Music

K-Pop Stans Are Spamming US Police ‘Snitch’ Apps With Fan-Cams To Support Black Lives Matter

One app is currently down, presumably because it's filled with videos of K-pop acts dancing and strutting to Nicki Minaj.

K-pop fans are flooding police 'snitch' apps with fancams to support Black Lives Matter protestors

K-pop fans are powerful armies: remember when they forced Channel 9 to apologise for an insensitive segment on BTS? Now, they’re teaming together to show support for the Black Lives Matter protests currently underway across the US by intentionally spamming a police app that tries to crowd-source images of protestors to potentially later prosecute.

The Dallas Police Department asked people to download their iWatch app on Sunday, framing it as a way to report illegal activity.

“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. You can remain anonymous,” they wrote.

K-pop fans almost immediately began flooding it with fan-cams, memes and videos of police brutality, in an attempt to overwhelm the app and render its database useless.

As per BuzzFeed News, it kicked off with a tweet from BTS stan account @7soulsmap about the importance of covering faces in pictures, before various accounts began to suggest they flood the app, offering advice on how to successfully upload videos to the app by using a VPN.

Fan-cams, for the uninitiated, are fan-edited footage of their idols set to music (often Nicki Minaj) — it announces their unparalleled talent, obviously, usually unprompted to a completely unrelated tweet.

It’s a k-pop phenomenon that’s now everywhere: there are Bong Joon-ho and Bernie Sanders fan-cams, and when internet activist group Anonymous posted a video announcing their support for Black Lives Matter protests a few days ago, there were fan-cams stanning the Guy Fawkes mask-wearers.

It’s seemingly worked too, as the DPD later tweeted they were experiencing “technical difficulties”. It’s unclear whether this means that the k-pop fans successfully crashed the app, or the DPD pulled it offline temporarily. Either way, the police’s tweet was followed, of course, with fan-cams.

The app has also been spammed with 1-star reviews on Apple’s App Store, with many comments simply reading “ACAB” or “Black Lives Matter”. It’s widely believed it could prompt Apple to automatically delete the offending app, which isn’t true, but circulated when Wuhan schoolkids mass trolled an app for home-schooling during COVID-19.

The DPD’s website has also intermittently gone down, though as of writing, it’s active. Many US police departments have access to facial recognition technology, which pulls from social media and CCTV footage to compile citizen databases: Michigan police have also announced a similar online portal asking people to upload footage of protests. Other apps have also seemingly been targeted, including one launched by Michigan PD.

Across social media, protestors are attempting to post imagery which doesn’t identify those protesting, in case they are later persecuted by police, employers or alt-right hacktivists and doxxers — celebrities such as Lana Del Rey have been criticised for not obscuring faces of protestors in their posts.

The protests across America are in response to the murder of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man who was arrested by four Minnesotan police over allegedly using a counterfeit $20 note and died of strangulation on the street in broad daylight.

In video footage of Floyd’s last moments, officer Derek Chauvin — who knew Floyd personally for almost two decades — can be seen with his knee on Floyd’s throat. His knee was on Floyd’s throat for close to 9 minutes, ignoring Floyd’s cries of “I can’t breathe”.

Protests have taken place across the country, including Minneapolis, New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Dallas.  In response, police have aggressively cracked down on protestors, with countless footage of further police brutality circulating across social media showing force used against protestors, journalists, and completely passive people alike.

Chauvin has currently been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, a charge considered far too light by protestors, and one which ignores the three other officers involved in Floyd’s death.