K-pop fans, most notably those who support BTS, are a well-organized lot. They’re also a crusading bunch, ready to attack and take down people and organizations they believe are doing evil. Remember Donald Trump’s disastrous political rally in Tulsa earlier this year? While organizers had planned on a giant overflow crowd, the arena was less than half full. That’s because K-pop fans flooded rally registration sites with requests for tickets and then never showed up.
BTS stans now have a new target: QAnon. Unable to tolerate their bullshit conspiracy views any longer, these fans have engaged in something called “keyword squatting,” which means using certain hashtags in ways for which they were not intended, rendering them useless to those who would otherwise use them to further their agenda.
In the case of QAnon, the BTS stans have flooding social media networks with #QAnon with the message “Stan twitter RISE.” Actual QAnon freaks had that hashtag taken away from them. BTS fans are doing the same thing with #whitelivesmatter, effectively locking out white supremacists from using it.
Stan activism is a thing. It’s real and it’s powerful. And it’s a force for good. This time, anyway.
Read more at Bloomberg.