A rather sinister hashtag was reportedly trending on Twitter yesterday following those pictures of Justin Bieber smoking that were posted by TMZ at the weekend.
As previously reported, the US gossip site reckons the photos of the Biebster holding a cigarette were actually pictures of the pop teen smoking marijuana. The pop star hasn’t properly commented on the snaps, but told his Twitter followers shortly after the TMZ article was published that he would try harder in the future, because “I never want to let any of you down”.
The related hashtag that began being posted yesterday was #cutforbieber, the premise being that some Beliebers were so shocked and outraged by their hero’s rather modest drugs scandal, they were partaking in some self-harm to blackmail the popstar into staying away from the dope.
The whole thing began as a morbid joke within the 4chan community, with one poster suggesting: “Let’s start a cut yourself for Bieber campaign. 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”.
Many of the photos circulating alongside the #cutforbieber tag bought into the jokey nature of the whole thing (ketchup covered wrists, a female fan cutting a sheet of paper, a male fan holding pair of scissors next to testicles), though some of the photos looked much more realistic.
And while they too were very possible hoaxes (set ups or Google-nabbed existing photos of real self harm), the whole thing was in particularly poor taste, even by internet chatroom standards, given that the Belieber demographic are generally most at risk of self-harm-based disorders.
Elsewhere in Bieber photo news, word has it that the pop teen’s minders are now posting signs at parties and events the singer attends stating that the copyright in any photos taken of the star will belong to him and not the photographer, so that any future pot head shots could be suppressed on copyright as well as privacy grounds.
Which may or may not stand up in court, though – if said signs really are being posted by Team Bieber – it’s an interesting manifestation of the smart phone age where celebrities can be globally exposed the minute anyone works in the room.