On Wednesday, January 9, Twitter users are talking about online community 4Chan's particularly gruesome trolling of pop star Justin Bieber's fan base.
Online community 4Chan, started by Christopher Moot and famous for its somewhat acquired sense of humor, trolled fans of pop star Justin Bieber and the world's media on Tuesday in a prank that was either hilarious or gruesome, depending on your viewpoint.
The prank began when pictures surfaced of Justin Bieber smoking what appeared to be a joint. Following the publication of these pictures, members of 4Chan took to Twitter, in the guise of Bieber's loyal fan base known as "Beliebers," and using the hashtag "CutForBieber" managed to convince people that Bieber's fans were self-harming in an attempt to stop the pop star's spiral into the seedy world of drug addiction.
However, it was not just gullible teens who were taken in by 4Chan's high-jinx: many news outlets also fell for the story, although they have since included mention of 4Chan's involvement.
This is, allegedly, not the first time the online community has targeted Bieber's fans: earlier this year the site was thought, though was not proved to be, responsible for starting the rumor that the teenage singer had cancer and encouraging fans to shave their head as a show of solidarity with the singer.
4Chan's alleged "#CutForBieber" campaign has since been slammed by numerous mental health charities and high-profile celebrities, including Miley Cyrus, who retweeted the following message from @OfficialCANCER: "#cutforbieber? Cutting is NOT something to joke about. There are people who are actually suffering from self-harm, this is so disrespectful."
Largely as a result of this prank, "Justin Bieber" is trending in fourth place.
Elsewhere on Twitter, English Premier League team Aston Villa is coming in for abuse after losing 3-1 to Bradford in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final. In terms of English football leagues, Aston Villa plays in the Premiership, the highest tier of the league, while Bradford is in league two.
The top 10 most talked about topics on Twitter on January 9 at 1:45 pm GMT are:
01. #Découvrir Promoted
02. Steve Nash
04. Justin Bieber
05. Aston Villa
07. LeBron James
08. CM Punk