The Untold Truth Of The BTS ARMY

BTS — who, BTW, almost had a very different stage name — thrill fans with their peppy hits and perfectly coordinated performances. However, in addition to the fame and fortune, the seven-member boy band also has to deal with other aspects of being one of the top acts in the world of K-pop, including strict rules, potential scandals, and stiff competition (*waves to Blackpink*). They also happen to have a following that isn't just fond of the group. Their fans, deemed the BTS Army, are beyond loyal.

The Army is comprised of devoted fans who appreciate the fact that the group's uplifting and inspiring music has "helped them survive dark days," according to Medium. However, the massive following is also "organized chaos," meaning that they're "a collective tour de force of clicks, views, purchases, and votes" who go into action "whenever the band drops anything new." Frankly, they're a "phenomena as big as BTS themselves" thanks to the fact that they're "a strange amalgamation of loose organization but precise coordination." 

For all of those reasons, the BTS Army is both wondrous and worrisome.

The BTS Army 'has become weaponized'

There's no doubt that the BTS Army is a force to be reckoned with. Not only does their support help the group that they adore break world records, but the zealous fans among them have also been known to use their say to sway things in what some consider to be a problematic direction.

Despite the fact that BTS' "lyrics, many of which were written by the band themselves, tackle topics like self-harm, academic stress, inferiority complexes, bullying, depression, and so on," according to Medium, NME claims that "the BTS Army ... preach a message of exclusion and intolerance that is the opposite of the band's ambition" to the point where the influence of fans "has become weaponized." 

And the BTS Army is certainly willing to wield its power as it sees fit and tends to "strike online whenever they feel that the group is under threat, or that their achievements are being undermined," per NME. The Army has been known to go after specific figures, such as radio host Roman Kemp and The Times writer Richard Lloyd Parry for what were perceived as slights towards the group.

Let's just hope that, in the future, the BTS Army uses its power to spread the group's true message of acceptance, tolerance, and love.