Members of the infamous message board 4chan allegedly pulled a dangerous prank on Justin Bieber fans on Monday, when they created the trending Twitter hashtag “#cuttingforbieber,” reportedly in an attempt to provoke fans to cut themselves in protest over Bieber's alleged drug use.
In a bid to “get some little girls to cut themselves” the Internet pranksters set about by creating fake Twitter accounts claiming to belong to teenage girls. Under those accounts, they then tweeted out pictures of cut wrists and wrote messages encouraging the Canadian-born pop star to stop using drugs so that they could stop harming themselves, reported Complex.
User @BrittanyScrapma, whose account was created on Monday and had gained more than 300 followers by the afternoon, posted a picture of what appeared to be a wrist with several bleeding lacerations. Below the wrist was a bloody razor blade, accompanied with this message for the singer: “#cutforbieber you stop using drugs and we'll stop cutting. You make this world meaningless and we've lost hope pic.twitter.com/BrHhSIfJ.”
Bieber has been the subject of ongoing scrutiny since pictures of him appearing to smoke marijuana at a party surfaced online last week. He has since tweeted, “Everyday growing and learning. Trying to be better.”
It was unclear who among those sharing the gruesome photos with the #cuttingforbieber tag were legitimate Twitter users, however the images sparked an immediate wave of outrage throughout the social media site. Many began users parodying the self-harm images, tweeting out photos of themselves with scissors, cutting pieces of paper or scraps of cloth, or with ketchup smeared on their wrists as in a photo by user @Pseud_O-Nym.
Those images seemed to fuel the indignation of many users, who felt that the trend was in bad taste and denigrating towards those genuinely suffering from self-abuse.
In a message that was retweeted over 179 times, Twitter user @KAIS3RR wrote, “#cuttingforbieber is one of the most disgusting and disrespectful things i've seen. Self harm is not a joke, it's something very serious.”