The battle between BTS’ fandom and fansites is growing more serious, especially after the recent incident at the group’s Permission to Dance On Stage offline concert in LA, USA. ARMYs called the fansites a “security risk” while fansites claimed that the groundless rumors have put them “in extremely bad light.”
Fansites and fans are both a part of the K-pop culture that can’t survive without each other. However, blurred lines between the fansites and saesangs (obsessive, toxic fans) make it increasingly difficult to discern who’s the good and who's the bad.
Korean fansites of BTS shut down, claim ARMYs bullying their community members
Things started with off with recent incidents of two ARMYs sharing their concert experiences with fansites have shaken up the BTS fan community. A fan narrated how some fansites sneaked in their professional cameras in the concert and how they nearly physically assaulted her.
Another fan shared that she went through a similar experience as the fansite’s camera kept hitting her. Conversations snowballed into bigger issues, such as ARMYs calling them security risks because of their sneaky tactics.
Similar issues were faced by the fansites too. BTS Jungkook’s fansite @SeptemberJK97 posted a lengthy statement narrating the racism and hatred Korean fansites received at the concert, on December 2.
The fansite specifically addressed “Translation/information accounts, BigHit supporters, and Korean American fans” and called them out for putting the community in a negative light. They captioned it as "Having Fun Hunting Down Fellow Humans?"
The fansite further shared that the fans in the concert could be seen “gossiping” amongst them whenever they saw someone looking East-Asian. They added that they were bullied, attacked physically, and threatened with identity leaks on the internet. However, their quote-retweets are filled with ARMYs not believing anything and telling people to report them.
Soon after the BTS’ offline concert, multiple fansites released statements sharing that they felt extremely disappointed in being targeted and announced they were shutting down.
Among them, @blacknwhite_km, @jiminiful and @V_Pintor have decided to go on hiatus as they need time “to cope” with the experiences they’ve had. Fansite @blacknwhite_km shared,
“I cannot overlook the fact that the online community is framing us as the villains… As a fansite, all I ever want to do at concerts is capture the moments and share them with fellow ARMYs. But the internet now considers us to be extremely negative.”
Fansite @V_Pintor quote-retweeted the above tweet and stated that they have been struggling too. They added that they will be taking a hiatus after uploading some HD photos of BTS from the concert.
Fans' take on the recent events regarding fansites' hiatus
On the other hand, ARMYs are cautioning other fans not to fall into the fansites’ “sob stories.” They even shared their reasons why the clash has become an important discussion. Fansites sneaking in huge professional cameras during a concert can lead to anyone sneaking in weapons.
Taking into consideration the public shootings in America the past few years, the behavior worries many fans. Meanwhile, HYBE even issued a statement and threatened to take action against illegal HD recordings of the concert.