I’ve just got back from a website where fans of Justin Bieber (Beliebers, I believe they call themselves) go to chat with the great young man himself. An open, anonymous, free-to-all website where some over-enthusiastic fans like to cut themselves with knives, broken-glass, razor-blades, their own nails, and other edged weapons in real-time, posting pictures and videos, social-networking-style of their gaping wounds and the blood-drenched weapons used to self-inflict them. Why? Don’t even ask. Try here, for starters: Self-Harm, Wikipedia.
Shannen here is a true belieber, exemplary of the site’s regulars, more or less representative of what we expected to find, and, as far as we know does not cut:
Perhaps she should?
We are not going to paste any genuine cutting-convos here, partly to protect the innocent, but largely on grounds of editorial taste. Here is a sample, however, re-typed using phoney usernames. It has also been reversed to allow it to be read top-to-bottom in a more natural manner than the bottom-to-top scrolling of online chat seen in the screenshots above and below:
Chat Channel: ASHLEYISCUTTING
ASHLEY: I’m cutting
ANON: We know, it says so in the title.
altf4: Cutting farts?
guest: Cutting edge?
ASHLEY: Guys, I’m cutting myself.
guest: wtf is this place?
Later, she posted a picture of the wounds in her forearm, the bloodied kitchen knife, and a small pool of blood. Alas, cutting and what used to be called self-mutilation, is only scratching the surface, if you’ll pardon the pun, of the website involved. There is far worse than that, all going on amidst the more-or-less unmoderated company of impressionable Justin Bieber fans.
The suppressed anger among the beliebers doesn’t take long to come to the fore either. In spite of the projected image of faith and love the hatred boils away below the surface. Even the slightest hint of any perceived negativity will have one branded a ‘hater’ followed by mass abuse and graphic descriptions of the tortures that should be inflicted. Constant threats of suicide are also made on the site, although rarely are these followed through being largely the unconsidered emotional responses of mainly middle-class teenagers who cannot cope emotionally when they find that sometimes the world doesn’t quite revolve around them and their wants.
If parents had even the slightest smidgeon of a clue as to what their children are doing online they would demand the entire Internet shut down immediately, it’s operators jailed. As if that would change anything. Or they would simply pretend, as adults are wont to do regarding those things they’d rather not think about, it isn’t happening. After all, your own children wouldn’t be doing that, would they?
So we at the skankworks.net have taken the unusual editorial decision to withhold the name and URL of the website being reviewed. If you ever did find it, you would most likely thank us for not showing you the way. Tweet