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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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Item Summary Lynch, Kimery 2020-09-09T00:34:41Z 2020-09-09T00:34:41Z 2020-09-08
dc.description.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.
dc.format.extent 27 pages
dc.language.iso en-US
dc.publisher Sage
dc.rights This article is protected by copyright and reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses. Users may also download and save a local copy of an article accessed in an institutional repository for the user's personal reference. For permission to reuse an article, please follow Sage Publishing's Process for Requesting Permission (
dc.subject Moderation
dc.subject curation
dc.subject Reddit
dc.subject gatekeeping
dc.subject online communities
dc.subject Cross-cultural studies
dc.subject transcultural fandom
dc.subject fandom
dc.subject K-pop
dc.subject BTS
dc.subject Hallyu
dc.subject Social Capital
dc.subject Electronic forums
dc.subject rhizomatic
dc.subject East-West flow
dc.subject Anglophone
dc.subject Hierarchy
dc.subject.lcsh Popular music--Korea
dc.subject.lcsh Online social networks
dc.subject.lcsh Social Media
dc.subject.lcsh Social sciences in mass media
dc.subject.lcsh Cross-cultural studies
dc.title Fans as transcultural gatekeepers: The hierarchy of BTS’ Anglophone Reddit fandom and the digital East-West media flow
dc.title.alternative Fans as transcultural gatekeepers
dc.type Article
dc.type.dcmi Text
dc.contributor.instructor Stirr, Anna
prism.publicationname New Media & Society
Appears in Collections: SPAS Graduate Student Works

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