- 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)
Netflix Launches “Fast Laughs,” a TikTok-Like Feed of Funny Clips
- Netflix has created a TikTok-style feature it calls “Fast Laughs,” which is currently only available on its iOS mobile app in select countries.
- Executives described it as a “new full-screen feed of funny clips from a wide variety of Netflix titles, ranging from films and series to our deep bench of stand-up specials.”
- The clips can be shared on social media, and if users stumble across something they want to see more of, they can save that title to watch later or play it immediately.
Netflix Announces “Fast Laughs”
Netflix is now the latest platform to introduce its own TikTok-like feature.
On Thursday, the company announced “Fast Laughs,” which is currently only available on its iOS mobile app in select countries.
It essentially looks like TikTok, but Patrick Flemming, director of product innovation at Netflix, told The Verge it is a “new full-screen feed of funny clips from a wide variety of Netflix titles, ranging from films and series to our deep bench of stand-up specials.”
In its announcement blog post, Netflix said, “You access the feed through your bottom navigation menu by clicking on the Fast Laughs tab. Clips will start playing – when one ends another begins, to keep the laughs coming.“
If a user stumbles across a scene they want to see more of, they can save that title to watch later or play it immediately if they’d like. They can also share the clips individually on Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.
Could It Really Rival TikTok?
Adding this TikTok-style feature may seem surprising since Netflix is a streaming service rather than a social media platform.
However, Netflix’s last few earnings reports have actually referenced TikTok as a major competitor. It’s not because they make the same style of content but instead because people are spending more time on TikTok – which for some means less time on Netflix.
While “Fast Laughs” might not compete with TikTok the way some other copycats hope to, some believe it’s an interesting way to highlight the huge library of content the site offers.
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Tech Crunch) (USA Today)
Court Sides With Sofia Vergara, Says Ex Cannot Use Embryos Without Permission
- A Los Angeles court sided with actress Sofia Vergara on Tuesday, ruling that her ex-fiance Nick Loeb cannot use their embryos without her consent.
- The court cited a document the former couple had signed agreeing that both parties needed to approve the use of the embryos, arguing that the document could not be void.
- In a response, Loeb appeared to plug his new movie, saying the judge was “clearly influenced by Hollywood, which is a pattern I expose in my upcoming film Roe v. Wade.”
- Loeb had been trying to obtain custody of the embryos for many years and even argued in a Louisiana court that they should be treated as humans with rights, though the case was dismissed.
Court Sides With Sofia Vergara
Los Angeles County Superior Court sided with actress Sofia Vergara Tuesday, ruling that her ex-fiance could not use their embryos without her permission.
Vergara has been involved in a court battle with her ex, Nick Loeb, for several years. The two split in 2014 and had reportedly undergone in vitro fertilization within a year before their break up.
Loeb had been fighting to use those embryos on his own via a surrogate. According to TMZ, he at one point tried to take custody of them through a trust and named the embryos in a lawsuit. He also argued in a Louisiana court that the embryos should be recognized as humans with rights. The court dismissed that case in January and said Loeb was “forum shopping” for a court that might agree with his argument. At the time, his team said he would appeal their decision.
People Magazine obtained court documents from the Los Angeles court’s ruling, which granted Vergara’s request for a permanent injunction preventing Loeb from using the embryos “to create a child without the explicit written permission of the other person.”
Loeb Responds to Ruling
The court cited a document the former couple both signed at a fertility clinic, agreeing that both parties had to approve of any use of the embryos. Loeb tried to argue that he signed it under “duress” but the court still said that their agreement was not voidable based on that defense.
Loeb also tried to argue that he and the Modern Family actress had an “oral agreement” that would allow him to use the embryos on his own terms, but court said there was no “material fact” to support this.
According to People, Loeb issued a statement that plugged his new movie after the ruling. He said the judge “was clearly influenced by Hollywood, which is a pattern I expose in my upcoming film Roe v. Wade.”
“It’s sad that Sofia, a devout Catholic, would intentionally create babies just to kill them,” he continued.
Vergara’s team has not yet issued a statement on the case.
See what others are saying: (TMZ) (People) (Entertainment Tonight)
Chris D’Elia Accused of Soliciting Child Pornography in New Lawsuit
- Comedian Chris D’Elia was sued in California on Tuesday for sexual exploitation and soliciting nude photos from a minor.
- The lawsuit alleges that D’Elia “constructed a manipulative, controlling, and abusive dynamic” in order to get dozens of nude photos from a girl he knew was 17 at the time.
- It also says he invited the minor to his hotel room before one of his shows, where she performed sexual acts at his request.
- D’Elia’s spokesperson denied the accusations, which come just two weeks after D’Elia addressed months-old claims that he had sexually harassed underage women. He claimed sex “controlled” his life and admitted to having “a problem” but maintained all his relationships had been consensual and legal.
Chris D’Elia Accused of Soliciting Child Pornography
A federal lawsuit filed in the Central District of California on Tuesday accuses comedian Chris D’Elia of sexual exploitation and soliciting nude photos from a minor.
The allegations stem from 2014 when Jane Doe, now 24, was just 17-years-old. The lawsuit says D’Elia, who would have been 34 at the time, “constructed a manipulative, controlling, and abusive dynamic” in order to solicit the photos and pressure Doe into sexual encounters.
According to Doe, their interactions began in September of that year when she contacted him on Instagram, thinking he would never reply. D’Elia, however, allegedly responded to her message right away and asked her to come to one of his shows. When she agreed to see him perform at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, she says they exchanged information on Snapchat.
Once the two started communicating on Snapchat, the lawsuit claims that the messages D’Elia sent “became sexual very quickly.” He allegedly started to ask for nude photos of her, and if she did not reply, he would persist. While she tried to avoid sending the photos, the lawsuit claims he was “aggressive.” She eventually sent him 5-10 explicit photos before she met him.
According to the lawsuit, when D’Elia came to perform in Connecticut in November, he invited Doe to his room before the show. Because she was nervous about the situation, Doe brought a friend with her, but D’Elia allegedly demanded that the friend leave or else he would not let Doe inside.
Doe’s friend left and the lawsuit claims that D’Elia then began to request sexual favors from Doe within minutes of her arrival. It alleges that the two had sex while D’Elia knew her age. It even adds that during the acts, he repeatedly asked her to tell him she was 17 and still in high school, with him allegedly saying that this was “hot.”
Doe says that he invited her back to his hotel after the show and they had sex again. After this, she says she left feeling “disgusting and defeated.” The lawsuit says this was her first sexual encounter of any kind and she had not even kissed anyone prior to meeting him, leaving her unsure what to think or do in the situation.
Over the following months, the lawsuit claims that D’Elia would limit his communication with Doe as a tactic to pry more photos out of her. It says he would demand she send explicit photos or he would unfollow her on social media until she compiled. The lawsuit says that over the course of six to seven months, she sent him over 100 explicit photos and videos, roughly half of which were taken while she was a minor.
The lawsuit says Doe “suffered significant emotional, physical, and psychological harm as a direct result of Defendant D’Elia’s predatory conduct.”
D’Elia Says He “Has A Problem”
These allegations come nearly nine months after several women accused him of sexual harassment and predatory behavior. Many said they were underage at the time he harassed them.
After months of silence, D’Elia recently addressed those allegations in a 10-minute video on February 19. He apologized and said he had been seeking help.
“I mean sex, it controlled my life,” he said. “It was the focus, my focus, all the time. And I had a problem. I do have a problem.”
However, he denied ever breaking the law in his sexual encounters.
“I stand by the fact that all my relationships have been consensual and legal,” he said.
A spokesperson for the comedian told the Los Angeles Times that the accusations in the lawsuit are false.
“Chris denies these allegations and will vigorously defend against them in court,” they said.
Jane Doe is seeking unspecified damages.