One of the reasons President Donald Trump's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma fell apart was thanks to an online army of "K-pop" fans — or fans of Korean pop music. The group reportedly tricked the Trump campaign into thinking there would be far more attendees than there were through fake emails and signups, which not only caused them to put up a vast overflow area that wasn't needed, but may have ruined the data collected for the campaign's social media targeting operation.
On Monday, The New York Times looked into K-pop culture — and highlighted some of the reasons it came to become a political force.
"In recent weeks, K-pop devotees — who use Twitter as a home base, but proliferate across TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms — have spammed a birthday card for President Trump, disrupted a Dallas police app seeking intelligence on protesters and flooded would-be white supremacist hashtags, while also announcing that they had matched a $1 million donation from BTS for Black Lives Matter groups," reported Joe Coscarelli. "And in keeping with the growing popularity of K-pop in the United States, many of these budding digital activists may also be American citizens, according to experts."
"South Koreans tend to follow U.S. elections closely because they could affect alliance relations between Washington and Seoul, and American policy on North Korea," continued the report. "But they generally remain wary of taking sides in U.S. politics. Mr. Trump has been quite popular among liberal South Koreans, including young people, by raising hopes that his diplomacy with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, might produce a breakthrough in long-stalled talks on ending the North’s nuclear threat and establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula."
“K-pop fans learned how to organize through their fandom,” said T.K. Park, the pseudonymous blogger behind “Ask a Korean!” He added that “K-pop is a digital-native music” and South Korea's early adoption of internet connectivity “made Korean pop music respond to the demands of the internet, and also made K-pop’s fandom the most sophisticated actors in the digital sphere.”
The Trump campaign currently denies that K-pop fans are significantly disrupting their events.
You can read more here.