Durban - Local fans of Justin Bieber have been urged to ignore a “reckless” call for teenagers to inflict wounds on themselves in protest against the pop star’s alleged drug use.

Shockwaves rolled through the Twittersphere this week when fans published shocking images of self-harm following pictures published by gossip website TMZ allegedly showing Bieber holding a marijuana joint in a hotel room at a Newport Beach, California, party.

The self-cutting was apparently intended to be seen as a protest against Bieber allegedly smoking dagga and a small number of young people appear to have taken it seriously and published images of themselves with self-inflicted wounds.

And with Bieber set to rock Cape Town and Joburg in May, Childline South Africa have called on “Beliebers” to challenge the megastar’s alleged pot smoking in a more responsible fashion.

Childline’s Joan van Niekerk described the self-cutting response on Twitter as “very unfortunate”.

This is extremely concerning behaviour as young people, who would not normally do this (self-cutting) otherwise, may do it because they’ve seen it on Twitter,” said Van Niekerk.

The hashtag #cut4bieber began trending accompanied by the gruesome images during the week, prompting Miley Cyrus, who is a friend of Bieber, to slam the images, “Cutting is NOT something to joke about. There are people who are actually suffering from self-harm, this is so disrespectful,” she tweeted.

The hashtags #CutForBieber and #CuttingForBieber started after a joker on 4Chan suggested that fans cut themselves in protest against photographs appearing to show the 18-year-old smoking marijuana.

After the photos surfaced, Bieber used Twitter to speak to his fans, saying: “Everyday growing and learning. Trying to be better. U get knocked down, u get up (sic).”

Independent Newspapers