- K-pop fans have been using their social media power to support the Black Lives Matter movement and fight against racism.
- They’ve used fancams to spam police tip systems and often hijack hashtags like White Lives Matter, MAGA, Blue Lives Matter, and others.
- Some have also spread clickbait posts about fake celebrity gossip to direct people to important links.
- After BTS and its music label donated $1 million to BLM, the fandom launched a campaign to collectively match that donation, quickly surpassing their goal.
K-pop Fans and Fancams
K-pop fans have proven themselves to be a strong force on the internet, with the power to make pretty much anything go viral. Now, like many all over the world have done since the killing of George Floyd, the fans are using their voices to support the Black Lives Matter movement and protest against police brutality.
If you’ve spent any time on social media over the last two weeks, you’ve probably already seen some of the tactics the fans have organized. Many accounts have been sharing petitions, donation links, and information to support protestors, but the use of fancams and K-pop edits are arguably their most noticeable and successful tools.
Fancams, if you don’t know, are closeups of a K-pop idol filmed by an audience member during a live performance. For many, fan-made edits of preexisting K-pop footage can also fall under this term, but there are often arguments within the community about the difference between these types of clips.
Either way, fancams essentially focus on a specific K-pop group member singing and dancing, and they’re widely used on Twitter as a way to advertise or celebrate their favorite stars. Some people also find them incredibly annoying because K-pop fans have been known to hijack viral treads or trending topics to flood them with these videos. They do this basically as a way to capitalize off that topic’s popularity.
Spamming Tip Lines
So how have they used fancams to support BLM? Well at the end of May, the Dallas Police Department asked the public to send them videos of illegal activity from the ongoing protests.
It specifically asked people to download the videos to their iWatch Dallas app, which is basically a place for the community to submit tips to law enforcement.
Shortly after that tweet was sent out, others called for people to flood the app. The idea here was that fancam spam would make it harder to see actual submissions that could lead to the arrests of protesters.
K-pop fans flooded the app so much, they apparently crashed it. Within a few hours after posting its request for footage, the department said the app was down temporarily.
It was eventually restored and the department claimed that the cause of the interruption was still being determined.
Fans then used the same strategy when police in Grand Rapids, Michigan made a similar online portal to submit photos and videos from demonstrations.
However, when the department closed that portal and switched to a phone line for reporting, it stressed that the unrelated spam had nothing to do with it. Instead, it said that it received more than 20,000 tips that were enough to start working on warrant requests and arrests.
Still, some believe spam definitely had an impact, but it didn’t end there.
People called for fans to do this again when the FBI called for tips. However, the FBI’s post prompted even more than just K-pop fans to fight back.
In fact, thousands of people started to flood them with submissions of officers beating demonstrators, shooting rubber bullets, and firing tear gas during protests. Though, the FBI has said that it is still processing tips and has safeguards that deal with any deliberate attacks.
On top of all these efforts, K-pop fans have also been working to derail conversations happening under certain hashtags. For example, when some tried to get “white lives matter” tending, fans spent days making sure that hashtag was full of fancams, song lyrics, and anything that could generate confusion about the original topic.
It’s worth noting that there has been criticism of this since fans taking over the hashtag actually allowed it to trend for days. Still, others argue that they’re essentially making the tag useless across social media since its now full of unrelated information.
They’ve done the same for hashtags like MAGA, Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, and others.
Then, other posts shared by K-pop accounts –and actually a ton of other people online– are these sort of clickbaity Twitter threads. These posts try to lure people in with juicy gossip about a celebrity, but they actually direct people to petitions, donation links, and more information about the Black Lives Matter movement.
For example, one of the most popular ones promises information about “how jay z ruined beyoncé’s and rihanna’s friendship.”
Match A Million Campaign
Now, these aren’t the only ways the fandoms have helped the cause. On Saturday, news broke that BTS and its studio Big Hit Entertainment donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter.
This came just days after the band made a statement staying, “We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.”
In support of that, fans launched an effort to collectively match that donation themselves under the hashtag #MatchAMillion. As of Monday morning, they surpassed that goal, with donations still rolling in. According to the BTS Army’s site for the donations, the funds will be split evenly between 16 different organizations.
All of this isn’t to say that K-pop fans are 100% on the same page about racial issues or are without faults themselves. There have been some internal conversations about cultural appropriation as well as antiblack racism within the community and K-pop industry.
In response, many have been calling for discrimination within fandoms to end and have been urging K-pop stars to do more to speak out against racism.
In general, K-pop fans have really proven that they know how to use social media to funnel attention towards whatever they care about. They can easily reach millions of people a day, and with their collective power, can really help make changes. Though the internet has been frustrated by K-pop stans time and time again, most seem appreciative that they are using their voices for such an important social issue.
See what others are saying: (The Atlantic) (Vox) (The Washington Post)
Carl Nassib Becomes First Active NFL Player To Come Out as Gay
While making his announcement, the athlete also pledged a $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project.
Nassib Comes Out
Carl Nassib, a defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders, made history on Monday as the first active NFL player to come out as gay.
The 28-year-old made the announcement in an Instagram video, along with a longer written statement.
“I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life, I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for,” he said in the post.
“I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important,” he continued.
“I actually hope that like one day, videos like this and the whole coming-out process are just not necessary. But until then, I’m going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project.”
He also noted that he was thankful for the support from his NFL coaches and fellow players. “From the jump, I was greeted with the utmost respect and acceptance,” he wrote.
Praise From Sports Community
Nassib’s announcement was met with praise from his team on social media, as well as other athletes and the NFL itself.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement on behalf of the league, saying that it “is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth.”
Several football fans and commentators, including sports reporter Jemele Hill, also pointed to the potential impact his bravery could have.
“Carl Nassib likely isn’t the only active gay player in the NFL, but him coming forward will be huge for those who haven’t gotten there yet,” HIll tweeted. “Very courageous decision that will not only help other players but so many young people in this country.”
See what others are saying:(ESPN)(The New York Times)(NBC News)
Billie Eilish Apologizes for Mouthing Racist Slur in Old Clip
Eilish said she is “appalled and embarrassed” to have mouthed along to a song containing the term, which she did not know was a slur at the time.
Video Shows Billie Eilish Using Slur
Singer Billie Eilish apologized Monday night for mouthing an anti-Asian racial slur in an old video that recently resurfaced on social media.
The clip was featured in a compilation that went viral on TikTok. In it, she was mouthing along to the song “Fish” by Tyler the Creator, which contains the slur. The compilation also showed her speaking in a voice that many interpreted as her mocking foreign accents or languages.
“I love you guys, and many of you have been asking me to address this,” Eilish wrote on her Instagram story. “And this is something that I WANT to address because I’m being labeled something that I am not.”
Eilish Apologizes for Mouthing Term
The “Bad Guy” singer said she was 13 or 14 at the time the video was taken, and claimed she had no idea the word was a derogatory term at the time.
“I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word,” Eilish wrote. “This song was the only time I’d ever heard that word as it was never used around me by anyone in my family. Regardless of my ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact is that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry.”
Regarding accusations that she mocked foreign accents and languages, the singer said she was speaking a “silly gibberish” that she made up as a child and uses around her pets, family, and friends in a joking manner.
“It is absolute gibberish and just me goofing around, and is in NO way an imitation of anyone or any language, accent or culture in the SLIGHTEST,” she added. “Anyone who knows me has seen me goofing around with voices my whole life.”
“Regardless of how it was interpreted I did not mean for any of my actions to have caused hurt to others and it absolutely breaks my heart that it is being labeled now in a way that might cause pain to people hearing it,” she continued.
The Grammy Award-winner said that she wants to use her platform to promote “inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity, and equality.” She closed her statement by telling her followers that it is important for people to listen and learn when it comes to conversations about these subjects.
Read her full apology below.
See what others are saying: (Variety) (Complex) (The Guardian)
Chrissy Teigen’s Team Says Direct Messages Shared by Michael Costello Were Fake
Teigen’s team accused the designer of faking the screenshots a day after a report from Insider found several “technical inconsistencies” in the photos.
Chrissy Teigen Accused of Bullying Michael Costello
Model Chrissy Teigen released a statement from her team on Friday denying the authenticity of screenshots designer Michael Costello shared last week depicting Teigen bullying him and threatening his career.
Costello’s claims against Teigen came just after she apologized for past offensive social media remarks she made. Those remarks included hateful comments directed at then-16-year-old Courtney Stodden, who received an onslaught of negative press for marrying a 51-year-old man a decade ago. Hours after posting her apology, Costello said he, too, was a victim of Teigen’s online persecution in 2014.
Costello wrote that Teigen attacked him online when a screenshot allegedly showing him making a racist comment was circulating. He claims that the screenshot was fake, but even after he told Teigen this, he alleges that she and her stylist Monica Rose continued to berate him and threaten his career. In his post, he said this drove him to have suicidal thoughts.
He also shared alleged screenshots of direct messages that depicted Teigen telling him his career was dead and that he deserves to “suffer and die.” His post ignited a swift round of backlash and outrage against Teigen and caught the attention of several major news outlets.
Investigations Finds That the Screenshots Were Faked
A Thursday report from Insider alleged that those conversations had been doctored. The investigation found “technical inconsistencies in the purported DMs that could suggest they are manipulated.”
“Several visual identifiers in the images appear to come from various iterations of Instagram and Teigen’s profile throughout the years, which is oftentimes a signature of manipulated imagery,” the article continued.
According to Insider, the screenshot looks like it was taken in 2014, as Teigen did not have a verified check, a status she received early in 2015. However, the message backgrounds in the image have a purple and blue gradient, which did not exist in Instagram until 2020. There is also a video chat icon on top of their chat, a feature that was not introduced until 2018. The photo that appears for Teigen is also her profile picture from 2014. If Costello had gone back and taken that screenshot recently, her current profile picture would have been visible instead of her old one, and again, her verification would be visible.
Teigen shot back on social media Friday, sharing a statement that addressed the inconsistencies noted in the Insider article. The statement, which was written on Teigen’s behalf, also claimed that in early iterations of the screenshots, Teigen’s name had been spelled incorrectly.
“Chrissy is completely surprised and disappointed by Michael Costello’s recent attack, which includes fictional ‘screenshots’ from 2014 of supposed private messages that Chrissy did not send,” the statement said.
According to the statement, Teigen did comment on one of Costello’s posts in 2014 after he was accused of making a racist remark, but she deleted that comment upon learning that the remark was photoshopped. It also claims that Teigen did not work with Rose until 2016, two years after Costello claims he was victimized by her.
Teigen went on to share screenshots of messages the two had exchanged online, which were largely complementary. In one message, Costello praises her lipstick choice. In another, he admires a meal she cooked. Teigen claimed she was under the impression she had a cordial relationship with him.
“Chrissy has acknowledged her past behavior and the pain she has caused but will not stand for anyone spreading false accusations to further demean her name and reputation,” the statement continued. “Chrissy will continue to do the work she needs to do to be the best person she can be. She hopes Michael Costello can do the same.”
“Chrissy has every right to correct the record and defend her name. She is not interested in making Mr. Costello the target of harassment or abuse for anyone claiming to support her.”
Teigen’s husband, singer John Legend, also defended her, saying he had no idea why someone would insert themselves into an already complicated narrative.
“I encourage everyone who breathlessly spread this lie to keep that same energy when they correct the record,” he wrote.
Costello Doubles Down
Since he came out against Teigen, several people have accused Costello of misconduct. A makeup artist who was undergoing chemotherapy said he was sexually harassed by Costello, singer Leona Lewis said he body-shamed her, and a woman who sold him something online said he called her the n-word.
Costello has deleted his original post accusing Teigen of bullying him, which included the allegedly doctored screenshots, though he doubled down on his claim that Teigen tried to ruin his career in a post shared Friday.
“The fact that Chrissy Tiegen and her crisis team are working so hard, so strategically, to come out against the DMs she sent me, and to downplay the comments she publicly posted on my Instagram, only proves that she is the same bully she always has been, despite her fake apology to the public,” he wrote.
He said this will be the last time he speaks on the issue and announced that he is taking a break from social media to aid his mental health.