In light of recent Black Lives Matter protests, BLINKs, ARMYs, ONCEs, and more used their massive numbers on social media this weekend a little differently. Instead of swarming the hashtags for their favorite K-pop groups, K-pop’s Dallas Police App fancam takeover kicked off on Twitter for hours. The mission was simple: Overload a Dallas Police Department app by uploading thousands of the social media platform’s most pervasive form of spam—a.k.a., the K-pop fancam.
Even if you haven’t heard of fancams, you’d probably recognize them as a Twitter user. K-pop fancams are identifiable as those short clips—sometimes GIFs—of live performances by K-pop groups like BLACKPINK posted in response to, well, literally anything. Think of it as a form of free, fan-based promotion. They’re everywhere and they’re frequent, often to the ire of other Twitter users. But when it came to supporting an essential cause this weekend, those fancams suddenly came in handy.
As police response to protests over George Floyd‘s murder grew violent in states all around the country, one city police department in Dallas took it upon themselves to issue a call for crime tips. “If you have video of illegal activity from the protests and are trying to share it with @DallasPD, you can download it to our iWatch Dallas app,” the police department shared on Twitter on May 31. “You can remain anonymous.”
Well, that’s exactly what K-pop fans did—you know, minus the “illegal activity” part. Fans swarmed the app with fancam videos in an effort to crash the app and protect Black Lives Matter protestors on the frontlines. “The only reason to post fancams in 2020 is to protect the identities of BLM protestors,” wrote @7soulsmap in one viral post. The response was instant, and effective—no less than 24 hours later, the fancams seemingly crashed the police department’s app.
The @DallasPD account later tweeted that their app was experiencing “technical difficulties,” and “will be down temporarily.” If only all of us were as persistent about anti-racist practices as a K-Pop stan with a fancam. The power that has!