K-pop fans are organizing to keep Lady Gaga and Blackpink's latest single from trending online out of respect for #BlackLivesMatter
- Lady Gaga and K-pop girl group Blackpink recently released "Sour Candy," a single from Lady Gaga's upcoming album, "Chromatica."
- Fans typically trend hashtags around new releases, but some Blackpink fanbases are organizing to encourage fellow fans to not trend #SourCandy and instead use #BlackLivesMatter.
- The effort comes after the death of George Floyd, who was killed when a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly eight minutes.
Early on May 28, Lady Gaga and K-pop supergroup Blackpink teamed up to release "Sour Candy," the latest single off of Lady Gaga's upcoming "Chromatica." Typically, a new music release from either artist would lead to a coordinated effort to stream the song, trend related hashtags, and promote it as much as possible. While #SourCandy trended in the United States on May 28, some Blackpink fans (called Blinks) are encouraging people to not use the hashtag and to instead support the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag.
—BLACKPINK Asia (@BLACKPINKAsia) May 28, 2020
People online are showing support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement while speaking out against the death of George Floyd, who died after a now-fired Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly eight minutes. With many, including Floyd's family, calling for the four officers involved in the incident to face murder charges, protests have erupted in Minneapolis, with thousands taking to the streets to demand justice. Those demands have also crossed over to social media as well, with people rallying behind hashtags like #minneapolisriots and other phrases like "Minneapolis Freedom Fund" trending on Twitter.
Fans typically trend hashtags around new music releases, but some Blackpink fanbases worked to discourage others from using the hashtag
While fans typically work to trend hashtags around new releases from their favorite artists, several Blackpink fanbases made the decision to postpone hashtag events, organizing in a Twitter direct message chat involving several different fanbases. "It just so happened that our hashtag event coincided with the recent situation that involved the oppression of Black people," Blackpink Asia told Insider, speaking on behalf of a group of Blackpink fanbases including Blackpink USA and Blackpink America. "Considering that Blackpink fanbases have very large reach, we have collectively decided to postpone our event, and instead help in the promotion of a fair and just society."
On May 28, #SourCandy trended in the United States and worldwide, falling out of the top 5 trending topics and hashtags midday. #BlackLivesMatter later began to trend in the United States midday.
Taking top trending spots is typically a major goal for fandoms in order to drum up attention for a new release, and fanbases usually lead the charge in determining which hashtags to use. However, many fans felt that trending tags in the midst of a massive conversation on Twitter about police brutality and Floyd's death would be disrespectful. While "Sour Candy" was partially leaked several hours prior to its release, several Blackpink fanbases made the decision to postpone a countdown tag line — "SOUR CANDY IS COMING" – as well as the #SourCandy hashtag after the song's surprise release.
—BLACKPINK AMERICA (@BPinAmerica) May 28, 2020
Still, the #SourCandy hashtag did trend after the song's release on the morning of May 28, prompting criticism from other fandoms. However, some Blackpink fans said on Twitter that the hashtag was trending as a result of large, verified accounts — like Lady Gaga herself — using it.
Other K-pop fandoms also worked to stop trending hashtags and promote #BlackLivesMatter
While #Punch1stWin trended on Twitter after K-pop group NCT 127 received its first Korean music show win for recent single "Punch," NCT fans (known as NCTzens), encouraged each other to help #BlackLivesMatter trend as well. Other fandoms, like BTS' ARMY, also encouraged each other to not actively trend any hashtags or phrases related to new content as phrases related to the group like "The Eternal" briefly trended following BTS' announcement of its 2020 anniversary celebration.
While there are plenty of people still hyping up "Sour Candy," many are doing so sans hashtag and simultaneously promoting the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag alongside petitions, fundraisers, and other resources.
—슈 (@intoblackpivk) May 28, 2020
The decision to postpone promotional hashtag events in lieu of attempting to coordinate to trend the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag demonstrates a keen awareness of both Twitter's trending topics and how they reflect the current moment. Releases from major artists like Lady Gaga or Blackpink are essentially guaranteed to trend in some capacity by virtue of the sizes of their fandoms. In the eyes of fans, working to stop trending a hashtag can serve as a small, but meaningful gesture alongside promoting resources like petitions and fundraisers.
"Music, in general, brings us happiness, but how do we celebrate such occasion knowing that people are being harassed and killed for the most unjustifiable reasons," Blackpink Asia said, once again speaking on behalf of several Blackpink fanbases. "Our favorite artists' music will forever be out there, but the life of the victims won't."Read the original article on Insider
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