Justin Bieber fans self-harm in 'protest' against his alleged marijuana smoking Get Tickets
The Twitter hashtag was started as a joke but was apparently taken seriously by young fans
The hashtags #cutforbieber and #cuttingforbieber started trending on Twitter after internet message board community 4Chan started spreading the meme as a joke, writes Complex. Young fans of the singer, however, soon picked up on the hashtag and started posting pictures in which they are thought to be cutting themselves for real, reports Gossip Cop.
The joke has since been labelled "irresponsible, reprehensible and extremely dangerous" by YoungMinds, a British charity that aims to improve the mental health of young people. Representative Lucie Russell told The Independent: "Self harming is not a fashion, fad or statement. 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."
Continuing, the charity representative warned: "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."
US gossip website TMZ recently posted pictures obtained from an anonymous source which show Bieber "clutching a smouldering blunt" while at a party in a hotel room in Newport Beach.
After the photos were published, Bieber took to Twitter to speak directly to his fans in a series of emotional tweets. He tweeted:
everyday growing and learning. trying to be better. u get knocked down, u get up.— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) January 5, 2013
According to TMZ, Lil Twist, a rapper friend of Justin Bieber's, was with the pop star in his hotel room when the pictures were taken. The photos were allegedly taken the day after a photographer was killed trying to take a picture of Bieber's white Ferrari.
Since the accident, Justin Bieber has called for tougher laws involving paparazzi photographers.