Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Why do I see East Asian music videos popping up randomly on Twitter?

TWICE, a group commonly found in Twitter fan cams

The Internet is filled with stars and their stans (basically, fan accounts that dedicate the entire account to post videos and photos of the star/idol). Often they just post the videos and photos in their own profile. Sometimes, they post them as a reply under popular posts, hoping to get more views.

There was a time when K-Pop stans were sharing fan cams to completely random Twitter threads that have no relevance to them. Their only aim was to increase the views of their idol's videos and the reach of the idol. These stans are not necessarily from South Korea. Their love for K-Pop music unites them. Their posts' had a short lifetime since others find it quite annoying and report them instantly for spam every time they post.


Then came 2020

Like everything else of 2020, K-Pop fan cams unexpectedly faced a paradigm shift. They formed as a left-leaning political force in the USA. From what I know, this change happened in a decentralized manner. There was no leadership or careful planning. What they did was simple. Many random stans independently targeted hateful hashtags, and then post a cute fan cam of their idol with the respective hashtag of their idols -- for example,  #TWICE. Then everyone else of the idol's hashtag did the same. #[IDOL-NAME] #[HATEFUL-TAG] and boom, the hateful hashtags became music libraries! K-Pop won, hateful hashtags lost.

Interestingly, this pattern also extended to J-Pop and C-Pop to a smaller extent. For example, I noticed a few fan cams of #SNH48 C-Pop girl group popping up to dilute the racist hashtags. Eventually, K-Pop stans also conquered TikTok. People started noticing only after the stans had already made a difference in the USA political scene.



Consequently, people's perceptions changed. Most tweeps (i.e., Twitter users) started to see the K-Pop stans more and more positively. People stopped marking fan cams as spam. I certainly stopped reporting them altogether!

I decided to test this. I tagged #Twice on a hateful post from a "verified" account. Yep, I got the response back from some stans as a video reply.


Another time, I had an interaction similar to this:


Stan: People should be kind to each other #[HATEFUL-HASHTAG] [A random video from TWICE].

Me: That's a beautiful video, thanks for your service.

Stans: Thanks for your kind words. #[HATEFUL-HASHTAG] [Another random video from TWICE]. 



It works

The stans are diluting hateful hashtags, taking over the Internet with their cute fan cams. You may consider it a spam. They even risk an account suspension, as indeed their behavior fits the typical profile of a spammer. But they are always harmless.


Such replies annoy a racist or a troll.

It goes like this: 


Racist: [some nasty stuff]

Stan: [random-fan-cam]

Racist: [some more nasty stuff]

Stan: [another-random-fan-cam]


The racist gets all worked up and loses his/her energy. But a stan doesn't lose his/her cool. The racist says nasty things to them. He/she will get a reply, yet another fan cam. You may mistake the stans as bots. But they are not. They are cool people out there, conquering the Internet with fan cams.

K-Pop fan cams are the new cat videos of the Internet! Yes, 2020 y'all.


Now, if you see me replying on Twitter fights with K-Pop, C-Pop, or any random music videos, you know where I got the motivation from.


For actual Twitter wars, we shouldn't give too much variety in the videos in our replies. That derails the purpose. Best to stick to one artist or a girl group such as #TWICE. For added moral support, add their recent tags. #TWICE_Beyond_LIVE#트와이스#MOREandMORE

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