Being fans of Kpop groups or idols is fun, yet we have to be responsible at the same time. After all, the idols are also human and need to be respected. Meanwhile, there are people who are called sasaengs that “ruin” the fun of being Kpop fans. To be good and responsible fans, we have to know the difference between Kpop fansites and sasaengs. So, what are they?
Disclaimer: this useful information was originally a Twitter thread by @sangwonclub
The Difference between Kpop Fansites and Sasaengs
What Are Fansites?
Fansites are extremely dedicated fans that attend domestic & international events to take HD photos and fancams of an idol. They often invest more time in the idols than in their personal lives.
Although this may seem like stalker behavior, fansites are often in an unofficial partnership with the company. They bring free publicity for the group and benefit from it by selling exclusive merch such as photo cards. That’s why they often get insider info on upcoming events & schedules before other fans do; you can also see it as their “job.”
To be considered fansites, they are expected to follow the general principles such as covering public schedules only and respecting the idols’ privacy, safety and space.
If fansites follow these unwritten rules and principles and do not partake in questionable stalker activities, they’re usually harmless.
What Are Sasaengs?
Sasaengs are obsessive “fans” that engage in unhealthy and even dangerous stalker behaviors. They pose to be fansites but often use it as an excuse to invade an idols’ privacy and space to get close to them.
These sasaengs have no affiliation with the company or the idols. Moreover, they tend to be rude, disrespectful, and reckless sasaengs even bad-mouth members besides their bias and start rumors and fan wars.
These individuals are also delusional, going as far as showing up at private schedules, contacting idols by finding their numbers and locations, selling false info, taking illegal pictures, and simply stalking their every move. Many are blacklisted and banned from attending events due to this.
How to spot the difference between Kpop fansites and sasaengs?
We can notice the difference in the “characteristics” of the photos fansites and sasaengs take.
1. The distance
Fansites will post pictures taken from a reasonable distance. It means not too close so that the idols still look comfortable and respected.
To check if the photo is taken at a good distance, we can look at the zoom in the picture. However, this isn’t entirely reliable as they could have high-quality lenses, and the box could look smaller at a closer distance and bigger at a further distance.
Meanwhile, sasaengs tend to break the rules of principles of good distance. They usually stand too close to the idols and won’t give them space. We can check on the zoom box and see the picture is not zoomed in (which means taken too close).
Though, sasaengs might use tactics not to show how close they are to the idol by cropping the box out completely. They will sometimes hide it with emojis, too.
Hello!!! I do photography and this is incorrect! 😅 The box does NOT tell you how close it was photographed— ink ☁️ (@vixxomnia) October 16, 2021
In cameras, there are previews after you take a photo: this is simply the icon for ZOOMING IN a photo that’s already taken https://t.co/bJzroNIlzf pic.twitter.com/6ZBM0OR6YT
Not only that, but we can also check the flash. If they look very whitewashed, reflections or red spots in their eyes, and if the picture has a roundness at the center and a blurry background, they’re probably too close to the idol.
2. Public vs. private schedules
Fansites only attend public schedules. Therefore, they will never disturb any privacy of the idols by invading their private schedules just to get pictures. And trustworthy fansites usually consistently attend the idol’s public schedules.
Moreover, fansites respect and support the idols while following the terms set. They don’t engage in acts causing the idols to feel invaded or uncomfortable and are simply there to take pictures/videos and share content.
If these don’t apply, they’d be considered problematic and possibly sasaengs.
3. The merchandise
Fansites are often in an unofficial partnership with the idol’s company. Therefore, if they sell any merchandise, it should be the official ones. Besides, they won’t crop or edit any watermark or logo on everything they share.
On the other hand, sasaengs tend to sell any “self-made” and fake merchandise. Moreover, they will carefully sell the fake merchandise unless these sasaengs are caught as merchandise bootleggers and counterfeiters.
I hate seeing fake kpop merchandise, especially @weareoneEXO's. What's the point of owning something that, by law, is illegal and robs the artist of their copy rights? If you can't afford the official merch, don't settle for the fake ones. Save up and buy when you can.— Kℓowi카이 (@KlowiKai) April 6, 2018
4. Check the previous activities and follow your intuition
As fans, we usually have this strong feeling towards our idols that we can use to identify what is wrong.
However, if you find it difficult to know if they’re problematic or not, it is better not to repost any content until we are 100% sure they are trustworthy and reliable. It’s also important to keep track of their past activities and behaviors.
5. Check with other fans
It is indeed tricky how to spot the visible difference between fansites and sasaengs, especially when we’re unfamiliar with them. However, we can always ask for other fans’ opinions.
Fansites tend to support each other. Meanwhile, sasaengs will do everything for their own benefit and fulfill their fantasies.
THIS IS THE LIST OF PROBLEMATIC FANSITES/SSNGS OF SVT.— alli 𖧷 (@dokyeombliss) June 4, 2021
please block all of them now :((https://t.co/lbdvFjGMK4
Gently reminder: if you happen to spot or identify one of them as being problematic or a sasaeng, then please inform others, get their opinions and create lists in which we can report & block them.
The original thread:
an informative thread on the difference between fansites & sasaengs— jay ∞ yochi month ! (@sangwonclub) April 4, 2022
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To be able to spot the difference between fansites and sasaengs, we better listen to the interview video with an ex-sasaeng:
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