K-Pop Fans Flood QAnon Twitter Hashtags to Silence Conspiracy Theorists as Anti-Racism Activism Spreads

K-pop fans continued their activism streak this week by flooding Twitter hashtags tied to the QAnon conspiracy and a suspected 4chan troll campaign.

In the past day, waves of posts by followers of the Korean pop music genre have been filling the platform with short clips of popular artists performing—known as "fancams"—mobilizing their collective power to drown out offensive messages.

K-pop stans, as they are known, previously spearheaded a viral campaign that took over racism-filled Twitter hashtags, including #MAGA and #WhiteLivesMatter, spamming the threads into submission and stopping hateful messages from being seen.

Taking advantage of its sheer numbers, the movement previously overwhelmed a Dallas Police Department mobile app designed for submitting videos of illegal activity during Black Lives Matter demonstrations to the point it was taken offline.

Newsweek subscription offers >

The K-pop fan base has become highly active during anti-racism protests taking place nationwide after George Floyd was killed by police in Minnesota on May 25.

The influx in posts to several hashtags caused many of the topics to go trending on the social media platform this week, but clicking through would result in a mass of K-pop videos, gifs and memes. The QAnon conspiracy was a fresh target on Thursday.

Newsweek subscription offers >

The rise in K-pop activism has coincided with a resurgence of the global hacktivist group Anonymous, which is known for launching digital protest campaigns. Prominent accounts linked to the collective are describing the new movement as #OpFanCam.

"Anonymous stans ALL KPop allies! HACK THE PLANET!" read a June 3 tweet from the Twitter profile @YourAnonNews, which has more than seven million followers.

"We want everyone to understand that #BlackLivesMatter and we will signal boost all efforts to underscore that the BLM campaign is the main FOCUS. This isn't about Anonymous hacking; it's about police brutality, it's about an unjust racist system," the main account tweeted May 31, eventually attracting more than 100,000 likes.

Another profile—@YourAnonCentral—wrote that its activities would continue to target content alongside K-pop fans, with a renewed focus on Qanon hashtags.

"The fascists are regaining control of their hashtags and are now confused about K-Pop, Anime, and Swifties. The Anonymous #OpFanCam division is now coming back for round two. Let's teach these conspiracy fascists another lesson," it tweeted.

The joint campaign was also targeting the hashtag #WWG1WGA, which is often used by QAnon followers and stands for "Where We Go One, We Go All".

Gabriella Coleman, the author of a book detailing the complex origins of the Anonymous group, "Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy," responded: "That Kpop is flooding Twitter with #QAnon represents one tiny and tasty morsel of good for the day."

Others quickly shared their thoughts on the takeover campaign:

The QAnon conspiracy can be traced back to 2017 and is believed to have started on the controversial message board 4Chan before spreading into the real-world.

Advocates of the baseless conspiracy theory claim to see secret messages in statements or actions by president Donald Trump and have previously suggested that someone from inside the government is leaking information about the "deep state."

"Adherents follow the anonymous Q and believe world governments are being controlled by a shadowy cabal of pedophiles (who will eventually be brought to justice by President Trump)," the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) explains in an online fact-sheet.

It seems K-pop campaigning is here to stay. Today, accounts have turned attention to the hashtag #goBaldforBLM, noting it appeared to be being co-opted by 4chan trolls.

In response, the K-pop army was quick to step in:

QAnon
A man holds up a large "Q" sign while waiting in line to see President Donald J. Trump at his rally on August 2, 2018 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. "Q" represents QAnon, a conspiracy theory group that has been seen at recent rallies. Rick Loomis/Getty
K-Pop Fans Flood QAnon Twitter Hashtags to Silence Conspiracy Theorists as Anti-Racism Activism Spreads | Tech & Science