Legions of Justin Bieber fans desperately want the pop singer to stop smoking marijuana and are willing to injure themselves to prove the point, or so some users at the message board 4chan.org would have you believe.
A message posted on their site read: ”Tweet a bunch of pics of people cutting themselves and claim we did it because Bieber was smoking weed.” What followed were images of self mutilation attached to fake accounts made to look like they were being posted by teenagers. The perverse hoax gained massive attention with sites such as Hip Hop Wired being tricked into posting the story as a real piece of news, complete with a gallery of the images.
However, they weren’t the only ones to be fooled.
Today on Twitter, the hashtags #CuttingForBieber and #CutForBieber began to trend with some Tweets being attached to horrifying photos of blood soaked arms. Users on 4chan were pleased with their efforts, coming back to the site to brag of their accomplishments later in the day.
4chan.org is a message board that is well known for hosting disturbing conversations in a “no holds barred” environment. The site is also were the early days of Anonymous found their footing and began to work together.
Self-harm is often a way for individuals to express very deep distress. Often, people don’t know why they self-harm. It’s a means of communicating what can’t be put into words or even into thoughts and has been described as an inner scream. Afterwards, people feel better able to cope with life again, for a while. It is not generally associated with the perceived misbehaviour of a popstar. A person who self-harms is likely to have gone through very difficult, painful experiences as a child or young adult. At the time, they probably had no one they could confide in, so didn’t receive the support and the emotional outlet they needed to deal with it.
The UK mental health charity mind offers information on their website.