Part of me finds Operation Cut for Bieber pretty droll. At least the concept of it – encouraging ‘Beliebers’ to cut themselves and post the results on social media in protest against their hero’s alleged weed-smoking – is so disproportionate, it makes the stomach drop a bit like something out of Fight Club, or any other black satire on human nature (people fat in your soap, anyone?).
Plus, as a target for an internet prank, the ‘Belieber phenomenon’ seems fair game, striking as it does a high point in the commercialisation of teenage desire. The problem here – and the point at which this whole farce becomes just flat and depressing and really not funny at all – is the target isn’t the “Belieber phenomenon” (whatever 4chan’s users may claim). It’s teenage kids. Gullible ones. But ones who, if they were your Karaoke-mad little sibling, you’d be mightily mightily angry were being prompted to slice through their skin for the amusement of some internet neckbeards.
4chan is a weird place. Its /b/ forum gave birth to the hacking group known as Anonymous, and is gleefully known as the “asshole of the internet”. Though largely off-radar, it has reached a top 50 position on the most visited sites on the web. User experience runs on a rhythm like this: gross, gross, racist, funny, racist, depressing, funny, illegal. A typical and much parroted line from its Rules of the Internet specifies “if it exists, there is porn of it” (and proof abounds. Anybody who digs a sub-section of pterodactyl pornography will find their nirvana here). In sum any prolonged exposure to the forum will make newbies (or “newfags”) want to pour a cup of Cif through their eyeballs and decamp to where Wifi can never, ever reach. READ MORE