Bieber fans self-harm to protest pot smoking
Justin Bieber fans are apparently cutting themselves and posting photos online to pressure the pop star to quit smoking pot.
Complex reports that message board 4chan started spreading the hashtags #cutforbieber and #cuttingforbieber as a joke. However, the 19-year-old pop star's young fans have taken the meme seriously and the hashtag began trending on Twitter.
The disturbing prank is a response to photos posted online by gossip site TMZ that show Bieber holding what looks like a joint at a Newport Beach hotel room party.
On Tuesday (January 8), a rep for British charity YoungMinds called the joke "irresponsible, reprehensible and extremely dangerous."
"Self harming is not a fashion, fad or statement," Lucie Russell told The Independent. "It's a signal that young people are experiencing extreme distress and need help. Cutting is a self-destructive act that is a way of coping with overwhelming emotions."
She added: “To suggest young people cut themselves as some kind of protest is a very perverted and dangerous idea, and these people need to take responsibility and stop this activity immediately.”
After the photos appeared online, Bieber tweeted a pair of repentant remarks but did not directly acknowledge the brewing scandal.
"Everyday growing and learning. trying to be better. u get knocked down, u get up," he wrote. "I see all of u. i hear all of u. i never want to let any of you down. i love u. and..thank u."
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