I love BB, SJ, KHJ & Phantom. I read allkpop & their the forum. I'm using GD as an example for my questions. Someone in the forum said: Korean VIPs only know who GD is dating & are fiercely protecting the girl from international fans. Huh? GD said himself that he keeps his relationships secret because he doesn't want harm to come to that person. Most idols & their agencies do! What's your take on this comment, dating rumors & forums? Why would Korean fans know more than international ones?
Hi there, thanks for dropping by!
I don’t know about the validity of that comment per se, but I do agree that Korean fans tend to know more about idols and the industry than international fans. There are several reasons for this:
- Most of the ‘information’, whether they be rumors or facts, are usually disseminated in Korean and usually by Korean K-pop netizens. All the news we hear about, both ‘forum gossip’ and official press releases, came from Korean media sources and ‘inside’ sources. Whether or not it gets passed onto the international fandom depends on whether these tidbits get translated, therefore accessible to the rest of us.
- Korean netizens and fans in Korea are those who are the closest and have the most access to these idols. Your most dedicated ones attend every fan meet or music program they can, know where to spot their favorite idols at what time, and even develop intimate connections to the industry. They therefore have either seen things with their own two eyes or have heard from relatively valid sources.
- All of this usually gets reported on personal blogs, closed forums and within other tight networks, like on Naver blogs or ‘cafes’. Even if you do know Korean fluently, you sort of have to know where to look.
To summarize, language and location. These are resources a majority of international fans don’t have. Then again, this does not mean that such information is automatically factual. Korean netizens make up stuff too, and we’re disadvantaged because not only is there so much we interpret from the original source, there is no way of validating it either.
I’ve also heard that some Korean fans have a sort of animosity towards international fans, and may even purposefully keep information from leaking into the international fandom. A part of it is due to the ‘special treatment’ international-based fan clubs are entitled to when they’re in Korea - they are eligible for private meet-and-greets, company and agency tours, and even reserved seats for music shows. I hope this is the case for a small percentage of K-netizens, because to have them pinning themselves against us puts us at an even greater disadvantage than we already are. They’re our access into the insides of the industry, especially during scandals when we often depend on ‘netizen power’ to expose (or at the very least, provide insight on) what the media isn’t willing.