K-pop fan activism flooded police department tip lines, took over white lives hashtag

Jimin, Jungkook, RM, J-Hope, V, Jin, SUG...
I don’t listen to KPop so I cannot call myself a KPop fan. But I can call myself a KPop Fan fan. KPop, for anyone who doesn’t know, is Korean popular music. Since I don’t listen to much KPop, I won’t try to explain it too much, but much of the genre reminds me of the boy bands from the 90s in that the group’s members are each very talented and their dance numbers are crazy choreographed. Plus, the KPop fans are fervent in their devotion to their band. Like Swifties or Beyhive or Blieber level devoted. Normally that kind of “stanning” would make me nervous. However, these folks are using their power for good, and it’s been incredibly effective. Since Black Lives Matter protests have been going on in this country, the KPop fans have organized to shut many of the anti-BLM movements down, from the White Lives Matter hashtag to police sting operations designed to out protesters. The Cut had a breakdown of the efficacy of their targeted efforts.

First they came for the Dallas PD: The radicalization of the stans seems to have begun on May 31, when the Dallas police department tweeted a request for users to submit videos of “illegal protest activity” on Twitter or their own iWatch app. “DOWNLOAD THE APP AND SEND ALL YOUR FANCAMS!!!” one user suggested, per BuzzFeed News. (“Fancams” are short videos, usually of K-pop stars performing, that stans are notorious for posting in replies to mostly unrelated tweets.) “SEND THEM ALL!!! MAKE THEIR JOBS AS HARD AS POSSIBLE!!! GET THEM FRUSTRATED!!! MAKE THEM TAKE DOWN THE APP!!!”

The response was immediate: Hundreds of people responded to the Dallas PD tweet, or posted screenshots of themselves spamming the app. “Oh I have a video, I hope this helps,” one user, @LovelyDoya, tweeted, along with footage of ONEUS flawlessly executing crisp dance moves to “Level Up,” while wearing perfect guyliner. Within 24 hours, the app was out of commission — Dallas’s police department tweeted the next day: “Due to technical difficulties, iWatch Dallas app will be down temporarily.”

Next they came for Washington and Michigan: With their power unleashed, the stans turned their attention elsewhere. They mobilized against police departments in Kirkland, Washington, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, which had similarly asked users to post photos and videos of protestors “rioting or looting.”

Then they came for White Supremacists: By Wednesday, June 3, they had completely overwhelmed the #WhiteLivesMatter hashtag, started in opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement, with a deluge of impeccably dancing idols, effectively burying its racist messaging. “Instead of being a racist become a NCTzen and stream ‘Punch!’” a representative tweet, from a fan of the group NCT, reads.

[From The Cut]

And then they came for #45 and his sad little Klan Rally in Tulsa, when KPop and Gen Z registered for tickets and sat it out. A lot of folks on Twitter have had fun with KPop/Gen Z efforts. Many are referring to the efforts of KPop fans and TikTokkers as “pranks.” While I do find the results incredible funny, I tend to agree with this person’s assessment of what’s happening:

In addition to self-preservation, one KPop fan quoted in The Cut’s article said their motivation was, quite simply, that “KPop fans are from all different races, so we try to support each other.” The article points out that the KPop resistance is several “rival” band fandoms working together on this. The part I like best in this whole story is how efficiently these fans are getting it done, all without gloating. All day Sunday Twitter was filled with parents saying they discovered over breakfast their teen/tween had been a part of the Tulsa Rally boycott effort. This is the example to follow right now: take decisive action not for the glory of bragging about it but because you’re fighting on the right side of history.

Also, note these kids are not stepping on the voices of activists and victims in their efforts. Instead, they silence those seeking to drown out the protesters and civic leaders. I swear, if this keeps up, we Gen Xers are going to go from shouting at the kids to get off our lawns to setting up snack tables to keep them going.

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Jungkook, Jimin at a public appearance f...

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73 Responses to “K-pop fan activism flooded police department tip lines, took over white lives hashtag”

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  1. Esmom says:

    “I swear, if this keeps up, we Gen Xers are going to go from shouting at the kids to get off our lawns to setting up snack tables to keep them going.”

    Seriously. This post is making me cry. That tweet is spot on. As a Gen Xer, I have been a distraught witness to the ever-increasing sh^tshow our kids are inheriting and am ashamed at not doing more.

    • Maple says:


    • Scotchy says:

      Same @Esmom same ♥️

    • GR says:

      @esmom – completely crying right now.

    • Market Street Minifig says:

      Absolutely bawling over here. I’m so grateful to and proud of them.

    • vespernite says:

      Me too! I’m one of those proud parents who woke up to my kid coming in to tell me she used several different emails to reserve tickets to the rally, she’s Gen-X and a brilliant little activist in the making.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      I doubt that Esmom. In fact, I’d be willing to put money down that mommies on this site have raised, and are raising, wholly well-rounded intelligent beings. Even if they’re only aware, you need to be proud because that’s incredibly important first and foremost. Knowledge is power. I rake myself over hot coals all the time, and then last night I hear my 14yo telling someone in his Xbox party to quit calling things ‘gay.’ I’ve heard some bonafide cuss words escape his lips, much to my chagrin, but calling others and situations gay rubs him wrong. So lets take any small victory we can!

  2. Slowdown says:

    Gotta love this generation! I really think our generation between the millennials and the boomers is way too complacent (except the celebitchy community of course). I admire them and I am proud to count my older kids in this amazing demographic.

  3. Michael says:

    I was frankly stunned by the K-Pop support of the BLM movement. I was also stunned by some of the celebrities that gave their full and boisterous support as well. Amazing that even in the darkest days their is still light

    • kimberlu says:

      I was shocked too! Last year they went after a radio personality trying to bring awareness to adopt dont shop. He runs non profit that rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes dogs. The Fandom made death threats coz her tagged several k-pop groups in a post hoping they’d want to participate….glad these fans are doing some good!!!

  4. Wilma says:

    As a civics teacher I stan KPop fans. Young people learning how to do activism? 😍

    • Mara says:

      Out of interest, over the years, have you seen your students become more interested in activism or are we just more aware of it now because of social media?

  5. STRIPE says:

    Calling these acts “pranks” is a way to minimize them. These are not pranks, these are forms of activism for a generation too young to vote. I only wish my generation (millennials) were half as involved.

  6. El says:

    Not sure I understand what’s so great about flooding the apps that aim to stop looters. I thought we were all pro-protests, but anti-looting? If someone’s taking advantage of a protest to loot a fancy handbag store, don’t we want them caught, both for breaking the law AND for undermining a legitimate movement by giving the ammunition to the other side to call protesters lawless free loaders, who are rioting for profit, not ideals?

    • osito says:

      I’m pretty sure we’re all way more against the public execution of human beings by militarized police forces. Human beings matter more than buildings or handbags. You can rebuild a building, reopen a store, start a gofundme, and it doesn’t require punishment in our current broken, racist criminal justice system to do so. What we can’t do is bring back people who have died unjustly at the hands of police. Bring the energy that you have for looters back to the police state causing this problem in the first place.

    • Bella DuPont says:

      @ El

      Ordinarily, yes, I would agree with you.

      The problem is that you would have to assume the American Police are acting in good faith for this to work. But given everything we’ve seen in the last few weeks, it’s clear that those videos submitted will be used to maliciously target protesters and clamp down even harder on the leadership of BLM movement.

      *ZERO* cooperation with these egotistical goons. Until they work to slowly and deliberately rebuild trust with their associated communities, they should be treated like the pariah, state sanctioned, asshole-assassins that they are,

    • LidiaJara says:

      EL you and others may feel that way, but no it’s not a blanket we. Here in Oakland we believe that people do not have the right to tell Black people how to respond to massive displacement due to gentrification and centuries of state terror. Do we like opportunists, especially from out of town, taking advantage of this moment to loot? No. Do we particularly care? No. We care zero about crimes against property, especially gentrified property.

      We do not believe that if Black people act better or more obediently or more palatably white people will have a sudden surge of empathy and grant them human rights. The Bay Area has stripped away half of the housing of Black people in Oakland in the last tenish years. They do not have to respect our yuppie stores. We do not believe in dividing the movement between upright, educated activists, and wild young folk. The movement belongs to all of them.

      And to imagine that these apps are somehow not creating harm is, frankly, offensive. The FBI is already out hunting activists here, going door to door. Many people believe that all the Furgeson activists who mysteriously got shot in the head were murdered. Look at what they have done to Ramsey Orta, who filmed Eric Garner’s murder. I cannot imagine why anyone would say oh yes, police collecting citizen surveillance of BLM protests must be about a fair and judicious interest in our rights and safety.

      • michelle says:

        i’m just here to say i love your response. thank you for so coherently stating what i thought was obvious. i appreciate you taking the time to post.

      • Yup, Me says:

        “We care zero about crimes against property, especially gentrified property.”

        This x1,000

      • Carol says:

        Thank you for this. So well said.

      • SomeChick says:

        Very well put. Shoutout to Oakland! The yuppie and techbro throngs have been displacing regular people. But Oakland has heart that cannot be crushed. As we have seen many times for many years. We can take it all the way back to the Civil Rights movement. #FedUprising

      • Anna says:

        Thank you!

        And also, Black people and their labor have been looted by this country since its inception. Black people are looted daily by white systemic supremacy every single day with regard to pay, housing, food access, and every other system of this country. We are looted of our LIVES daily by a country that largely does not want to acknowledge its debt to us and would rather see us dead (except for our cultural traditions, those white America would like to continue looting/appropriating). And let me not get started about the looting of African wealth (now and recent past) by the same colonialist powers, many in concert with the U.S., especially once the “wealth” of slavery was abolished and they wanted to claim other resources.

        So let’s look first at the real looters and then maybe that will put into perspective who really owns what and what systemic disenfranchisement really means.

    • Bananas says:

      Because the police were trying to use the app to justify their own murderous tendencias and change the narrative by only highlighting the looting done by black people, so as to vilify them and discredit the movement.

      The were not interested in equality and showcasing the hoards of white supremacist looting, who amongst other things, organised piles off bricks to be dropped of at certain locations to instigate violence they then blamed black people for.

      The ‘look at all the black people looting’ agenda is an extremely racist trope used to perpetuate the myth that black people are uncivilised, violent and dangerous even to themselves.

      It goes back to Jim Crow days to further undermine black people every time they get a little closer to equality, while raising the notions of white supremacy.

      And KPop wasn’t having it.

      Also, there are valid reasons why some black people were rioting. It has a lot to do with 400 years of unheard voices crying for justice and equality. If you want to know more, look up Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man on YouTube.

    • El says:

      Thank you @Bella DuPont and @Bananas, you make fair points that I haven’t considered.

      facile false dichotomies are not helpful. I never said that I cared about lives less. I’ve been reading this site long enough to know that “we can care about both” is an acceptable answer, that misery is not a competition and just because people are losing lives does not mean that people can’t complain about losing businesses, and that people are capable of caring about more than 1 thing at a time. Your assumptions and patronizing tone were completely unnecessary.

      • anon says:

        Likewise about assumptions and tone in your answer to Osito, @El.

      • Market Street Minifig says:

        @El is your vocabulary a cover for weaknesses in comprehension or are you deliberately mischaracterizing what’s been said to you?

    • Kkat says:

      They were calling for video of PROTESTERS
      The people who were non violently protesting.

    • Rikitiki says:


      Do you know who else used citizen surveillance and spying/telling on your neighbours and fellow citizens? Every totalitarian regime ever. Think Gestapo, Stasi, the KGB or CIA of the 50s. Let’s not allow or normalize such undertakings – even in times like these! History tells us to resist and stay off that very slippery slope.

  7. Bettyrose says:

    When it comes to politics and social movements Gen X failed to launch. But we invented the technology that Millenials and Zers are using to take back this planet. So I like to think we’ve helped.

    • Jeanine says:

      I have to disagree. Gen Z helped usher in the U.S. first Black President. I don’t think this is the time to compare negative aspects of each generation. This is a time for change and I am so proud our younger generation sees the injustice and won’t accept it.

      • Bettyrose says:

        I think you misunderstood my post. I adore the younger generations, but Gen-X, my generation is most notable for advancing tech not social movements (not when compared to the generations directly before and after us). My intent was to emphasize the good that each generation has done (and I consider tech advancements good).

        Gen Z was too young to vote for Obama (are you confusing them with Gen X?) but the Millenials were crucial in that election. If Harris advances to the white house, she’ll be the first of my generation (X) to do so, but following her will come an amazing pool of Millenial candidates, such as AOC, who will have just come of age for presidential runs.

      • kimberlu says:

        I disagree wholeheartily that genZ pushed in a black president. They did not vote during 2008. They were/are children. Don’t steal credit from others because it’s wrong to do so.

      • Erinn says:

        “Gen Z helped usher in the U.S. first Black President.”

        GEN Z DID NO SUCH THING! Unless the oldest of the Gen Zs were able to usher in a black president while they were like 9 years old.

        You’re mixing them up with my group, millennials. The year Obama got voted in was my first year being legally able to vote, and I’m not part of the oldest portion of millenials.

    • Jeanine says:

      First I want to apologize, I misread your post. And secondly, I was referring to Gen X when attributing Obama’s first election success.

      Thank you for eloquently stating your position.

    • The Recluse says:

      According to Strauss and Howe and Douglas Coupland, Generation X runs from 1961 to 1980, so that makes Obama the first Generation X President. (And his early life absolutely fits the description of Gen-X upbringing.) Not too shabby.

      • Lady D says:

        Baby boomers run 1946 – 1964. There is a lot of information to back those dates up. Gen X had to start in 1965.

  8. Ai says:

    I am a BTS + KPOP fan and just FYI, we are not a monolith (e.g. stereotype of screaming teenagers) but we are international and full blown diverse in every which way. Many Americans are KPOP stans and different sub groups do different activities or advocacy. In the BTS fandom, the majority of us are adults, professionals that enjoy BTS’s music and a large group of us are 40+ years old and we do charitable projects globally for a while now. Happy to have supported the BLM movement and doing small things to drown out racism. KPOP musicians are great artists and they deserve better than the way they have been stereotyped in the Western media – excessively only highlighting the negatives of the industry without highlighting the positive impact: talent, artistry and creativity. They are all not robots or manufacture etc.

  9. lucy2 says:

    I’m GenX, and have a lot of respect for the GenZ crowd. They are so much more progressive, accepting, and inclusive, and they really get how to organize and get stuff done.

  10. Betsy says:

    I stan the k-pop fans.

  11. Erin says:

    I love this so much. Kids are powerful and THEY KNOW IT. It’s the adults who don’t. I wanna hug every one of these kids.

  12. MellyMel says:

    As a BTS fan (ARMY), this pleases me. But please know most of us are BIPOC. We care about & have raised money for BLM, cause a lot of us are black. Also the majority of us are in our 20s and 30s (at least BTS fans), but the younger fans (Gen Z) have really done so much since many will not be able to vote come November and this is how they are helping.

    • LidiaJara says:

      Yes Mellymel! People underestimate who stans Kpop. I’m a Millennial and we aren’t even in charge yet and I am Soo ready for Gen Z! Especially watching how ridiculously awful all the Boomers and GenXers were about containing Trump… kids who grew up with Twitter and TikTik know how to troll a troll.

    • Giselle says:

      I’m a new army who’s 41….what I love about the fandom is how accepting they have been, how creative they are and how they STAY ready to mobilize. Let’s not worry about who gets credit for what in the past…let’s take a page from the K-Pop fans and keep mobilizing and STAY ready…. November will be here in no time.

  13. Maple says:

    This article brought tears to my eyes. Maybe there is hope 💙

  14. Lightpurple says:

    Keep going KPop Stans!

    BTW my entire household, including my 90 year old great aunt and the two cats have tickets for Trump’s address at Dream City Church today. Or should I say “adress” because that’s the way TPUSA spelled it in the promotional materials yesterday

  15. Mina_Esq says:

    This warms my heart ❤️❤️❤️ I’ll get them all the snacks they want.

  16. Lauren says:

    I’m an afro-latina, millenial, ARMY (BTS fan) and it warms my heart to know that stans of different groups are coming together and helping out with human rights issues and standing up for what’s right. I’m going to fangirl harder for my boys now.

  17. Amelie says:

    I have been witnessing the K Pop fan support of the BLM movement firsthand on Twitter and it is really hilarious/beautiful to see stupid hashtags like #whitelivesmatter be flooded with images of K Pop idols.

    I don’t follow K Pop music BUT I recently got into K Dramas during this quarantine which by extension is a part of K Pop I think? I kept seeing the ad for Crash Landing on You on Netflix and so I took the plunge… and I loved that show so much I have now watched it twice. The premise is a rich heiress from South Korea crash lands in North Korea while paragliding during a tornado and is found by a North Korean captain at the border. They become friendly and he hides her while trying to figure out how to get her back home to South Korea. Has anyone else here watched it??? I think I was spoiled for my first K drama, both lead actors Hyun Bin and Son Ye-Jin are SO talented and have so much chemistry that both their agencies have had to issue multiple denials that the actors are dating in real life, that’s how much the fans want it to happen. The rest of the cast is so amazing too and the level of detail production put in to get what life in North Korea is like is astounding. I have since moved on to other K dramas: The King: Eternal Monarch (which just ended), Memories of the Alhambra (because Hyun Bin was in it) and currently working my way through Goblin: The Great and Lonely God and Something in the Rain (also for Son Ye-Jin). I have also watched all movies on all streaming services I am subscribed to see any and all content of Hyun Bin and Son Ye-Jin. Yeah I’m pretty obsessed with Hyun Bin… he is SO beautiful it hurts. He has a stupid haircut in Crash Landing on You but he has the most ridiculous dimples… anyways my long post is basically summed up to I wish I could speak Korean lol.

    • michelle says:

      goblin is one of my favorite kdramas of all time. if i think too hard about the age difference between the lead characters it really takes me out of it, but the actors are all so great, i can immerse myself. i recommend absolutely anything with gong yoo. his drama coffee prince from several years ago is considered a classic, and i highly recommend it. also, if you like the cast of goblin, the 2nd leads (lee dong-wook as the reaper and yoo in-na as the owner of the chicken restaurant) were in their own rom-com called touch your heart. i think they have great chemistry and are so fun together.

    • Giselle says:

      I literally just finished Crash Landing On You two days ago….what should I watch next?

      • Louise says:

        I suggest googling K-drama “best lists” and reading about what else is out there. That’s how I’ve been doing research and I watch based on summaries and whatever I’m in the mood for. There are a lot of genres within Kdramas so the beauty is there is something for everyone!

    • Gretchen says:

      I’ve been getting into K dramas and soaps too. I started with Kingdom (Which is a fab and original contribution to the zombie genre), then watched Rookie Historian, which was sweet and much funnier than I expected and just started Crash Landing. My hubby’s first language isn’t English so it’s exhausting for him to keep up with the subtitles, but he’s powering through my new streaming obsession, bless him.

  18. michelle says:

    i’m a multi-fandom kpop stan (gen x, actually. the pageantry of the music videos really takes me back to the heyday of music videos and i love the dancing.), and i’ve always had some issues with the fandoms and the industry itself. there’s a lot of ugliness in almost all the fandoms (and especially between the fandoms), and i stay out of it. but it was so great to see all the fans come and work together for such an important moment and with such positive results. i actually hope this might signify a change in how the fandoms operate and might bring about more positive mulit-fandom interactions.

  19. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    Didn’t K-Pop stand for the entire genre of Korean pop music 5-10 years ago?
    Now it’s a single band?

    • Lauren says:

      K-pop is still the genre. Some folks on twitter are talking about it as if it were one big group.

  20. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Im on Twitter quite a bit (unfortunately) and Ive seen most of this happen in real time. It’s been a beautiful thing to watch. Finally stans and fandoms are using all that energy for something productive. I still hate fancams but I hate them a little less now.

  21. Regina Falangie says:

    This is beautiful!!!!! This makes my heart soar!!!

  22. Winterberry says:

    Launching an app to try and get people to turn on each other is vicious. Glad these kids put it to good use.

  23. Tiff says:

    I’m Gen-X and I am so proud and thoroughly entertained by Gen-Z. Gen-X couldn’t do it because our nihilism along with our unfocused want for revolution (and lack of guidance and support from the boomers to be honest), but we set up and laid the groundwork for a generation that will change the world. It’s our responsibility to give them whatever support they need because they shouldn’t have to do any of this shit – from Greta bringing attention to climate change, to Little Miss Flint bringing attention to clean water , to KPop stans bringing attention to social justice. Adults should have done this years ago but did not and now they are taking matters into their own hands. I’m so fucking proud! Also, I wish millennials would stop trying to take credit! This is Gen-Z’s revolution!

  24. Faye G says:

    I became a BTS fan during quarantine, and I really love the diversity of the fan base. Their music appeals to all ages and nationalities, not just teens (I’m 34). I like other groups too but BTS is my favorite!

    Gen Z is turning out to be really inspiring, they have been dealt a difficult hand but with their smarts and ingenuity I think they could lead the way for change.

  25. Karla says:

    Same here! I’m 22 and I’ve been aware of BTS for a while but on quarantine I’ve really gotten into them and other k-pop groups (TWICE, Red Velvet, LOONA). Growing up on the internet i’ve seen some ugly and ridiculous stuff done by these fandoms but seeing this happen really made me respect them.

  26. Angel says:

    Please make a correction in that Kpop fans aren’t all “kids.” There are many professional, adult people in their 30’s and beyond who are Kpop fans, and who are participating in these actions.