There’s been something disturbing trending on Twitter off-and-on today, and I’m really hoping it’s a hoax or a misguided joke, because if not, it’s very scary. It’s the hashtag #RIPlarryshippers, and I should explain where it comes from.
As you may recall, about a week ago a documentary came out about One Direction fans that painted them in an extremely negative light. And not for nothing, either. The movie is filled with such rabid Directioners that they brag about being willing to kill for the band. So charming. I love having my life threatened by tweens for not being as obsessed with 1D music as they are.
But obviously not all One Direction fans are like that, or even most, and many spoke out on Twitter and other social networks about being devastated by the way they were portrayed in the documentary. They were embarrassed, ashamed, and angry, and if you believe the rumors, some even became suicidal.
According to this #RIPlarryshippers hashtag, a group of Directioners committed suicide after being portrayed as ‘crazy’ and ‘psychotic’. ‘Larry’ comes from the combination of Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles‘ names, with ‘shippers’ coming from a shortening of the word ‘worshippers’. The number of these suicidal fans started at twelve, then rose to twenty-eight, and is now at or around forty-two. As the rest of the fan base started spreading these numbers around, it has prompted supportive, apologetic tweets from other fan bases, specifically Beliebers, who I guess traditionally make a point of disliking Directioners.
The rumor has been pervasive enough that even Liam Payne has responded to it, tweeting earlier today:
Not really sure what’s going on right now I just hope everyone’s ok xxx
— Liam Payne (@Real_Liam_Payne) August 16, 2013
It’s my belief that this is just an inappropriate hoax gaining traction, but regardless, it’s still not okay. Because as scary as it is to threaten to murder others for not liking the same band you like, it’s even scarier to imagine that these same kids are throwing around the idea of suicide and allowing a documentary to affect their opinions of themselves that strongly.
So please, whoever you are, whether you’re a Directioner, a Belieber, a Lovatic, a Selenator, or all or none of the above, don’t let the internet be this important to you. Surround yourself with real live people who share your interests, not the bullying anonymous voices you find online. I promise it’ll make you much happier in the long run.