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The Reason K-pop Fans 'Broke' Trump's Rally

The K-pop fan community in the US seems to want to assert that they are not only a group of Korean music fans, but also interested in politics.
The organizational capacity of K-pop fans has long been legendary. Through fan groups likened to "armies", they strive to work together to make their idols popular topics in the media or to help the music that the new idol releases. top of the charts.

President Trump at a campaign in Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 20. Photo: Washington Post.

Now, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, an impending presidential election and strong debates on racism in the US, these collective "cyber warriors" are trying to make an impact on a new stage: the American political arena.

Last week K-pop fans caught attention when some claimed they were planning to "sabotage" President Donald Trump's rally on June 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by raising people massively signed up for the event but didn't come.
Over the past few weeks, K-pop believers, mainly using social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram, have overloaded a Dallas police app that collects information about protesters, the rapid spread of hashtag lines that oppose superior whiteism. Fan of Korean popular group BTS also announced that they raised a million USD for the Back Lives Matter movement (The network of black people is also important). The activity of fan groups continues to increase, as K-pop becomes more and more popular in the US.
"English-speaking K-pop fans are joining the current wave, they are not foreigners but Americans," said CedarBough Saeji, an expert on K-pop culture.
"They are young, advanced, extroverted and really adept at using online platforms, who must constantly stay at home and have more online time because of Covid-19. Political issues are not surprising, "Saeji said. "They are young people who are willing to learn about a new culture to satisfy their passion for popular cultural products. These are the complete opposite of the pro-Trump groups, who who applauded when he disparaged the movie 'Parasite' and said 'Gone with the Wind' is the real movie.
South Koreans tend to keep a close watch on the US election because it can affect the allied relationship between Washington and Seoul as well as US policy towards North Korea. Still, they were generally wary of factions in American politics.
On June 22, many South Koreans expressed concern about K-pop fan groups claiming to sabotage Trump's meeting. "Why are K-pop fans interfering in the US political situation," a local news outlet said.
"K-pop's messages are seldom politically inclined but generally, they promote confidence and empower the weak," the author of the blog "Ask a Korean" under the pseudonym TK Park, said. good. "For example, many people became fans of BTS because they felt strongly resonated with the message of 'loving yourself' that the group conveyed."
According to TK Park, such content attracts a wide audience of women and people of different skin colors. "That message motivates them to express their emotions more strongly in all aspects of life, including politics."
On the other hand, they also have the necessary skills. "K-pop fans know how to organize through fan groups," Park said, and took examples of K-pop fans' campaigns to promote the idol's song on the charts. Or wipe out concert tickets in just a few minutes. "All of these activities can be easily converted to political use," Park said.
A K-pop fan group at the 2015 KCON annual music event in Newark, New Jersey, USA. Photo: NYTimes 
 A Twitter spokesperson said K-pop is the most tweeted music-related topic in the world, with more than 6.1 billion tweets in 2019, an increase of 15% compared to 2018. BTS is an artist who is Most tweets in the last three years.
The shift to politics also seems to be part of the K-pop fan's efforts in the US to create a positive impression, helping to change their long-standing perception of them as crazy, crazy fan groups. , sometimes dangerous, experts say.
"The most important thing about this trend is that it shows that young people have recognized their political power and are using it," Saeji commented. "And you know what they will do next? They will vote. Current K-pop fans no longer feel cynical, they feel empowered."

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