Heads up: Top comment and controversy

Should stars such as Justin Bieber take any responsibility for their fans' bad behaviour on Twitter?

Courtney Barrasford, a 15-year-old girl, saw overnight worldwide attention when Justin Bieber retweeted her:

"Not really a fan of Justin Bieber but his acoustic album is really good!"

The harmless tweet attracted criticism from some of his fans; she was called a whore and told to 'go kill herself', with jealous tweets from those who wanted to be noticed by the singer. One said:

‘I am a Belieber of him since 2009 and he didn’t notice me. And you’re not even a f****** fan. You get noticed. OMG.’

Apparently, some even took it as far as to send death threats and circulate rumours that she was dating Bieber and was pregnant with his child.

Similar instances of celebrity fans taking abuse too far on social media include:

  • Lady Gaga's 'Little Monsters' hitting out at Adele when both singers were up for the same award, tweeting cruel jibes about her weight.
  • The Monsters hitting out again at Kelly Osborne when she said Gaga was disrespectful for not walking the red carpet, she wrote: "I have been told to die, suck d**k, get raped & that i look like i have aids by @ladygaga fans no wonder they get called bullies. (sic)"
  • American singer Drake Bell started retweeting abusive tweets from Justin Bieber fans after he said he wasn't personally a fan, calling on parents to monitor their children's tweets.
     

Bieber has over 35 million followers on Twitter, and some have been known to show signs of extreme behaviour; at the beginning of this year some fans reportedly took to cutting themselves to show support against him smoking marijuana (after he was allegedly seen with a suspicious cigarette).

Would it be responsible for him - and others with massive followings online - to speak out against bullying and directly ask their fans not to abuse other users on social media?

 


An open letter to Justin Bieber

React Now

Read Next
A homeless person sleeps in the streets  

This is why I am sleeping rough outside the party conferences

Max J Freeman
Strikes were carried out by manned air force and navy aircraft (File photo)  

Syria air strikes: President Assad now has the enemy he always wanted – Islamist terrorism

Kim Sengupta
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits