Sunday, 11 November 2018

TATAdventures: The Witch's Side of the Hunt

It’s been a really long time since I last wrong a blog, more than a year, so I doubt I have much of audience left at this point. Writing essays constantly for uni pretty much means my incentive to spend my free time churning out several-thousand-word opinion posts has plummeted, and ironically it is procrastinating 2 essays that I am now writing this.

After running a twitter account for BT21 Character (and Kim Taehyung’s creation) TATA for a few months my person twitter (@AustralianSana) was dug up by popular accounts in the fandom. Threads were made about why I’m basically the worst thing to happen since whoever they were mass harassing last week and now I’m everyone’s favourite anti. I’m not particularly interested in changing those peoples’ minds, studies have shown that would almost be nearly impossible anyway as once someone has a strong opinion the more facts you present them with proving them wrong, the more strongly they actually believe their opinion. And if you’re the kind of person who sees a thread of screenshots without looking for their context and then decides that someone deserves to have thousands of people harassing their mentions, I don’t particularly want you enjoying my content anyway.

But the topic itself makes for an interesting blog on toxic fandom mob mentality from the perspective of someone who has now been on the receiving end.

To start with I made the account @TATAdventures after a family vacation to Tasmania back in late August. After seeing some cute Instagram accounts of people taking plush dolls on holidays TATAsmania seemed like the perfect pun and opportunity to try that for myself. I made an album on Facebook and posted some pictures on my twitter and found that I was having a really good time, so much so that I made TATA his own little twitter account to continue the concept.

The account was fun and small for a month, basically just really boring mundane things in life that became amusing cause of a sudden a plush was the one doing them (I’m easily amused, sue me). And then the account suddenly went viral after pictures of the doll doing housework. The internet is stupid, don’t even ask me to explain how or why that happened, but the account gained over ten thousand followers overnight and continued to rapidly gain.

When this happened I recognised a lot of ARMY accounts who had very negative opinions about my main account were quoting the TATA account saying how great it was and I realised I was pretty much up the creek without a paddle. My options consisted of:

a)    Immediately expose I ran the account and instantly get attacked by the thousands of people that had started following it (which I never asked for)
b)    Continue to run the account and perhaps show I’m not as bad of a person this fandom seems to think I am through the genuine content I was creating

You can actually see here in these tweets I did not want the fan base

I'm sure the worst possible scenario coming true is going to give my psych a field day next session

I also tweeted encouragement to other BT21 fan accounts and followed them to try and divert the attention away from mine

I ended up going with b) and for a while it was still fun to take TATA on his adventures, it was constantly filled with an unsettling feeling of just waiting for something bad to happen. People kept hinting things like “I know who runs this account, DM me!” and I eventually became fed up to the point I just revealed myself to be over and done with it. By this point TATA now had 61000 followers.

“But why do all these accounts hate you if you aren’t a bad person?”

Because the internet can’t read, has no concept of sarcasm and fandoms live for mob mentality.

To discuss all the dumb things that seems to have become mainstream twitter ARMY opinions would be a blog on its own; but apparently BTS aren’t kpop anymore, ARMYs can talk negatively about kpop as a genre all they want but if anyone criticises their tweets then we’re “throwing BTS under the bus”, “kpoppies” is actually used unironically as an insult and because some people do charity projects (other) ARMYs (who probably never even donated) can’t be considered a bad fandom. Put simply I don’t agree with that.

"BTS aren't Kpop!"

Twitter dot com account @hopeworldians actually did me a massive favour by compiling a best “Best of AustralianSana” thread using their 53000 followers to spread a bunch of out of context screenshots and effectively send their minions into my mentions on why I’m so awful.

For the sake of discussing context, I’ll break down how stupid these tweets being used as “anti” receipts are by talking about how they've been paraphrased vs what they actually were about.

Jungkook the Sociopath

Army interpretation:
That evil anti is saying Jungkook is a sociopath! How dare you! Diagnosing people with a mental illness from the internet!

Actual tweet meaning:
Idols grow up in completely unhealthy environments during formative years of development. As much as we do love these people, to constantly be surrounded by strangers telling you how perfect you are and sending you very very expensive gifts isn’t actually healthy. From working in media (more on that later) I’ve met some journalists (people that actually work in this industry for their livelihoods) and I have heard so many stories about idols that are conceited and rude. Girl Group A are stuck up backstage and not pleasant to be around. Boy group idol B showed up to an interview hungover. Etc. And this isn’t an idol industry exclusive, medical websites have covered the toxicity of being a child star. Ex child stars themselves have come out to talk about how terrible the life of being a young celebrity is.

So with all of that to consider the fact Jungkook hasn’t gone down that path is a miracle. From all things I’ve heard (including people who have worked with BTS) he’s a great guy. The tweet is praising him for being set up in a very difficult upbringing but still growing up to become a good person.

And yes I have criticised this for years generally, not just for Jungkook receiving fan gifts. When BTS rejected receiving any more gifts from fans I praised them as setting a great example.

Seokjin the Egomaniac

Army interpretation:
That evil anti is saying Seokjin is an egomaniac! How dare you! Diagnosing people with a mental illness from the internet!

Actual tweet meaning:
The quoted tweet with a mutual literally says we are joking. The tweet right below it that was cropped out then goes on to say “watch people take this seriously” therefor saying the above tweet is not serious at all.

For context Seokjin himself uses sarcasm himself to make exaggerated gestures and comments on how good looking he is (and he is very good looking irl FYI). Meanwhile I find it ironic that the people being so loud about how offensive sarcastically calling someone narcissistic is are often replying to jokes with “my lungs collapsed!”. The lung collapsing thing is obviously an exaggeration of being short of breath, but lungs collapsing is also a serious medical condition that requires painful surgeries and can result in fatalities. I would know, I had 4 emergency visits, 2 emergency draining procedures and 2 operations.

So did I miss a memo on what chronic illnesses/conditions are free game to use as sarcastic exaggerations? What about mocking blindness/deafness when someone says they don’t find a member attractive or like a song?

That’s not an attempt at self-victimisation either, I don’t particularly care if people want to joke about collapsing lungs. But the reach to be offended in order to claim “mocking mental illness” whilst simultaneously engaging in a toxic mob is hilarious to me.

BTS the Clout Chasers

ARMY interpretation
How dare you say BTS are using other people for clout! The only clout chasers are everyone who breathes within a 1 mile radius of BTS!

Actual tweet meaning:
Every single person who seems to go near BTS is labelled a “clout chaser” to the point the label has no meaning what so ever. Collaborations are mutually beneficial, it’s why both parties agree to them. BTS gain things from working with The Chainsmokers (insert barf emoji here) or Charlie Puth, hence the media play that BigHit puts out about them. Bangtan gains a potential break into the US through working with names the general public knows, the colab artist gains access to an instant 50000 retweets whenever they mention BTS. Win win!

Additionally, the quoted tweet was implying BTS was only working with white people because they left Gallant on read. As if they didn’t do a colab with Nicki Minaj. The reality is they worked with Minaj because she does a lot of features and working with a widely recognised name is an attempt to further crack into the US market they’ve been targeting more.

Hoseok’s Ugly Clothes

ARMY interpretation:
She’s insulting Hoseok! She’s saying he doesn’t have a personality and calling him ugly!

Actual tweet meaning:
Being critical of the materialistic world whilst simultaneously still engaging with it myself, it’s called irony (some may say hypocrisy and you wouldn’t exactly be wrong). I’ve been critical of many celebrities being stupid with their wealth before, see Beyonce pouring a $20000 bottle of champagne into a spa, or how Americans basically rely on celebrities finding their Go Fund Me page for healthcare.

To me, hype beast fashion and paying thousands for a bag or shoes that are so ugly that their only purpose is to advertise how rich you are is dumb. To other people spending a load of money on a boyband (aka what I have done) is dumb. Jung Hoseok is a multimillionaire who owns property and doesn’t care if I don’t like his shoes. And for the record I’m saying he has a personality and other things that are much more worthy of being talked about than his hideous fashion choices.

Namjoon’s English

ARMY interpretation:
She’s making fun of Namjoon’s English! She’s mocking a second language speaker and calling him lazy!

Actual tweets meaning:
Tweet 1 & 2.
Namjoon made some comment about not releasing official lyrics (in Korean) for his mixtape because he wanted fans to “listen in our own language”. Uh that’s great but as someone whose Korean is terrible how am I meant to read the words to then try and attempt to understand, without lyrics to read? I’m just saying it doesn’t make sense and if anything makes it harder for people to understand if we can’t read the lyrics. None of that has anything to do with an English translation

As for the “lazy” part, again sarcasm and context, which I think we can establish are clearly not this fandom’s strong point. Namjoon wrote Singularity for Taehyung the day he got out of hospital. He’s just been on a long leg of a world tour and been involved in music production for pretty much every song on a record breaking album. Additionally, there is learning choreographies, recording for TV and radio programs, writing speeches for the United Nations, constantly being the group’s translator amongst a list of jobs I wouldn’t have a chance of ever being able to cope with.

For him to be putting in so much work and then still come out with a whole mix tape obviously means this guys is the furthest thing from lazy, hence why it obviously would have to be a joke to call him that. That’s how sarcasm works.

Tweet 3.
For the featuring on Fall Out Boy’s Champion I just found the lyrics underwhelming in English compared to the kind of content he is capable of creating in Korean. Compare the layers behind his rap in Ddaeng to “Yo, should I be a star? Baby, I think I already are/ Not a saint, not that great, feel like I was born a car” That’s not an insult, it’s just the reality that his first language is going to be the one he is best able to express himself in (which Namjoon has said himself). That isn’t mocking his second language ability, the fact he is able to write speeches, rapidly translate and create lyrical content in a language that was self-taught is still impressive.

A Racial Slur

ARMY interpretation:
She said ‘rats’ she hates Asians!

Actual tweet meaning:
Actually that was the anon in my that called people rats. I’ve addressed other old tweets using ‘rats’ separately because the only way I had seen the word used in was just a generic animal insult (eg. Calling someone a pig or a cow) and other Asian people have said it wasn’t a slur. But because of those who do consider it to be a slur I don’t use that word in my vocab anymore.

The other part of that tweet was replying to the person saying BTS had bad songs. My point was that just because anon found BTS’s music bad doesn’t mean I can’t have my own opinions on another groups terrible music (in this case Winner’s Every Day, which was awful compared to their great first album).

Also a tad strange to be using 'rat' in widely spread fandom memes when you're accusing people who say it of being racist

On their own without context I can understand how those tweets look bad. I also know there’s been plenty of times on twitter I’ve seen questionable tweets from other users that wound up being jokes later. The English language itself is complex and full of things like tone and emphasis. Take this classic, where emphasis on each word creates an entirely different meaning for the whole sentence:

The point isn’t being mad at people for misunderstanding my content. It’s that they went to look for the worst tweets they could find, deliberately twisted it to mean the worst thing they could interpret it as, and then refuse to listen to any clarification I post saying “no, this is what I actually meant” and somehow think they’re in a position to demand apologies and for me to deactivate. That’s called confirmation bias and is just bullying.

Now that’s all cleared up then we can establish I’m not actually an anti-fan? Of course not, because each part of those answers will then be deconstructed to try and cherry pick the worst possible interpretation to make it look like I’m still a horrible person. None of that is done with an intent to fix what is bad, but of course to exaggerate it (see that link I already posted above on confirmation bias). Why? Because to admit anything other than me being a horrible anti would be to say they were wrong to attack my account in the first place. And fun fact about human nature; we hate admitting we are wrong and pretty much never do it.

So at this point either way I’m an anti this is where things for me actually starts becoming hilarious for several reasons:

1.     The accounts who were so vocal about how awful I am and deserve all the hate I’m getting were also the same people acting loud about a story of an ARMY being bullied, how awful bullying is, and began to trend #EndViolence on twitter. The punchline? That story was fake and they’re back to bullying my TATA and personal account the next day.

2.     Telling people who know me this situation and seeing the look on their faces when I tell them strangers on the internet think I hate BTS (when they know me in real life and have to put up with me never shutting up about them)

3.     Apparently being a fan of BTS because of their social messages on individualism/rejecting authority to then go on twitter and try and police the fandom into which people can and can’t like Bangtan.

4.     Recycling the same above screenshots from my account with over 140,000 tweets whilst ignoring the thousands of positive tweets that exist about BTS.

To help ARMYs out in their next expose thread here are some other things I’ve said and done for BTS that are clearly the work of someone who hates this group

Recommending their music to a music industry professional back in 2014

I mean it’s the kind of thing that sounds so unrealistic I don’t exactly blame anyone whose first thought is “bullshit”. But basically the kpop scene in Sydney is extremely small, I met them through mutual friends and they asked my opinion as a fan of the genre on which groups are worth keeping an eye on. Amongst a couple others I pointed out BTS for being a group full of potential. Later when we were both in Korea at the same time (by chance, I was there on holiday) I helped them out with more info on who BTS were. They were there for business, had a meeting with BitHit and wound up linking a songwriter with the company (who helped them finish Danger). They thanked me for my help with a signed album.

A lot of this was in real life discussion so “receipts” are a bit hard to find but here’s part of an email explaining a bit of how the song was finished and a photo of the bag of stuff they gave me as a thank you.

Ranking BTS as my favourite boy group song from 2015

There we go again discussing their quality music and potential to grow even bigger. The hatred jumped out.

Seeing them in Sydney again in 2017

After seeing their Red Bullet concert in 2015, a performance at Mnet countdown in 2016, nothing says “I hate this band” like spending $700 on 2 pit concert tickets and then writing a blog about how great the concert was!

Purchasing 140 copies of Love Yourself: Her in 2017

Whilst in Korea on holiday I bought over 140 albums in a failed attempt to get into a fansign. I sent them back to Australia to other friends who were buyers. I paid over $200 of my own money to help cover the gap after the money they had been collected wasn’t enough to fully cover expenses.

I’ve also brought up the experience of seeing how rapidly stock sold out against false claims of sajaengi other fandoms have made

Being in the audience for the DNA 3rd Win at Mnet Countdown

Going to a Mnet countdown recording to cheer for BTS is definitely the kind of thing an anti would do, and carrying a Hoseok fan is absolutely the work of a Taehyung solo stan.

Being inspired by BTS (particularly Taehyung) to improve my artwork

Drawing has always been my hobby since I was a kid. I drew a lot at home and used to sketch in workbooks instead of paying attention at school. I’ve had a couple of work books through the years, but never been particularly great at art either. I saw Taehyung’s comment in a Bangtan Bomb about him carrying around his own sketchbook and decided to try sketching him on my usual train rides. The result was alright and I had the book with me in Korea so I actually showed him the finished picture when I saw BTS at Mnet.

He was really sweet and smiled at it which was nice and was a nice kind of positive reinforcement. So I invested in a quality set of art pencils and began working with colour and saw more improvement in my work. My latest drawing is part way finished of Jungkook (the Tae solo stan jumped out) but has been put on hold due to uni work. So because of Taehyung’s small moment of inspiration I’ve now developed a useful life skill and I’m grateful.

Declining gifts on TATAdventures

If I hated the entire fandom (and not just the toxic mob part) like people want to believe then why would I decline free BT21 from someone offering to buy me stuff? If I was this horrible exploitive person just using ARMYs for my selfish gain, then shouldn’t I have been willing to take your money? Especially when other popular people who actually claim to like the fandom are happy to take your money? It’s kind of hilarious when someone who apparently hates you treats you better than the people who say they love you.

Buying their music and merch

Young Forever Album? - $30
Wings concept book? - $120
2 x VIP concert tickets? - $700
Watching an angry mob call you an anti of a group you’ve been supporting for years? – Priceless

There’s some things money can’t buy, for everything else there’s MasterCard

To cover a couple of other loose ends that don’t really fit into the above:

·      If I actually wanted “clout”, why would I continue to run the account after losing more than 15000 followers and knowing it is widely disliked. What is clout? Why do I want it? Is it going to pay my bills, write my assignments or do my taxes? I am so confused.

·      Does anyone else see the irony in calling my account a “clout seeker” whilst those people get more retweets off their screenshots than they have followers

·      If I wanted people to like me personally I would have deactivated AustralianSana when TATAdventures went viral and then made a new main to pretend I was actually a nice person

·      “How can you hate ARMYs but run the account” last time I checked it was called TATAdventures not ARMYventures

·      “How can you hate ARMYs but love BTS?” Very easily. ARMYs aren’t the ones creating musical perfection like Spring Day, Blood Sweat and Tears or the HYYH series. Likewise, BTS aren’t the ones harassing my mentions for a week. I know a bunch of you are so used to projecting yourselves onto BTS to try and live vicariously through their success but the reality is you aren’t them and I don’t have to like you to enjoy their content.

·      “Why do you still want ARMY followers then?" I don't. Please universally just block the account so I can go back to my original 20 friends and I, like the whole thing started out as and was meant to be,

·      People are multidimensional and not just one personality trait. My main account swears and is opinionated, TATAdventures is meant to just be cute plush content. Think of the difference between Filthy Frank and Joji (who are the same person). When Namjoon recommended listening to Joji in RMusic that doesn’t necessarily mean he was recommending the Filthy Frank video where he raps about wanting to have sex with Nickelodeon actresses. You don’t have to like Filthy Frank to like Joji, likewise you don’t have to like AustralianSana to like TATAdventures

·      Media was a side hobby that I did a couple of times because I’m good with a camera and was interested in gaining insight into the industry. I have no intentions of pursuing a career in the field.

·      I can pretty much already read the comments ARMYs are going to write calling this a ‘notes apology’ and saying I’m ‘pretending to be a victim’ and other things basically ignoring the whole point.


  1. people should really read your side of your story instead of constantly bringing up the same ss sigh. hope this will end later. people cancel people in the speed of light, proves how much they kiss a big acc's ass. genuinely saying, i really love your content.

  2. Why do I hate humanity: This
    You don't even deserve this hate what have you ever done to them I'm just???
    I really enjoyed your TATA memes because they were hilarious but i woke up one day to see people hating on you tbh i was confused and mad at the same time ==

  3. i'm @aka_lian and I just read this,people should really see this. I 'm thankful that I approached you with a calm mind as I always knew it's best to know both sides of the story

  4. Tbh i never rly interacted with this whole thing as i didn't have a reason so i've always been neutral about this topic. Now reading this you've brought out a few good points and i'm happy i read it before deciding what to believe. This seems to be a misunderstanding that people aren't ready to discuss. I hope it'll all die down and you can peacefully continue doing what you like.

  5. I just saw a post about the whole situation and I'm glad I read this. I wasn't aware of all this happening before. It's so hard to listen to one another on the internet and peolpe are being cancelled so easily. This is a perfect example of this. I appreciate you taking the time to write this post and educate the ones who'd like to listen. I hope it will die down soon

  6. I stayed away from the drama,bcoz mainly I was too lazy to hunt down the context.I legit commented confused when someone defended you & that's when I decided I need to know the entire context which I've noticed that army seemed to lack most of the time (including me).So here I am & after realising you were just a victim of another of those "Big account sent minion" thing which I'm so getting bored of I'm gonna follow you, probably lose some followers but I do appreciate the kind of inappropriateness to joke "for everything else there's mastercard" in the middle of an explanation.

  7. To be honest, when I found out what happened and how people were attacking you, I read the same tweets that were everywhere, but I didn’t consider you as an anti, even without context. Sure the tweets were opinionated and a tad too harsh for myself personally, but I understood what they were trying to say, and I understand how they could’ve been misinterpreted. Up until now I haven’t spoken out due to the fact that I don’t mind if you run the TATAadventures account, and that I didn’t want to get involved, and this post proves further your points, and supports all the reasons why you have the right to your own opinion and perspective. I believe that you shouldn’t pay any mind to those who’ve attacked you, karma will help them repay their debts, anyway, I’m glad that this post exists, and I want to thank you for the lighthearted tweets of the TATA account, they always seem to make my day, I hope you find happiness in your life, goodbye!

  8. Thank you for this blog and I hope that more people can read this and come to their own conclusion. Plus if it takes little time to “expose” you, they can take the time to read your blog. Continue to support BTS and I hope you succeed in uni and I hope you receive happiness and love in your life.

  9. Lol ok I was going to type a long ass comment about how I found this tweet and all but assuming it really doesn't matter I just want to say, I wish people who made those expose threads found this blog. And imagining they are people with enough will to change their opinions, this would've been a real insight to the person behind all those comments in those ss. I am an ARMY. I didn't call myself one till 2016 for various reasons. Someone told me that BTS chose the name ARMY for people who love and care about them and it wouldn't be right to not accept that part about stanning bts. I just hope you are alright and are strong enough to take all this hate people send your way. Please don't succumb to these bullies who don't take time to read your side of the story. I wish I was brave enough to call out some of the shit I see on my tl everyday, but I have enough shit to deal irl and I am not strong enough to stand upto people who attack me from my one tweet that didn't conform their opinion.
    I hope you have a good day and I hope more people read what you go through everytime they attack you.
    [English is not my first language. Excuse my sentences]πŸ™ƒπŸ’œ

  10. The whole cancelled and exposed culture is really bothering me. The speed at how they jump into conclusions smh.

  11. Facts! This is a great read and a reminder of how mob mentality and to not believe the first thing said. Hear both sides, then make an opinion. Props to the ARMYs that were fair-minded or waited until more details came out. It's too apparent that this person loves her some BTS, but also has her opinions about them as well. I hope that this dies down and those harassers read this blog post in its entirety.