A BTS fan account on Twitter, @BTSDailyInfo, claims that they have been harassed with fake copyright strikes since early November. The group claiming to be behind the attacks calls themselves Team Copyright—claiming that they will “destroy the toxic fanbase”, criticising BTS for “promotion of atheism and homosexuality”. Wild, I know.
On 3 November, the owner of @BTSDailyInfo said that they received a total of 4 copyright strikes in 24 hours, causing them to “go private” for a few days. The account has more than 230K followers, posting videos, photos, and memes related to the popular South Korean band. The struck posts included the account’s headers and a tweet with their own screenshots.
“…I’m afraid there’s nothing much I can do on my end until my counter-notifications go through Twitter, so for now I’m going to lay low and hope for the best!” they wrote.
According to the BTS fan account, the website that the copyright claimers are using to file the complaints includes very suspicious sounding sites called “dhakanews24bd.com” and “teamdisobey.com“. Both sites already seem to have been taken down, but they appear to have reposted the account’s header on their suspicious websites in a backdated post—claiming to Twitter that the image was their own. Even though the websites appear to have been taken down, the account’s header is still suspended “in response to a report from the copyright holder”.
The copyright attackers have also struck claims against other BTS fan accounts. And in true fan account fashion, @BTSDailyinfo created an incredibly detailed graph depicting the incidents and the affected accounts.
But it’s not just fans that were the targets—the attackers have even tried to strike BTS themselves as well. There had been takedown notices that resulted in the temporary removal of selfies from members RM and Suga that were posted from the band’s verified account over the summer. Both photos and the account have since been reinstated, but Hybe—the label that manages BTS—has not yet said anything about the incidents.
Who was behind it?
The Verge reported that a group called Team Copyright, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is claiming to be behind the copyright claim attacks. Their Facebook group was said to have “threatening and discriminatory posts”. The group also claims it will “destroy the toxic fanbase” and criticises BTS for “promotion of atheism and homosexuality”.
While the Facebook group has already been taken down, there are still screenshots of the page tweeted out by BTS fans earlier today—which likely means that the page was only recently being struck down. If we know anything from Kpop fans, they’re willing to go the extra mile for something they love. The page downfall of Team Copyright is thanks to fans reporting the page on Facebook, and tagging Twitter support in comments. But it’s a shame that it still taking a while for Twitter to make sure that @BTSDailyInfo’s header is legit.
Now, it looks like team BTS has managed to overpower the alleged attackers. But it’s so upsetting to hear that a group of dedicated fans of a huge Kpop group was being targeted online using Twitter’s copyright claims. It’s also telling to how imperfect Twitter’s policy system is—as someone could just post a backlog of a picture on a website to “prove” that they own an image or post.
Twitter and Facebook have not yet made any comments on it, and neither has BTS.