Web prank sends Justin Bieber to North Korea

Image: Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber: The face that launched a thousand death threats ... or at least a whole lot.Mike Dembeck / AP
/ Source: msnbc.com

There have been many valiant attempts to rid the adult Internet of YouTube-born baby star Justin Bieber.

Well, two I can name off the top of my head, anyway. Twitter rejiggered its algorithm so its top 10 trends list would better reflect the actual zeitgeist — rather than a cyber horde of teens spamming the microblogging service with all things Bieber. And Greg Leuch, director over at awesome Internet repository RocketBoom, built "Shaved Bieber," a Firefox application that blocks out all Internet instances of "Bieber," "Justin Bieber," and photos with "Bieber" in the file name.

Both attempts met with varying degrees of success, and one with more than a couple of death threats. (Adolescent girl compared Leuch to Hitler, sent e-mails intimating his imminent demise.)

Now those Internet wisenheimers over at 4chan have a new solution. If you can't get Bieber off the Internet, send him to North Korea! It seems those zany pranksters up and bombed the "Justin Bieber My World" contest, making North Korea ahead by a furlong in the singer's Web vote to choose which country he'll take his tour to next.

Last week, the 4chan website's puckish /b/ message board members posted invites and even a detailed mission plan to make this prank a reality. "North Korea" quickly soared to the head of the pack late last week, as /b/ boarders bombed the Bieber site with votes. North Korea stands at 602,827 votes at the time of this post. By comparison, Israel is second, with 596,257 votes.

Meanwhile, some of the kids from Bieber's literal-minded demographic don't seem to get the joke. Take this Open Question query reposted on meme-collecting site Urlesque.

"I've heard North Korea is a pretty bad place. I've noted a lot of his haters are trying to get people to vote him there. I don't particularly like Justin Bieber, but I don't want to see him get hurt or anything crazy like that. Just wondering. Correct me if I am wrong."

"You are wrong," Urlesque's Cole Stryker responded (rhetorically). "This is me correcting you."

This isn't the first time Bieber's been in 4chan's sights. (This is the the group known for well-plotted pranks such as getting its founder "moot" — aka Christopher Poole — on Time's Top 100 Most Influential list for 2009, and sending a pizza to Balloon Boy's house before the world knew he was hiding in the attic.) Last month, 4chan Internet-inflicted the mop-topped teen idol with a serious social disease via Google.

On July 13, members of 4chan's /b/ message board were asked to, "Go to Google and search 'Justin Bieber Syphilis.' Let's get this to be No. 1 searched phrased on Google trends."

By midnight, "Justin Bieber Syphilis" was at the top of Google's "Hot Searches" for the U.S.

Just like that one "Open Question" kid quoted above seems to believe that Justin Bieber is contractually obligated to hang with Supreme Leader Kim Jong Il this summer if a website votes it to be so, the cherubically squeaky clean Bieber is obviously crawling with the same disease suspected to bedevil Henry the VIII.

Because hey, if it says so on the Internet ...

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