Given that there hasn’t been news coverage of the fandom war that broke out between stans of Kris and BTS, there hasn’t been an easy way to cover the mess, but it’s also a hilariously gigantic (and hopefully temporary) fandom war so I feel like somebody has to mention it.
Anyway, after signing with Universal Music Group last month, Kris dropped “Like That“ on May 17. Unsurprisingly, given his massive popularity, it shot to the top of iTunes charts in America. As we know by now, the next day on May 18, BTS dropped “Fake Love“. Given their huge popularity, it was no surprise they also shot up the iTunes charts in America … except to #2 behind Kris at #1.
As you might imagine that brought out the salt, and a fanwar between stans of BTS and Kris was underway. Eventually, it ended up getting to Jeff Benjamin of Billboard, and without saying names he said he’d forward it to people who would know.
Hmm I see your guys' comments and your concerns…going to look into it through the proper channels. Send me updates and things you see please, thank you.
— Jeff Benjamin (@Jeff__Benjamin) May 20, 2018
I mention that specifically because in the replies under his tweet, you can basically see the fanwar arguments hash out in full. Basically, BTS fans are complaining that Kris’s Chinese fans are using VPN to manipulate the iTunes chart in America. Kris fans understandably found that amusing given that basically all fandoms manipulate charts, especially K-pop fandoms, with BTS’s fandom being no exception. The timing is even more amusing because after BTS seemingly passed PSY with 41 million views on their “Fake Love” music video in 24 hours, YouTube docked them back to 36 million in the official count.
Anyway, did Kris’s fandom manipulate the charts? Sure, probably. But mainly in the way that all fandoms manipulate charts, and every single K-pop fandom I’ve seen has step-by-step guides to help their faves game the system in terms of streaming, views, and votes. So honestly, for any fandom to complain about chart manipulation, it just rings hollow as hell to me (#JusticeForNilo2K18). Most importantly, does it even matter if they manipulated their location to get all the sales in the US? It’s still sales and iTunes still loves money, so of course they’re not likely to care about location bullshit.
Besides, I thought it was about Asian representation anyway? I mean you’d never want to come off like you never actually cared about Asian-Americans or any everyday Asians and actually just cared about your faves. That would be a bad look.
I can’t predict if this continues on further or not, but the whole thing seems fucking ridiculous to me. A K-pop fandom complaining about chart manipulation? Really? That’s like … the status quo for K-pop fandoms and shit they brag about daily. Come on, man.
As somebody who mainly just enjoys the celebrities themselves and whatever entertainment value they bring, watching fandoms fight is always an entertaining hobby, and the main point here is that searching ‘Kris’ and ‘BTS’ on Twitter has returned peak value for the last few days at least.