Anonymous, QAnon, Tik-tok teens, K-pop fans

Author(s): Cho, Michelle

This essay examines online rumors concerning K-pop fans’ transitioning group affinity from one of media fandom to one of progressive political organising against white supremacy and police brutality in the US context. Rather than aiming to confirm or debunk these rumors, I instead argue that they are worthy of attention in their own right, as a window into the importance of social media rumor as ‘improvised public opinion’ in today’s media environments. I assert that one particular set of rumors – comparing K-pop fans and Anonymous – promotes timely reflection on anonymity’s affordances for the politics of fandom and processes of knowledge production in transnational media ecosystems. Doing so, I argue, confirms anonymity’s importance toward building solidarity, while also revealing the key epistemological function of rumor on Twitter.

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Preferred Citation
Cho, Michelle: Anonymous, QAnon, Tik-tok teens, K-pop fans. In: NECSUS_European Journal of Media Studies, Jg. 11 (2022), Nr. 1, S. 169-193. DOI:
 author = {Cho, Michelle},
 title = {Anonymous, QAnon, Tik-tok teens, K-pop fans},
 year = 2022,
 doi = "\url{}",
 volume = 11,
 journal = {NECSUS_European Journal of Media Studies},
 number = 1,
 pages = {169--193},
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