14 BTS Fans Talk About The Racism They've Experienced Within The Fandom

    Fans of the wildly popular Korean group tell BuzzFeed News that they have received continued abuse from fellow fans.

    K-pop boyband BTS have millions of devoted fans around the world who go by the name Army.

    Have you heard? We've been nominated with our ARMY for the #RDMA! Don't forget to vote for @BTS_twt

    For some time now, however, concerns have been raised by the band's black supporters who say they've been on the receiving end of racism from other fans.

    The worst abuse mostly happens through social networks such as Curious Cat, which allows users to ask each other questions anonymously.

    Last month, one member of Army even started the #BlackArmyBeauty project in solidarity with black fans in response to the negative and racist messages they receive. It got lots of support.

    The hashtag we will be using is #blackarmybeauty. If you want to support our Black Armies please change your profile pictures to this flower. This is a Protea King, it means diversity and courage. The half filter on the flower symbolizes our unity. Spread Love & Positivity♡ https://t.co/5Bwh8d1lun

    BuzzFeed News spoke to several black fans who said that when they try to make other fans aware of the abuse, they're accused of making stuff up or told to keep quiet so they don't make BTS look bad.

    But they want to share their stories and examples of racism to continue the conversation about discrimination within the fandom – so here are their experiences:

    Jenna Wood, an 18-year-old student from Kentucky.

    if you don't believe that black armys are targeted then tell me what this is. they fucking white washed me 😭😔

    Jenna Wood told BuzzFeed News that she joined a Twitter group chat that she thought was for BTS fans to work on her social skills and make friends.

    "We were all sending selfies so I joined in," she said. "But a few moments later I began to feel overwhelmed because there were so many people talking at once so I decided to leave."

    After she left, someone in the group chat edited her selfie and lightened her skin. "Ten minutes went by and my friend had DM'd me to tell me they had white-washed my photo."

    Wood said she started crying when she saw the photo and felt horrible. "Reading how the others had called me a 'white queen' was so disrespectful," she said.

    "It honestly made me feel less of a person because they would do something this horrible to someone like me who was only there to have fun but I was wronged and targeted."

    Wood afterwards she found out that the group chat was set up by non BTS fans.

    Deja Ferguson (@melinatedweirdo), a 21-year-old chef from Orlando, Florida.

    Anjelica (@joondailyx), 19, from New Jersey.

    Jess (@jooniesboop), 20, a college student from Florida.

    Dani (@melaninbarbie), 22, a freelance artist and student from Nebraska.

    Nicia (@wavesofmelanin), 19, a student from Maryland.

    Alexis (@fentybaseline), 20, a student from Atlanta, Georgia.

    Hannah (@hijabi_hannah), 16, Chicago

    Sonny (@baseIinethot), 19, from North Carolina.

    Anna C (@pjmdreams), 27, from France.

    Kirsten Cohns (@lovr_twt), a 17-year-old high school student from Dallas, Texas.

    Ahna, 19, a student from California.

    Kirstin (@kirstiquetee), 27.

    Joy (@joyfulseok), a 23-year-old student from Maryland.

    BuzzFeed News contacted Curious Cat for comment and a spokesperson said in an emailed statement:

    "As we stated on our twitter recently, we are aware of the issue and have been banning all the individuals behind these messages which are brought to our attention.

    "As to what we are doing, we are currently designing and building the foundations for a safer Curious Cat, both behind the scenes and out front. We have recently been experimenting with filters that will prevent harmful posts from reaching the user without them realising, but we will also be rolling out more intuitive and useful safety settings, that will allow each user to make their experience as safe as it needs to be."

    The company said that a block feature currently exists, though it is "far from perfect", while users can also block people asking questions anonymously, or prevent people without an account from asking questions.

    BuzzFeed News has also contacted BTS for comment.