I was noticing tonight that this post is getting a lot of attention from BAP fans, who apparently are being asked to help out with some kind of boycott by K-fans.
The short version: Don’t just automatically do whatever K-fans tell you to. Do some research into the claims being made, and if the arguments presented to you do or don’t add up, have confidence in your judgement.
The long version: I don’t know what’s going on with BAP right now–I don’t follow K-Pop groups other than Block B closely because I don’t have the time. So I can’t give advice specific to this situation.
But I am going to say that, while there have been cases where it made total and complete sense for fans to boycott something, and K-fans were merely alerting i-fans to a genuine issue, there have also been cases like…well, like last fall’s Block B boycott.
What actually happened was K-BBCs started to feel neglected (Block B was promoting in Japan a lot, but this was also right after the news of Zico and Seolhyun dating came out–draw your own conclusions there about how “chill” BBCs actually are), so they boycotted a DVD.
Now, I thought that was pretty childish, but whatever, right? It’s kind of douchey, but K-BCCs have been getting more activities in Korea post-boycott, so–they got what they wanted, however they did it.
Where things got really questionable in my book was when some of the English-speaking K-BBCs decided to recruit i-BBCs into this boycott.
Since BBCs do believe themselves to be a chill fandom, “Zico is dating–boycott Block B!” wasn’t going to fly. There was some traction for the “Block B is spending too much time in Japan, which is unfair to Korea” idea (J-BBCs were never targeted for recruitment, of course).
The main thing that got lots of play among i-fans, however, was this idea that Block B was being horribly mismanaged. Like BAP, Block B has in fact been horribly mismanaged in the past, so i-fans were quite receptive to the idea that it was happening again.
But gee, Block B is doing really well now, right? And they were doing really well last fall, too!
How to sell this idea that they’re being horribly mismanaged?
That’s easy! LIE.
Lie about how well things were managed in the past. Lie about how members have been treated. Lie about why things happened. When you’re not lying, edit: Keep the rampant anti-Japanese sentiments out of the material created for an English-speaking audience, and make up an English hashtag that asks for feedback, please, while the Korean hashtag tells the label you hate them!
The Block B boycott got so much traction among i-fans that it even got stories in the English-speaking K-Pop press–something that did not happen in Korea. I should note that there’s a real tendency to copy/paste any and all allegations that make their way into English without stopping to figure out if they are true or not. And once they’re in English, they’re also much more likely to get translated into still-other languages because so many people are English-bilingual.
So, yeah. I’m certainly not trying to suggest that K-fans are always lying or always attempting to manipulate i-fans for their own purposes (I hope to God that’s not true, anyway). But you should be aware that it does happen. If this BAP boycott makes zero sense to you, don’t just assume that the K-fans know better and that you should follow along.