If you’ve ever been interested in anything, like a particular TV show, an artist, or a book, then you’re already a step closer in being in a fandom. They’re all across the internet creating communities of like-minded people who bond over their common interests.
Sounds fun, right?
Half of it is. But the rest is the complete opposite. While one side is all rainbows and butterflies, the other is basically chaos. If you’ve ever been in any fandom, you’ll know how annoying and downright concerning fan wars can be.
You would find fans fighting fellow fans over the hair color of their favorite K-Pop idol, their outfits, best verses, and even the idol’s relationships with other idols. If you think about it, these are all opinion-based and, if you personally don’t know who the idol is, then you really have no place to speak for them.
In K-Pop, that isn’t the case. Fans would pick legitimate fights over these artists; we’re talking death threats, doxxing, and basically cyberbullying but worse – it’s all over social media! It’s one thing to defend your biases over valid insults (like xenophobic comments), but threatening the lives of others just because you don’t like their idol’s music is a completely different story.
One of the most common causes of fan wars is the fans’ obsessiveness with breaking records. Yes, showing your favorite K-Pop group that you’re listening to their songs and you like them (along with thousands of other people) isn’t bad. But again, just like in most competitions, things can get really out of hand.
Here is a tweet thread that shows some of the most horrendous things that BTS and their fandom had gone through because of these fan wars: (click on the tweet to view the full thread)
What is the underlying reason for all of this behavior? Some would say it’s all childish play fighting of “mine’s better!” but the death threats would like to say otherwise; it’s childish fighting but with grown adults and real-life consequences.
— Soum⁷💫 (@2kinassbichss) June 23, 2020
Fan wars aren’t serious – or at least, they shouldn’t be. Of course, K-Pop fandoms aren’t the only ones who have fan wars, but given K-Pop’s surge of popularity over the years, they’ve just been amplified. If we all just focus on our own fandoms and idols, then we would be able to put more attention and support what really matters and ignore those that don’t.