Following the killing of George Floyd in police custody, stan accounts across Twitter have mobilized to raise awareness about his death and the Black Lives Matter movement. The accounts have been disseminating ways to donate and campaign among themselves, in order to make online activism easier for anyone wanting to participate.
One of the ways they have been doing this is by asking people to share a graphic with information on "how to help." The graphic's creator, a 17-year-old who asked to remain anonymous, built a site on the webpage design platform Carrd.
The teen tweets at @dehyedration and uses the account to mainly stan K-pop groups such as Loona and BTS. She told BuzzFeed News there had been so much information going around about how to stand with protesters that she had felt lost on where to look. So she made the Carrd to help other people who needed guidance.
“I thought making this Carrd would really help to put it all in one place, and make it easier for everyone to do their part," she said.
The teen has been constantly updating the Carrd with new information. It also includes links for people to help with action around the world, including in places like Hong Kong, Palestine, and Canada.
At the time of writing, the Carrd link has amassed over 985,000 Facebook shares and has been posted by celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Kim Kardashian, and 5SOS.
On Twitter, it also has been widely shared by tons of celebrities such as Ariana Grande, Jae from Day6, Pretty Ricky, and Mark from GOT7. Taylor Swift added it to her Instagram story, allowing users to swipe up to the Carrd.
The creator said she found the response to be incredible.
"I saw a bunch of celebrities use it and I was really shocked," she said. "I’m just so glad I could do something to help and that so many people are finding it useful."
The Carrd links out to a few other Carrds for translation and other causes people can support. One of the pages it links out to is a page about the "junk terror bill," which was created by a fellow K-pop stan who tweets at @haechnkr.
The bill is anti-terrorism legislation the government of the Philippines just approved that has been criticized by the UN as "making things much worse." The bill will allow someone to be detained for possibly more than three weeks without a warrant, including minors.
The creator of that card, @haechnkr, told BuzzFeed News they made the card to serve as a master list for those who want to be informed and to give people ways to sign petitions and email. @haechnkr said they decided to call on stan Twitter to help further their cause.
The Carrd also links out to petitions on Change.org, one of which, calling for justice for George Floyd, has become the most-signed petition ever on the site with more than 16 million signatures. The petition was also created by a teenager, although she isn't a part of stan Twitter. Kellen, 15, said she "just wanted to get someone's attention so there could be justice for George."
A spokesperson for Change.org told BuzzFeed News that petitions were up 112% in the last week of May compared to the same week in 2019.
They said the total signatures of US racial injustice petitions alone in 2020 so far have been 59.9 million signatures and people signing racial injustice petitions have come from 195 countries — every registered country in the world.
Stan accounts have also mobilized to direct their large groups of followers to amplify efforts by other people on social media to raise awareness or funds.
When Zoe Amira, a 20-year-old influencer and social media manager from Chicago, created a "stream to donate" video, stan accounts were on it. They helped her video go viral by streaming it like they would a new music video. One tweet by a Swiftie went on to get tens of thousands of retweets.
Amira told BuzzFeed News that she has just started getting monetized on YouTube, and realized that creating a "stream to donate" video would be a great way to raise funds. Amira made a video highlighting black artists, and is donating all the ad revenue to various causes.
"When I took to Twitter this week after seeing the murder of George Floyd, I realized that Google Adsense and watching ads is a great way for people to be able to 'make money' without really 'doing anything,'" she said.
Amira initially considered posting a video that was just a blank screen that people could play while they were busy or even sleeping, but she found out that those videos struggle to get monetized. So she "decided to reach out and fill the space with black creators instead."
She said the response to the video by stan Twitter has been awesome.
"K-Pop stans found it and they sure know how to stream, but really, I’m just glad to be able to give people without much means a way to be able to help," she said.
The video as of right now has over 9 million views and has earned $42,000 in Adsense money that will go to different charities.
Another way K-pop stans have been pivoting to activism is using "fancam" videos to spread their message. Fancams are videos often filmed live by a fan at a concert using their own camera that tend to focus on one member of a K-pop group that are popular on stan Twitter.
Now, stans have been using fancams to mess with police tip lines and interrupt the spread of submitted content.
They have also been posting on several hashtags such as #WhiteLivesMatter and #WhiteOutTuesday to confuse regular users of the hashtag.
This has surprised people, as non-stan Twitter users always used to view fancams as spam. But now, people have begun requesting K-pop fans post videos to make it harder for evidence to be gathered from protests.
While stan accounts are more vocal than ever during the recent protests, Stan Twitter using their voices for activism is not new.
In fact, the BTS stan group, known as ARMY, has long been dedicated to social justice and even has its own fundraising group, One in an ARMY (OIAA), which was created in 2018. The first cause it fundraised for was to send medical supplies to aid Syrian refugees.
"As ARMYs ourselves, very involved in our fandom, we do notice when the fandom as a whole are passionately behind something," the group said in a statement. "That's why we found a good source of information for those who wanted to get involved."
OIAA said fans weren't quite sure on places to donate, so they created a Carrd to disseminate information. OIAA said the response was a hit.
"Doing something as a fan, is not a bad thing," they said.
On Saturday, it was announced that BTS donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter, and fans vowed to match the million-dollar donation. OIAA ran the project and it was its biggest one to date, and it completed it in about a day — 25 hours to be exact. At the time of writing, ARMYs have raised $1,140,806.
“We added a goal tracker to our donation page and our website purely to keep ARMY updated on the total amount raised," OIAA said. "We’ve run big projects before, but the amount of support for this project is overwhelming. We truly didn’t know whether the goal would be reached."
They added that this isn't out of character for the fanbase, as ARMYs have been fundraising for charities since 2015 and have organized over 634 fundraisers globally.
ARMY collectively raised $1 million between 2018 and 2020, and OIAA has a map that tracks all its donations.
The group said it was proud that so many people who stan BTS had joined together to stand for something important.
"We’re so proud that ARMY have once again channeled their power for good and are making a real impact in the fight against anti-Black racism," they said.