter movement, George Floyd Memorial Fund or Minnesota Freedom Fund, which provides bail for arrested protesters.
“Artists, directors, writers, dancers, designers, producers, stylists in the K-POP industry are all inspired by black culture whether they acknowledge it or not,” CL, of the now-disbanded girl group 2NE1, said in an Instagram post.
“Let’s send them love and support by caring, elevating black voices, educating ourselves, and bringing awareness to people around you,” CL added.