Nayeli Lomeli, USA TODAY Published 2:05 p.m. ET June 13, 2021
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The claim: Jamaica banned K-pop music
An image of boy band BTS, one of the most popular K-pop groups, is being used to perpetuate a false claim made on a satirical website.
“Jamaica Becomes The First Country To Make K-Pop Illegal,” reads a screenshot posted on Instagram.
The June 6 post has accumulated more than 369,000 likes. When USA TODAY reached out to Wasted, the meme account that published the post, the account said it was aware the claim was made-up.
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“It’s just a satirical meme that has been going around for years. No idea the source,” Wasted said.
The article is from 2018 and it is not to be taken seriously. Jamaica has not banned K-pop music.
Screenshot shows satire
The article presented in the June 6 Instagram post was published by 8Satire, a satirical website, in August 2018. But some Instagram users didn’t appear to know that, as the website’s name was not visible on the post.
This is an example of what could be called “stolen satire,” which means stories originally written and presented as satire are reposted in a way that makes them look like real news. This tactic misled some Instagram users who viewed the post.
“Shoutout to Jamaica,” one user commented.
Others appeared to be in on the joke.
“Fun fact: it’s actually false,” another user commented.
8Satire describes itself as a “satire and humor website” with “crazy real news which often sounds too good to be true.”
The made-up article says that, “after several months of discussion,” the Jamaican government decided to ban K-pop music following its rise in popularity.
BuzzFeed News debunked the article in 2018, citing a since-deleted tweet from a spokesperson for Jamaica’s prime minister.
“This is NOT TRUE!!!!!” said Robert Nesta Morgan, then-director of communications for Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
USA TODAY reached out to the Jamaica prime minister’s office for comment.
Our rating: False
The claim that Jamaica banned K-pop music is FALSE, based on our research. The Instagram post features a screenshot of a headline from a satire site, although it is not presented as such in the post. The made-up article has circulated since at least 2018, when a spokesperson for Jamaica’s prime minister debunked it in a tweet.
Our fact-check sources:
- Wasted, June 6, Instagram post
- The Los Angeles Film School, accessed June 13,, A Brief History of K-pop
- Recording Academy, May 15, 2017, Why is K-pop’s popularity exploding in the United States?
- National Public Radio, July 13, 2020, Start Here: Your Guide To Getting Into K-Pop
- BuzzFeed News, Aug. 25, 2018, No, Jamaica Has Not Made Korean Pop Music Illegal
- Reuters, June 8, Fact Check-Jamaica has not banned K-Pop
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