BTS fans flex online muscle, exceed band's $1M donation to Black Lives Matter
More than 35,000 fans raise $1.2M over the weekend
The BTS ARMY, the international fanbase of K-pop superstars BTS, has shown its devotion to the influential boy band by raising and donating $1 million US to Black Lives Matter just days after the band's own donation.
On the weekend, entertainment outlet Variety confirmed that management company Big Hit Entertainment and the seven-member K-pop group had made a joint $1 million (all figures US) donation to the anti-racism activist group last week.
The announcement came as part of ongoing international demonstrations decrying police brutality against Black people, following the recent killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, who was in the custody of Minneapolis police.
"We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence," BTS said in a social media post last week that included the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
우리는 인종차별에 반대합니다.<br>우리는 폭력에 반대합니다.<br>나, 당신, 우리 모두는 존중받을 권리가 있습니다. 함께 하겠습니다.<br><br>We stand against racial discrimination.<br>We condemn violence.<br>You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackLivesMatter?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlackLivesMatter</a>—@BTS_twt
Fans immediately responded to weekend news of the band's donation by encouraging each other to follow in their footsteps, posting under the hashtag #MatchAMillion.
The efforts were tracked by One In an Army, a subset of BTS devotees that has organized previous charitable campaigns and which focused the initiative on raising funds for a host of organisations fighting for racial equality.
On Monday, the group revealed that the BTS ARMY had exceeded its goal, with donations from more than 35,000 fans. As of Monday afternoon, donations were still rolling in for a tally of more than $1.2 million.
Just like BTS, we were able to donate 1M dollars to help fund:<br><br>💠bailouts for those arrested for protesting police brutality<br>💠black-led advocacy orgs fighting against systemic injustice <br>💠support for the physical and mental health of the black commmunity—@OneInAnARMY
"Thank you so much to everyone who donated, shared, used the hashtag and helped by any means to make this possible!" organizers said via Twitter.
It's the latest example of the BTS ARMY flexing its substantial online muscle.
Last week, the fanbase joined with the wider community of K-pop lovers to overrun hashtags such as #WhiteLivesMatter on social media in order to drown out white-supremacist messages. Also, after the Dallas Police Department called on the public to submit footage from the ongoing protests to its iWatch Dallas app, fans overloaded the system with K-pop content instead.