The hashtag #SoloStansOut has been trending for quite some time now after the unfortunate incident that has brought to light the ongoing internal conflict inside a kpop group's fandom.
Solo stans of X vs solo stans of Y vs OT7.
Solo stanning has been a trend even in the early days of Kpop. It is a specific way of stanning a particular member of a group. Prioritizing one member (but not completely disregarding or disrespecting the whole group) does make an effective way of supporting your fave member, in terms of sales, streams and others. One term, commonly mis-identified with solo stanning, is being an AKGAE. An akgae (malicious fan) is someone who disrespects and harms other members of the group in favor of their favorite idol.
Fanwars have been waged from the most trivial to the most impactful things. Are kpop stans losing morals over tweets, likes, hype and clout? Is the whole kpop fandom morphing into a battlefield of akgaes?
Let's look closely at certain specific instances:
1. Jeremy Burge, the founder of EmojiPedia, has been harassed by BTS V akgaes when they posted their data showing that BTS Jimin was more closely associated with the use of the purple heart emoji. The founder, himself, posted an excerpt of several emails sent to him by V akgaes claiming the purple heart as their own.
2. Several korean articles published based on the Global Big Data Research Institute highlighting the impact of BTS Jimin in the sales of Samsung S20 had to be put down due to harrassment of V akgaes. The journalist even had to explain that the basis of the write-up was data from a reputable research body and not 'personal preferences'.
3. Gallup cancelled its yearly posting of South Korea's most preferred idol after being harrassed by akgaes of other BTS members. When Jimin emerged as the top idol in 2019 (two years in a row), the research body was harrassed to no end by stans of other members; some even claiming that the data is fabricated. Gallup, itself, released a statement in 2019, disproving the claims of other members stans that the data collected is biased and manipulated. Come 2020 and Gallup has decided to NOT post the 2020 results to avoid internal conflicts in the fandom.
4. The recent cancellation of the auction involving BTS Jimin's hanbok was primarily instigated by fake ARMYs and harrassment of the designer by the akgaes of other members, who are (as claimed by Korean media) envious of why it was only Jimin's hanbok that was highlighted. The designer and the auction company even had to release a statement. Jimin's Korean fans plead for the resumption of the auction but to no avail. HYBE, itself, has opted to cancel the whole thing in fear of widespread backlash.
5. Even V's friend, NIVE, is not excempt from harrassment by V akgaes when mistranslation in the international side of the fandom made it seem that Nive was disregarding V's contributions in the creation of Blue and Grey. The singer/song-writer himself had to issue a statement.
At the end of it all, nobody wins in these fanwars. Akgae vs akgae vs OT7 only hurt the idols, themselves. These ego-driven wars hamper the growth of the members as artists and as individuals. Like idol, like stans. Fans should mirror the very advocacies of their idols. Bullying and harrassment only result in negativity and no GENUINE fan would want negativity attached to their beloved idol's name.
It's time to draw the line and bring back morality when it comes to kpop stanning.