Justin Bieber’s rabid fan base made waves this week when the trending topic “#CutForBieber”, a movement dedicated to urging Bieber fans to cut their wrists to stop the pop singer from smoking weed, went viral. The outrageous movement started after photos surfaced of Justin Bieber smoking marijuana in California, where recreational use is illegal.
Though the movement has attracted many sincere supporters who are dismayed at Justin Bieber’s “typical celebrity” behavior, the hashtag was started as a prank on imageboard 4chan, a site notorious for sprouting many Internet memes and malicious cyber attacks against groups that annoy them. On the site’s /b/ board, an anonymous individual called for “a cut yourself for Bieber campaign”, elaborating that the community should “tweet a bunch of pics of people cutting themselves and claim we did it because Bieber was smoking weed. See if we can get some little girls to cut themselves.”
The disgusting prank seems to have worked. Though the first round of slashed, bloody wrists was a part of the prank, it seems that many of Justin Bieber’s die-hard fans have offered their sincere support and legitimate photos of self-harm. By 2:30 p.m. the day the prank was launched, the topic became a worldwide trend, with many young fans pressured into following what they perceived as a movement by the fan base. As of now, the topic has been taken down and particularly gruesome tweets have been removed.
The incident was seemingly inspired by a previous campaign directed at pranking Justin Bieber’s legion of loyal fans in which fans were urged to shave their heads when it was falsely reported that the teen pop singer had cancer.