Twitter is overflowing with fan cams. Thanks to the current political climate, even more so than usual. What’s the meaning behind these videos? Here’s what we know about the meaning behind these K-pop fan cams, and they’re recent impact in the Black Lives Matter movement.
What, exactly, is a fan cam?
If you’ve been on social media, chances are, you’ve seen a trending tweet with a few unrelated videos lurking in the comments section. These videos often focus on a K-pop idol of a popular group performing live. Although they might not have anything to do with the initial tweet in question, they often accompany a caption and are posted by a fan of that specific K-pop group.
These videos, nicknamed “fan cams” are often associated with boy bands and girl groups, like BTS, EXO, and BLACKPINK. Fans of other music genres and even film since branched out to include “fan cams” of other public figures. Most recently, Barron Trump trended, including a “fan cam” of the son of the President of the United States.
K-pop stans recently played a role in the Black Lives Matter movement
Oftentimes, these fans use their power (and influence) for good. Amidst protests prompted by George Floyd’s death, K-pop stans filled the Instagram #WhiteLivesMatter tag with fan cams and pictures of their favorite performers. (This could be a result of BTS speaking out and donating a million dollars to Black Lives Matter.)
According to Vox, “Paradoxically, the virality K-pop fans have gained for this stunt has kept ‘white lives matter’ trending as a topic for days. At one point, Twitter presented it to me as a ‘K-pop’ topic, and even listed the phrase “#WhiteLifeMatter” as a more mainstream ‘music’ topic.”
This influence even extends beyond social media. Prompted by support from international fans, K-pop groups earned the spotlight in more western arenas. BLACKPINK became one of the first K-pop groups to perform at Coachella. BTS became the first K-pop group to perform at the Grammy Awards. The MTV VMAs added a “K-pop” category to their award ceremony, although this was met with much criticism from fans.
What’s the meaning behind K-pop ‘fan cams’
Although these fan cams generally mean nothing more than support and devotion of a fan to their favorite performer, they’re oftentimes taken poorly by other social media users. Some consider the videos irrelevant, while others consider them confusing and out-of-context. For some posts, that’s kind of the point.
Mashable writes, “It is true that this can be an effective tactic when it comes to shutting down a conversation for the right reasons. Dropping a fan cam and saying nothing further than “anyways, stan” shows an unwillingness to engage directly with trolling, hateful comments, or ignorant people. And sometimes, that’s absolutely for the best. After all, people aren’t always interested in listening to reason.”