Sunday, January 16, 2011

Justin Bieber Victim of Internet Pranks

Having a voice higher than most boys his age and looking younger than others his age makes Justin Bieber an easy target for haters and pranksters. it’s no wonder why Justin Bieber is often the victim of internet pranks and is constantly being parodied. There are numerous jokes about Justin Bieber that question his gender and sexuality, photoshopped pics of Justin Bieber made to look like a young girl, and numerous parody videos on YouTube and other video sharing sites.
Perhaps the most memorable internet prank on Justin Bieber was 4chan’s website campaign to send him on tour in North Korea. In an online poll called “Justin Bieber My World” the fans were asked to vote where he would go in his world tour. 4chan’s  board members quickly made North Korea the most popular tour destination in the online poll at 602,827 votes, with Israel coming in second with a total of 596,257 votes.

Given the fact that almost all North Korean citizens are denied Internet access and the media is strictly controlled, it is not likely that any of the votes actually came from people living in North Korea.

So, is Justin Bieber going to perform and tour North Korea? Sadly, for 4chan pranksters, the answer is no. After the poll ended, it was later revealed that the website responsible for the online poll was a spoof site and was not endorsed by Justin Bieber or his manager, according to an email statement to MTV News.

This is not the first time 4chan’s members have decided to pull a web prank on Justin Bieber. On July 13, members of 4chan’s message board decided to make “Justin Bieber Syphilis” the No. 1 most searched phrase on Google trends. By the next day, Justin Bieber Syphilis appeared at the top of Google’s Hot Searches in the U.S.

Director of the RocketBoom  blog, Greg Leuch, created a firefox application called “Shaved Bieber” that censors all Internet instances of the name “Bieber”, “Justin Bieber” and all Justin Bieber pictures.

There have also been false rumours circulating on the internet that Justin Bieber died due to hackers that wrote code into the comments sections of Justin Bieber’s YouTube videos, spamming fans with news of his death and redirecting them to adult websites. A statement was issued by Google saying they “took swift action to fix a cross-site scripting (XXS) vulnerability” on YouTube.

Justin Bieber himself seems to take these internet attacks and pranks in good humour. He responded to the rumour of his death on Twitter, saying “One... I’m not dead. I had to check on this one ... but it turns out I’m alive.”

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