ARMY ETIQUETTE

et·i·quette
/ ˈedəkət,ˈedəˌket /
noun

noun: etiquette; plural noun: etiquettes
A code of polite and mannerly conduct in society or among members of a particular profession or group.
“Every country has its own customs of social etiquette and good manners.”
Similar: protocol, polite behavior, good manners, manners

Source: Lexico

DISCLAIMER: The All For ARMY team has put together this general behavioral guide for ARMY in hopes of creating a more enjoyable fan experience for everyone. We have no intention of controlling the behavior of any individual, and acknowledge that manners vary from person to person. Any action you take upon reading this guide is at your own choice as these are simply suggestions and advice!

In Real Life

Things to remember when you meet, or happen to be at the same location as BTS, or are attending a BTS event:

1. Official Schedules

(Comeback season, broadcasts, concerts, fan meetings, fansigns, award shows etc.)

Do:

  • Follow the rules given by Big Hit, security, and venue staff.
  • Ask appropriate questions during fan meetings and fansigns.
  • Be respectful towards the members, their personal space, and safety.

Do NOT:

  • Invade their personal space. This means one should not block, chase, mob, or touch them without their consent.
  • Ask questions that can be considered too personal or disrespectful. Remember that we are their fans, not close friends or family.
  • Throw objects at the members during concerts, live performances, or any other appearances — both on and off stage. Avoid engaging in actions that could potentially hurt them physically and/or mentally.
  • Smuggle prohibited items into venues. It could lead to security involvement and cause the people to panic, leading to an unpleasant experience for all parties involved.
  • Scream or shout when BTS is being interviewed and/or in the middle of answering a question. Also, do not intervene and answer their questions for them. These are examples of inappropriate behavior, which contribute to perpetuating the popular “fangirls/boys are immature” idea.

2. Private Schedules

(If any BTS member(s) or BTS themselves is/are seen in public)

Do:

  • Respect their personal lives, space, and privacy.

Do NOT:

  • Approach them. Let them spend their time without being interrupted.
  • Reveal their location on social media or anywhere else. It is an invasion of their privacy, and can attract unwanted attention, paparazzi, and sasaengs which could endanger their safety, especially if they are traveling without security.
  • Insist or follow the member(s) around and ask for a photo or an autograph.
  • Photograph them without their consent.

3. Airport

(BTS either leaving, or coming back from official or unofficial schedules at the airport)

Different countries may have different rules, but All For ARMY discourages ARMY from going to the airport when BTS lands in any country.

Do:

  • Respect their personal space and privacy, as the members will be tired and jetlagged from the flight. Wanting to give BTS a warm welcome is understandable; however, large crowds of people going to the airport increases the risk of mobbing. This could disturb both BTS and regular passengers, and make it difficult for the airport staff to operate.
  • Keep a safe distance from them if you happen to be in the same airport as the members at the same time.

Do NOT:

  • Purposefully board the same flight as BTS. Obtaining information about their flight schedules through illegal means, purchasing private information, and bribing airport staff are all considered crimes and invasions of their privacy.
  • This also applies to private schedules, which fans should NOT know about to begin with. If you come across people sharing this information, please report them to Big Hit.
  • Attempt to mob or touch the members.
  • Spread any airport photos or videos that were taken by individuals other than the media outlets that have received explicit permission from Big Hit to be present at the airport.

TIP: Keep in mind that the members’ physical and mental well-being is always more important than HD photos.

Online

1. Responding to Official Posts

(Under BTS’ social media accounts)

Do:

  • Be respectful.
  • Focus on the member(s) who posted or is/are online.
  • Spread love and positivity.

Do NOT:

  • Ask for other group(s), member(s), or make any comparisons. It is disrespectful and promotes unhealthy competition.
  • Order the members on what or what not to do. Remember, YOU ARE A FAN. You can encourage them and give them appropriate advice when asked; however, they are adults with full control of their own lives and have the final say over their own actions.
  • Psychoanalyze the members or objectify them. Making assumptions about their personalities by analyzing specific situations for your own enjoyment and/or to fit your own narratives is an example of inappropriate behavior. ARMY should understand the differences between reality and fiction, and avoid holding them up to impossible standards. BTS are humans too.
  • Make inappropriate, insensitive, or offensive jokes. Jokes at the expense of members that mishandle intimate and/or sensitive topics about BTS, or that perpetuate harmful ideas should always be avoided.
  • Spam BTS’ official accounts if you have any complaints when it comes to content involving BTS. As long as the matter satisfies the requirements, contact Big Hit through email. Do not abuse this line of communication.

2. Interacting with People Online

    a. Within the ARMY Fandom
    Do:
    • Be kind, and mindful of your words. There are bound to be disagreements; however, being respectful of others’ opinions is a must in order to maintain peace within the fandom. We share common interests and have common goals; thus, unity is important. 
      However, if, for whatever reason, you are not fond of a certain ARMY, it is best that you stop engaging with that said individual and either mute or block.
    • Feel free to unleash your creative and playful side as long as it is not at the expense of others.
    • Report sasaeng behavior. If you see this type of content being shared online, report the user to Big Hit immediately. Report the content on the platform shared as well and then block if desired. 
      Sasaengs are not considered ARMY no matter how they may justify their actions. Warn other ARMY to not engage with sasaengs.
    Do NOT:
    • Make assumptions based on rumors, unconfirmed sources, footages, or pictures unless the information was provided and/or confirmed by Big Hit or the members themselves. Avoid assuming when you do not have clear and complete information.
      • Do not blow things out of proportion. Due to our fandom’s size and the popularity of BTS, anything we do can attract unwanted media attention, possibly leading to negative coverage; therefore, spreading unconfirmed information and trending hashtags about the issue can be harmful.
      • If it must be talked about, remember to censor names (example: All For ARMY = “A** F*r A*MY” or “A11 F0r @/RMY”) and/or discuss privately in direct messages or ARMY group chats.
    • Interact with akgaes (악성개인팬). They are NOT considered a part of the fandom. ARMY loves and supports all 7 members of BTS. If you come across such accounts, REPORT AND BLOCK. Avoid any engagement with the individual.
      • Having a bias is not the same as being a solo stan. You can be “biased” or inclined towards one or more members and still love and respect the other members.
    • Interact with “manager antis,” “mantis,” or “manager ARMY” if you would like to avoid toxicity. Doubting and disagreeing with some decisions made by BTS and Big Hit is understandable; however, going beyond that can be considered as inappropriate behavior.
    • Encourage or defend fansites that go too far and exhibit sasaeng-like behavior. The members’ physical and mental well-being is always more important than the pictures they provide.
    • Send harmful direct messages, death threats, and/or rude comments under someone’s posts due to disagreements with something they have said or done. If the issue is serious enough, you may address it maturely, or report and block the individual.
    TIP: Monitor your follow list. Who are you following, and why are you following them? Are they enhancing your social media experience or are they bringing negativity to your feed? Are you following them just because of their following, or because they post content of your preference?
    b. Outside the ARMY Fandom
      I. Antis, Haters, Trolls, etc.
      Do:
      • REPORT AND BLOCK haters if you see them on social media. Haters and antis post negative information to gain attention. By engaging with them, you are giving them exactly what they want — a reaction.
      • Contact Big Hit if the situation gets out of hand and the toxicity continues to the point where rumors are circulating and articles are being written. At this point, a case of defamation could be filed. We insist that you do the same should you come across any organized projects to sabotage BTS. Most importantly, please contact Big Hit immediately if you see threats to the members’ physical and/or mental well-being.
      • Be aware that there have been real and proven cases where antis or trolls disguised their accounts as ARMY and display “Fan-Co” behavior.
        • If you come across a supposed “ARMY” displaying Fan-Co behavior, check their social media account for past posts or tweets, likes, date of creation, following, followers, or when they joined the platform for confirmation. If there seems to be nothing wrong with the account but they are posting hateful content, it is still strongly advised that you report and block immediately.
      • You may try and educate those who seem to be speaking out of ignorance respectfully and calmly. Choose your words carefully.
        Sometimes, haters will refuse to listen to anything being said because they are extremely prejudiced and are not looking to change their opinions. In that case, it is best to report and block.
      Do NOT:
      • Engage with haters, antis, trolls etc.
      • Spam a person who seems to be insulting BTS either because they are prejudiced, misinformed or simply ignorant. This results in the individual receiving more attention.
        Information on reporting and blocking is provided here.
      • TIP: The 3 steps to deal with haters – I.R.B.
        1. IGNORE – Yes, it is very tempting to reply to haters with a lot of comments, but it’s best to ignore them!
        2. REPORT – Report the account!
        3. BLOCK – Block out the negativity!
      II. With Other Fandoms and Locals
      Do:
      • Respect their interests.
      • Help maintain a good image of our fandom and BTS.
      • Use logic and facts to state your opinion maturely.
      • Be composed and get your points across respectfully.
      Do NOT:
      • Shame them for what they like.
      • Use personal attacks, examples being their appearance, color, age, family, and so on, against them.
      • Attack people for simply showing their disinterest in BTS. We, ARMY, should keep in mind that BTS will not be to everyone’s taste.
      • Send harmful direct messages, death threats, and/or rude comments under their posts even if they have said something problematic. Report and block instead.
      • Promote BTS or spam fancams under unrelated posts or hashtags. It is disrespectful and invites others to attack both ARMY and BTS.
      • Make yourself the representative for all ARMY or speak on behalf of other ARMY if you want to express your love for other artists while streaming or trending hashtags. Other ARMY may not appreciate the assumption that everyone in the fandom has the same interests or opinions as you.
        • In order to avoid confrontation, do not use fandom-specific behaviors associated with BTS with other groups and/or fandoms, and vice versa.
          For example, some groups have specific phrases used between them and their fans. These phrases can be important and may have a deeper meaning to other groups and their fandoms, so using them outside of that fandom is bound to make someone upset.
      • Let others make you feel guilty for liking what you like. It is perfectly fine if you are a “multi” or only like BTS. You have every right to stan whomever you want!
      • Engage if you have nothing respectful or comforting to say. For instance, if something tragic, such as death, illness, accident, etc., happens. Please keep out of it.
        There have been instances of some “K-Pop fans,” more likely trolls, posting K-Pop fancams and stating that “If they stanned [insert name], they wouldn’t have died or been injured” whenever a serious incident involving other public figures takes place. Do NOT imitate these actions! It is extremely disrespectful and invites wrath and hate.
      • TIP: Remember that individual fans do not represent a group, artist, or their fandom!
      III. With People Who Are Not Aware of BTS and Are Interested to Know More
      Do:
      • Be polite, and use respectful language when introducing them to BTS.
      • Ask them about their preferences in music, and recommend BTS songs accordingly. If they are interested, do the same for music videos and performances.
      • Mention BTS’ message, content, and some of their histories briefly and directly. You may also mention how they incorporate literary and cultural references in their work, what their songs are about, and so on.
      • Mention BTS’ and ARMY’s charity works. For example, the UNICEF campaign and their speech at the United Nations. Present their achievements if asked.
      Do NOT:
      • Repeat information that other ARMY have already provided. Always read the comments before adding to the conversation. You can like comments which you think are particularly helpful instead.
      • Insult them or force BTS content onto them. It will only make them angry. If they have preconceived notions and are insulting you or BTS, do not turn it into a fight. Stop engaging, and report and block if desired.
    c. With Mainstream Media – News Outlets, Radio Stations, Magazines, etc.
      I. How to React to News Outlets, Magazines or Interviewers Asking for Promotion?
      Articles are often being written about BTS, radio stations are mentioning them, and sometimes, they are interviewed. How to best engage when media outlets release BTS related content?
      Do:
      • Always read and/or watch the content they wish to promote so that you do not end up promoting anything that may be offensive or harmful to BTS’ image.
      Do NOT:
      • Promote content where the interviewer is rude, condescending, and/or prejudiced towards either BTS or ARMY. Also, content that includes offensive comments based on rumors, assumptions, misinformation, or that is discriminatory in any way should not be spread.
      • TIP: Read the comment section under the official post before clicking the article. ARMY usually mention the journalist or interviewer in the comments and if the article has any issues.
      II. What if Mainstream Media Outlets Publish Content that Harms BTS?
      Sometimes mainstream media outlets release articles, interviews, or news reports about BTS that are rude, condescending, prejudiced, defamatory, or contain false information. What is best to do if this happens?
      Do:
      • Address and educate with maturity. You have every right to confront them, and by educating them, similar situations can be avoided in the future.
      • Feel free to try and clear up any misinformation that may occur if it continues to be spreading on a large scale and people are believing it, or if tabloids are releasing official articles based on factless rumors and lies. You can report this to Big Hit and also file complaints by contacting the outlet that published the content by email.
      Do NOT:
      • Perform personal attacks, send them direct messages or send the writer rude comments or death threats. You can still express your displeasure and confront them for their unprofessionalism while retaining the fandom’s image.
      TIP: Many ARMY accounts provide screenshots or transcriptions of articles and videos. If you hear about a negative article or video and want to check it out for yourself, but without directly engaging or giving it attention, try searching for those accounts.
      III. How Do You Engage With Radio Stations and Radio DJs?
      While some artists do radio campaigns themselves and others have the push of their recording labels, artists like BTS do not have the backing of a huge western entertainment company beyond a distribution deal. They currently have no confirmed radio deals, do not sing primarily in English, and are of a different nationality and ethnicity which puts them at a huge disadvantage when it comes to radio play. While many radio stations and DJs simply do not want to play BTS music, there are also radio world politics such as “payola” and “gatekeeping.”
      For these reasons, ARMY have continuously done their best to promote BTS. We understand how frustrating and rare it is to get radio stations to play BTS songs when songs by Western artists are played so easily and constantly; however, we need to keep certain points in mind while requesting radio play.
      Do:
      • Show the stations and DJs that there is a huge demand for BTS by doing the following:
        • Stream and Shazam BTS songs.
        • Request BTS songs through social media by voting on polls posted by the stations and calling the stations during request times.
        • Tune into the radio channel whenever there is a programmed playing of a BTS song.
        • Even if the stations ignore the demand we demonstrate, keep streaming and Shazam-ing BTS songs.
      • Thank the DJs and stations for playing BTS on their social media accounts.
      • Stop engaging and block the DJ if they present rude, prejudiced, or condescending behavior towards either BTS or ARMY. If you deem it necessary, confront them without being vulgar.
      • You may stop engaging and block the radio station(s) if they request engagement (e.g. follows, retweets, etc.) to play BTS songs and do not keep their promise(s).
      Do NOT:
      • Insult, threaten or be rude to DJs.
    d. With With Public Figures, Celebrities, and Internet Personas
      If celebrities, public figures, or online personas mention BTS:
      Do:
      • Be excited! Learning that a well-known celebrity or a prominent online persona has mentioned BTS can make you proud, especially if said person is someone you admire. It also means that BTS’ name has been promoted to a whole new circle of people, which might give them positive attention if the mention itself is positive.
      • Repost, share, like and comment if the mention is positive. Always remember to be polite.
      • Avoid engaging with them or their fanbase if the mention is negative. They likely just want ARMY’s attention. If they blatantly made racist or condescending remarks, then report and block.
      Do NOT:
      • Automatically assume that they are “clout-chasers.” Many celebrities have their own presence in the industry and do not need BTS to promote themselves. It is unfair to assume every single mention is used to get attention, as this assumption is disrespectful to both the celebrity and BTS themselves.
      • However, there are indeed some individuals who are ingenuine about their interest in BTS. Therefore, it is good to sharpen your discernment skills and remember not to give attention to everyone who mentions BTS. Keep in mind that being verified simply means the account is authentic; it is not an endorsement, indicator of superiority, or the authenticity of the person behind the account. If you are not sure how genuine they are, it is best simply not to engage.
      • Immediately assume that each mention is hinting at a collaboration, should it be from another artist, producer or a songwriter. Avoid spamming them with questions about collaborations. Again, if, for whatever reason, you are not fond of the said individual, you do not have to engage.

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