Dear R3 followers,
It has come to our attention that one of our volunteers for our affiliate event, the online conference Rhizome Connect 2021, has made some concerning social media posts. We thank you for bringing this to our notice. We would like to clarify that this individual is not an official member of R3 (they do not serve on any of our boards or on staff as an editor, reviewer, etc.). Rather, they responded to a Twitter call for volunteers to help with short-term translations (Polish translations for social media posts) for Rhizome Connect 2021. Our intention to involve them was to further develop our social media presence for the online conference in a language other than English.
The Editorial Board has decided to terminate their panel and volunteer position for Rhizome Connect 2021. The Editorial Board is also currently defining various actions that could be grounds for termination of any volunteer positions going forward.
While we hope we will not encounter these situations often, we anticipate that at some point, this may happen again – we cannot predict the social media content of over 100 members of R3 as well as short-term volunteers for events. However, this incident propels us to develop a policy addressing a code of conduct for members and volunteers as to what constitutes grounds for dismissal. We are hesitant to put requirements for an individual to be “ARMY” since this sets up the potential for gatekeeping; i.e., R3 is beyond any one individual member (including the Editorial Board) and should not be defining who is and is not ARMY. What we can do is identify the types of speech and behaviour that are inconsistent with the ethos of R3 and respond appropriately.
The Editorial Board is accountable for R3’s public statements and policies. Social media content is from R3’s marketing staff. However, R3, as a collective, does not speak on behalf of any of our members nor do individual members represent us as a whole. To be clear, we do not monitor the personal social media activity of any of our members or volunteers. We are a very large organisation, and doing so is not feasible. We have thus far operated on good faith with our members and volunteers, and so far the overwhelming majority have proved beyond deserving of our trust.
Regarding R3’s role: R3 does not conduct any research; rather it is an open-access platform to publish your research, your personal stories, and your creative work. The majority of the members of R3 do not conduct research on BTS and/or ARMY (in their professional careers), although they are eligible to submit work to the journal and some have. All R3 members are volunteers and are not compensated for their work, but contribute purely out of admiration for BTS and a desire to contribute our support to the community to which we all belong.
We have had several questions regarding our vetting and application process. R3 staff includes an Editorial Board, managing editors, peer-reviewers, and copy-editors who are recruited through a formal and rigorous application process. The Editorial Board serves a term of 3 years. Information about us can be found on our website. The applications for managing editors, peer-reviewers, and copy-editors are vetted by members of the Editorial Board who evaluate the subject matter expertise, capacity of applicants to manage your submissions, and assess whether the individual can contribute to a robust peer-review process. Our designers, content creators, and marketing team are all volunteers from the ARMY community and have all gone through this application process. Going forward, we intend to be more transparent with each of our processes, including our workflows developed to publish your academic essays, creative work, and personal stories.
We also rely on an Advisory Board. These individuals were invited to participate based on a variety of factors. Some are published authors who write about BTS and ARMY; some are Korean and can give us a perspective we would otherwise lack. These members serve a term of 3 years.
We hope this statement provides some clarification regarding the issue that you have brought to our attention today.
We thank you for the patience, support, and continuous care about how BTS and ARMY are portrayed and how research on them (and our community) should be done.
The Editorial Board