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Fans as transcultural gatekeepers: The hierarchy of BTS’ Anglophone Reddit fandom and the digital East-West media flow

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Title:Fans as transcultural gatekeepers: The hierarchy of BTS’ Anglophone Reddit fandom and the digital East-West media flow
Fans as transcultural gatekeepers
Authors:Lynch, Kimery
Contributors:Stirr, Anna (instructor)
online communities
show 12 moreCross-cultural studies
transcultural fandom
Social Capital
Electronic forums
East-West flow
show less
LC Subject Headings:Popular music--Korea
Online social networks
Social Media
Social sciences in mass media
Cross-cultural studies
Date Issued:08 Sep 2020
Citation:Lynch, Kimery S. “Fans as Transcultural Gatekeepers: The Hierarchy of BTS’ Anglophone Reddit Fandom and the Digital East-West Media Flow.” New Media & Society, (September 2020).
Abstract:This paper describes how fandom organization on visibly hierarchical social media platforms differs from rhizomatic social media platforms. It discusses how Reddit’s hierarchical structure controls the flow of information into digital Anglophone K-pop fandoms, shedding light on this aspect of the East-West transcultural flow. Through analysis of comments and interviews with 8 moderators of the K-pop group BTS’ subreddit (/r/bangtan), I show that when certain fans are in a position of power over other fans, they become digital gatekeepers. I argue that by becoming gatekeepers, these fans gain unlimited social capital and use it to control the content seen by the rest of the /r/bangtan community, much like a traditional news gatekeeper. Doing so controls what BTS content /r/bangtan users will continue to interact with, perceive, and further spread along this East-West flow. It also demonstrates a user desire for expert curators to filter out “fake news” for them.
Pages/Duration:27 pages
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Journal:New Media & Society
Appears in Collections: SPAS Graduate Student Works

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