It all started as a 4Chan joke. A user on the online message board/prankster clubhouse announced the following directive: "Tweet a bunch of pics of people cutting themselves and claim we did it because Bieber was smoking weed." And guess what happened next? Yup, pranksters rushed to Twitter and spread graphic photos under the hashtag #CuttingForBieber.
The fake pressure campaign started trending like mad and even Miley Cyrus commented on the "cutting" hashtag. She retweeted @OfficialCancer, saying, "#cutforbieber? Cutting is NOT something to joke about. There are people who are actually suffering from self-harm, this is so disrespectful." Maybe she knew it was a hoax? Regardless, haha pranksters. You reeled a celeb into your hoax-of-the-day. Now tell us ... what was the point of all that?
I think the worst thing about this prank is that reportedly, some people who weren't in on the joke actually participated. It's one thing to taunt fans. There's a lot of silliness involved in fandom, and if you're clever, you can find ways to joke about it without seriously hurting anyone. But this? The target wasn't just over-earnest, self-righteous Bieber fans. It was cutters.
Going after a vulnerable group of people who inflict harm on themselves is cruel. Don't do that!
Okay, but most of us already know that. And I guess the flip side of this story is that it's a relief most of us were disgusted by the prank. AND we think cutting yourself for any celeb for any reason is a tragically bad idea. Yes, even for the Biebs.
And speaking of Biebs, Justin hasn't commented yet on the whole debacle, and I don't blame him. But I think it would be a good gesture to have your PR people compose a kindly tweet for you, something along the lines of: "I appreciate the fans who care, I'm disappointed in this hoax, don't hurt yourself for my sake, kids." Hey Justin, I just wrote a tweet for ya. Hint hint. It would give us all some nice closure.
Do you think Justin Bieber should say something about the hoax even though he had nothing to do with it?
Image via Twitter