Well played, 4Chan. The internet’s deepest rabbit hole of filth and violence has again made headlines for doing something quasi-good. Last night, a group of users from the popular image-based message board devised a campaign around the notion that Justin Bieber had developed cancer and was forced to shave his head. The pranksters covered their ground by developing a plethora of fake tweets, including one supposedly from Bieber himself, and the fake headline quickly started to make real waves across social networks. On any normal day this would be considered a win for the trolls, but the story doesn’t stop here. Being the passionate types they are, some fans were so shocked by the news their favorite pop star had fallen ill that they decided to shave their heads to show support and thus, #BaldForBieber was born:
Even as I write this story explaining how it is all a hoax, countless Bieber fans are pouring out their emotions and sympathies over Twitter with the hashtag #BaldForBieber. The internet believes the lie and until that changes, it’s likely many more young music lovers will find themselves on the receiving end of a new haircut.
Cancer is nothing to joke about, and we definitely do not want to encourage more people to follow the example set by this group, but it does make our cynical hearts happy to see so many young people quick to show support. Even if the cause for their interest in fighting cancer was a lie, their desire to see it end is real, and that could lead to further awareness down the line.
UPDATE: Some UTG readers have requested further proof the cancer scare is fake. To calm your worries, please refer to this tweet from Bieber’s personal security guard, Kenny Hamilton:
It’s okay, Beliebers. Your hero is alive and well.