Exploring the Twitter wars and aggression within the K-pop fandoms
The line of comments grow as you scroll through Twitter. Each comment is becoming more and more aggressive, you begin to feel uneasy. At first they started out pretty tame, minor comments about personally disliking the group. Now, they are just crude and inappropriate; words criticizing idols’ figures or insulting fans’ family, and in extreme cases death threats.
K-pop multistan of the groups CLC, Got7, Iz*One and more, Anais Ng (12) has been a K-pop follower for a long time.
“I don’t think [people] need to fight over which group is better. They all produce music for a reason, and there’s a reason why people like their music,” Ng comments, addressing her thoughts on the fights between different fandoms. “Whenever it’s towards the underrated groups, the groups I usually stan, they are not as toxic. But if you’re stanning a really popular group, there’s going to be a lot more interesting fans.”
“Interesting” is perhaps a mild word to describe some of these aggressive fans as they are often known for doxxing haters, who in return are also incredibly hostile.
K-pop stan Angelle Mercado (11) also agrees that these battles between fans are disgraceful and immature. As a stan of BTS, she has seen a multitude of haters not just on Twitter, but also on other social media like TikTok.
“It’s just for clout, because they know that bigger fandoms like BTS are much more likely to gain attention than others,” Mercado says, providing her insight as to why people hate on K-pop groups. “People [also] give hate to other K-pop groups or stans [because they] believe that their group is superior compared to other groups.”
These Twitter wars have been growing as more and more fandoms compete for fan awards, which are conducted through social media voting. The K-pop industry is incredibly competitive and these fans reciprocate their excessive support through comments and videos. Social media has definitely played a role in the increase of the hostility between fandoms.
“It allows people to be more open and aggressive than if they were to talk to someone in real life…It makes things more viral and spreads more” Mercado says.
These widespread fan wars can be seen everywhere as fans try to reach greater audiences through commenting on unrelated tweets and posts. The fan wars have given the K-pop community and industry a bad representation.
Jade Wang (11), a K-pop girl group aficionado credits the immaturity of these fans to how the United States view K-pop.
“These people turn it into a negative thing by being so overbearing about it and I think that’s why a lot of K-pop, especially here in the US, gets a really bad rep. Because of all of those nasty stans who are annoying like that. There’s definitely a lot of K-pop fans out there who aren’t like that. It’s just there’s a very small minority of them who are, and it just so happens that those are the most outspoken.”
These small minority of haters may overshadow the supportive K-pop fans, but will never fully represent the K-pop community.
“For instance, if you tweet. ‘I’m having a bad day’ or ‘I’m stressed about something,’ there’s always going to be one person who sees that… Even if you don’t know that person, but you still get support from them, it feels like you’re important and that someone cares about you.” Mercado shares.
You’re back on your phone. There’s another thread, but it is different this time. The comments are full of hearts, full of support, and full of love. This is the community you know.