A number of popular BTS fansites have announced a “rest” or shut down permanently due to ongoing pressure from their own fandom.
“Fansites” refers to the skilled photographer-fans who take HD photos of K-Pop group members using professional cameras. Fansites usually dedicate themselves to focusing on one specific member. The photos are then shared through the fansites’ social media accounts, such as Twitter and Tumblr, for other fans to see.
Bringing professional cameras (DSLRs with additional lenses) to the concerts is prohibited both in Korea and abroad, but it is still common practice for fansites. Although rule breaking is involved, the majority of fansites are respectful of their idols’ personal space and dignity.
Over the years, fansite photos have played a key role in exposing the world to K-Pop. Without them, many international fans who are unable to attend a concert would be unable to experience it at all. Fansite videos and photos have also helped idols boost their popularity, such as the viral video that Hani (formerly of EXID) thanked fansite pharkil for taking.
Even so, not everyone approves of fansite practices. In the BTS fandom, fansites have become the subject of controversy among international fans, especially since BTS launched their Speak Yourself world tour. Some of these fans disapprove of the professional cameras because they say BTS themselves have expressed their dislike for it. Others see it as a violation of BTS’s privacy.
A growing number of major fansites have recently announced that they will be going on hiatus or shutting down completely during BTS’s US tour.
Rest 👋🏻 & Thanks 🙇🏻♀️
— RM_Ocean (@RM_Ocean) May 8, 2019
미국에서 별일을 다 겪는 중이라 멘탈이 많이 약해진 상태입니다. 굿즈 통판 배송은 예정대로 5월 중순(15일 이후) 한국 가자마자 순차적으로 진행하겠습니다. 조금만 더 기다려주세요. 감사합니다.
— 럽인태태🐯 (@Luvin_taetae) May 8, 2019
— SUGA Coffee. 슈가커피 (@SUGACoffee309) May 4, 2019
Many of the announcements came after they received aggressive backlash from international ARMYs, following BTS’s Rose Bowl concert in Los Angeles.
잠시만 쉬다가 올게요 🙂
will still be going on tour because i love and want to watch jimin perform at sold out stadium shows above anything else as this is what i’ve been doing for 5 years already but right now there’s only so much a human can take 🙂 pic.twitter.com/Djt4KGC2t4
— HEARTTHROB♡ (@heartthrob_jm) May 8, 2019
alot of my fave bts fansites are resting. y’ALL BULLIED THEM SO MUCH TO THE POINT THAT THEY HAD TO REST FOR THEIR OWN PERSONAL SAFETY
— 𝓅𝒶𝓉𝓉𝒾 🍑 BLACK HAIRED JIMIN (@notearspark) May 8, 2019
The issue has divided the fandom. Some ARMYs claim that any photos/videos taken by fansites at BTS concerts with professional cameras should not be permitted, nor supported by the fandom. Others disagree, as they believe fansite photos/videos are okay, as long as they are taken respectfully.
BTS fansites(not sasaengs) and BTS were staying peacefully. Why are you guys suddenly doing these things? The fansites who closed or is resting didn't cause harm to BTS
— 구소연 (@Shelly9_9999) May 8, 2019
So far, the list of “resting” fansites includes 20+ fansites, including those listed below: