Monday, 24 January 2011

Damn Beliebers: Justin Bieber's Cyber Army. Who Are They?




Justin Bieber fever is sweeping the net once again. What is it about this boy? Can he do no wrong? No other young star has triggered such a flurry online activity or been the target of so many online pranks. His ‘Damn Beliebers’ crew ensures he’s a mainstay on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube always cranking up the number of his video views, wall posts and tweets whilst the pranksters, on the other hand, seem determined to provide what now seems like a much needed balancing act making for a pretty exciting sub-plot -- for the neutrals atleast.

From Singing to Stardom

In fact, if it wasn’t for YouTube there would be no Justin Bieber or Damn Beliebers. Way back in 2008, Bieber’s mother posted a video of Bieber singing on stage for a local competition. She wanted her friends and family to see the talent of her 13-year-old son.

Well Bieber’s friends and family got to see his talent, but so too did Scooter Braun, a music industry producer who owns a production company in partnership with R&B megalith, Usher. It took Braun some time to convince Bieber’s mother that his intentions were genuine. When he did finally convince her, they both moved to Atlanta so Bieber could pursue his dream. He was musically gifted from a young age, teaching himself how to play the piano, drums, guitar and the trumpet alongside song writing.

Once Bieber got signed up to Braun and Usher’s label, things moved pretty quickly for the ambitious teenager from Stratford, Canada. His first single, ‘One Time’ reached number 12 on the Canadian Hot 100 in July 2009 and number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Bieber’s first album, My World was released later in 2009 spawning three more hit singles ‘One Less Lonely Girl’, ‘Love Me’ and ‘Favourite Girl’. The album went platinum in America, UK and Canada. Bieber then hit the road to promote the album and cement his popularity. He appeared on countless TV shows including The Today Show, The Next Star, Chelsea Lately, Good Morning America, It’s On With Alexa Chung, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Wendy Williams Show.

Internet Legend

By the time Bieber released his next single, ‘Baby’, his career was ready to go stellar. ‘Baby’ was a wildly huge hit propelling Bieber to the halls of music history. He is the youngest male star to reach the top of the US charts since Stevie Wonder back in 1963.

By mid-2010, Twitter reported that Bieber generated three percent of traffic on the site and the video for ‘Baby’ was the most viewed video on YouTube, even managing to out-view Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’.

Damn Beliebers And Crowd Control

Needless to say, this level of exposure and success meant that Bieber’s shows were marked by frenzied chaos with crowds of teenage girls swarming his concert venues in the hope of catching a glimpse of their newest, sensational superstar gracing the stage with his silky smooth R&B dance moves. To-date, for safety reasons, some of his concerts have had to be cancelled by law enforcement due to the uncontrollable crowds – usually followed by a simple tweet-apology by the young star.

At just 16, Justin Bieber is following in the footsteps of other stars like Miley Cyrus, Brittany and Justin Timberlake, who all started their careers at a very tender age.

Online Pranks

This level of exposure also ensures Bieber is the subject of countless online pranks. A case in point is when the Google Trends chart  was topped by the ‘Justin Bieber Syphilis’ story – which, as you can guess, turned out to be lot of hot air.

Some of his YouTube videos have been interlaced with p*rn clips causing bemusement, embarrassment or downright anger amongst innocent viewers. Rumors have also been spread claiming that Bieber was been killed in a car accident. Bieber, it seems, takes all this in his stride.

Damn Beliebers Crew

Put simply, the Damn Beliebers crew is that gang of predominantly teenage fans that grew out of Twitter, YouTube and Facebook professing their unwavering support for Bieber and tend to gang up against anyone who tries to attack their ‘little messiah’. Most recently, the crew lit up Twitter once more with a barrage of attacks on all and sundry that had the temerity to speak unfavorably of the ‘head Belieber’.

It must (or should it?) be ever so refreshing for the young superstar to know there’s an army out there in cyberspace always at the ready; ready to spring to his defense like rabid dogs whenever there’s a faint whiff of anti-Bieber sentiment.

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1 comment:

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