So as you all know by now, T-ara is currently mired in a bullying controversy involving one of their own members, Hwayoung. Some have decided to throw kerosene on the dumpster fire, but fans, antis, and the general public aren’t without blame for the clusterfuck either.
It’s understandable that everybody is in a tizzy about the scandal (I’m certainly not without guilt), but people are posting basically whatever they can get their hands on now, desperately going back months and years to find positive or negative signs.
The problem? Most of it is rife with confirmation bias.
Confirmation biases contribute to overconfidence in personal beliefs and can maintain or strengthen beliefs in the face of contrary evidence. Poor decisions due to these biases have been found in military, political, and organizational contexts.
So yeah, I’ve seen antis posting stuff like this:
And I’ve seen fans posting stuff like this:
One side is furious at T-ara and are just laying into them. They are searching for anything and everything that they can interpret as bullying or harassment or abuse within the group. Generally speaking, they’re doing it sans context, and it’s because they want to believe rampant bullying is the reality of the situation. Similarly, the other side is focusing their efforts on finding pictures and videos of T-ara getting along swimmingly because it’s the reality they want to believe.
Honestly though, what does either thing mean? Nothing. The only thing that’s going on is a bunch of people who don’t know what reality is trying to confirm their own version of reality to themselves.
Do I think there are problems within T-ara based on the series of tweets? Absolutely. Do I think bullying goes on behind the scenes in K-pop? Absolutely. Do I think all these groups get along like they try to portray publicly? Absolutely not.
However, what I’m saying is that, beyond the tweets themselves, most everything I see being posted after the fact is wrought with confirmation bias. People are now seeing what they want to see because they want to believe they know what’s going on with the scandal. Yet, the fact of the matter is that none of them know shit, so why bother with the charade?
The issue at hand is a serious one and it deserves to be dealt with and given the attention it deserves, especially if further information leaks out, but retroactively trying to look for reasons to defend or accuse T-ara is just an exercise in futility.