K-Pop Fans Flood Dallas PD's App to Help Protect BLM Protesters

The Dallas police wanted footage of protesters breaking the law. Instead they got a bunch of K-pop fan videos.  Call the app K-popo?
The Dallas police wanted footage of protesters breaking the law. Instead they got a bunch of K-pop fan videos. Call the app K-popo? Melissa Hennings
Early Sunday morning, the Dallas Police Department's Twitter account tweeted for followers to download its iWatch Dallas app and share videos "of illegal activity from the protests."  The police are looking to arrest lawbreakers at weekend demonstrations decrying police violence against black people. The benefit of the app, according to the tweet, was the ability for informants to stay anonymous.

Within hours, people began retweeting the message and adding a request to send in "fancams," a term used to describe video edits made by zealous fans, aka "stans," that are focused on one band member during a group show — a popular trend among K-pop fans. Their aim was to flood the app with nonsense in order to distract the police from arresting anyone at a Black Lives Matter protest.

Soon music stans began flooding the app with fancams and bad reviews, like "THIS APP GAVE ME A VIRUS!!!!!" or "Terrible cop app." As of late Sunday night, it had 516 reviews and an average score of 1.1 stars out of 5. DPD soon tweeted that the app was "down temporarily."

One K-pop fan, who wished to remain anonymous, wrote via Twitter DM, "Stan Twitter got together and sent in multiple fancam of KPop stars, memes and anime vids as well as left bad reviews on the App Store."

Late Sunday night, one user tweeted that everyone should delete the app because it's allowed to obtain users' personal information. But others argued it was "well worth it."

iWatch Dallas' privacy policy led to the website of the app's maker, a company called Zeteky, based in Houston. The privacy policy read that the software company collects information from users when they "register on our site, subscribe to a newsletter, fill out a form or enter information on our site."

K-pop fans originated the fancam tweet, and they often use it to distract users from a controversial tweet or move away from a tweet's original purpose, which only made the fancams ever more suited to distract police officers from any videos of illegal activities from BLM protesters.

DPD and Zeteky did not respond to our emails as of press time.
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner