Please read the Introduction to ARMY Etiquette before reading these guidelines.
The following guidelines were written to address Youtube comments, but can also be applied to any streaming platform which includes a comment section such as Soundcloud
Why are Youtube comments important, and how could they affect BTS?
Many new people discover BTS through Youtube, which is the main platform for sharing music and videos. Once a curious person has seen a video and liked it, they will often check the comment section to see what others think about it. Seeing fans’ reaction to a video will often shape their first impression of the artist’s fandom, which could be hard to change.
BTS being a boyband, and specifically a K-Pop boyband, it would be very easy for a newcomer to imagine their fandom as a group of obsessed, rabid teenage girls (which all of us know to be untrue). Comments presenting this image of the fandom would push them to dismiss BTS as simply a group admired for their visuals instead of their talent and hard work.
However, for BTS to achieve their very ambitious goals, they will eventually need not only our support, but also the support and recognition of the general public. Since ARMY’s are often the gateway between curious newcomers and BTS, our behaviour influences greatly their opinion of BTS.
What kind of comments are better to write?
Write comments about:
- Theories: The Bangtan Universe is extensive and there are still many clues to find and answers to give. The complexity of the story is something that gets many of us excited and we can theorize for hours. Why not share a couple of theories linked to the video you are commenting under?
→ Example for Fake Love MV: “Is it just me or does it seem that they were all trying to kill themselves? Like they couldn’t handle the pressure of being someone they weren’t/ someone they hated and JK saw that and decided to save them by choosing Jin to help them.”
- Opinion: What did you think about the video? Did you like the singing, dancing, editing? Maybe your writing about something you like will show someone something they hadn’t noticed or hadn’t paid attention to, which could lead them to watching the video again to get a better look at a certain aspect.
→ Example for DNA MV: “DNA is such a perfect romantic song! I love that they connect the universe, fate and our DNA to woo their special someone. It reminds me of my favorite DW quote about us all being made up of stardust. If we’re all special because we’re made up of galaxies and the stars, then a soulmate would be made of the same stardust I am.”
- Anecdotes: Does something about the song remind you about something you have lived? Do you identify personally with some lyrics of the song? Did listening to the song in a certain situation lead to something unexpected? Feel free to share your experiences! Music is meant to be lived as much as listened to, and BTS’ music is very relatable and often brings us back to our own lives.
→ Example for Spring Day MV: “Listening to Spring Day is always a pleasant pain for me. It’s a beautiful soothing song, but it reminds me of my late nana and our final moments together. So while I cry listening to this song, the lyrics put a smile on my face because like they say “the morning will come again” and I will eventually see my beloved nana again when the flowers bloom.
- Metaphors: BTS’ videos and lyrics, sometimes even their choreography, are ripe with metaphors. If you have spotted one, why not share it and discuss its potential meaning with others? Show the world how thought-provoking BTS is and how much we learn analysing their videos.
→ Example for Fake Love MV: “The phone turning to sand in V’s hand may represent communication between all of the characters, especially V and the others, progressively stopping until they cannot call each other to help, thus giving the Save me/I’m fine upside down writing in V’s room”
- BTS: The members of BTS are very interesting as artists and human beings: why write a little bit about them, their lives and history, their activism and charity work? Giving the general public a positive image or the artists behind the music will go a long way in helping their careers.
→ Example: “In case anyone is wondering about all the fuss over Jin and his singing, it’s because he has such an amazing voice but wasn’t given many parts to sing. Listen to Awake to see what I mean about his amazing voice!”
- Lyrics: BTS’ songwriting is always very beautiful and meaningful: why not share a couple of lyrics which are important to you, in Korean, English, or your native language? Or you can also share what you believe to be the true meaning of specific lyrics!
→ Example for Singularity MV: These lines “I dumped myself into the lake/I buried my voice for you/Over the winter lake I was thrown” give me absolute chills. No pun intended. Not only would someone just grow numb, but eventually die because hypothermia but of drowning as well. Buried is an interesting choice of word for describing what would happen in the lake. Or is that just me?”
Types of comments you should avoid:
- Obsessing over a body part of a member/sexualising one of the members: this contributes to the needy teenage fangirl narrative and reduces BTS to their bodies when we all know they are so much more than that.
- Begging members to notice them or marry them: This will also contribute to discrediting the fandom and reducing us to obsessed teenagers, and will not benefit BTS as it will dissuade people from interacting with us in the future.
- Obsessing overviews and streaming goals: Comeback goals are private ARMY matters. A comment section which only talks about numbers completely ignores and disrespects BTS’ artistry and the care they put into their art and their hard work. As a fandom we break many records, and these records do make BTS special in a way, but that is not what we are originally here for: BTS’ music deserves to be appreciated openly. Also yelling at Youtube for deleting views will not help, these views are being deleted because we are not using correct methods for streaming and so our streams are being counted as spam. Please check your own behaviour before blaming someone else for the loss of views.
- NSFW or offensive comments: Youtube is a public space and we should behave correctly in this situation. BTS’ videos are not flagged as 18+ and as such are watched by a lot of younger viewers.
How else could I help?
There are many ways you can help apart from commenting on your own:
- Interacting with constructive and interesting comments by liking them or continuing the discussion will push them higher on the list of comments and thus make them more visible to the public eye.
- Share comments you have appreciated on social media so others can interact with them too and see examples of good comments.
- Participate in campaigns such as #BurnUpTheComments (see our article about it) to help spread awareness to this type of problem and open discussion with others on how our behaviour can affect BTS.
- Keep an eye out and always welcome rational discussion.