Update as midnight on August 15, 2013 approached some accounts were tweeting that the suicide numbers were getting up to 40 and other accounts were saying that the suicides were rumors.
Channel 4 in the UK showed a documentary on some One Direction fans. The show was called Crazy about 1D.
The show covered about 10 fans who showed the extreme type of fan behavior. One girl said she met the guys “64 times”. One girl claimed that she got braces because Niall did. The show obviously wanted shock value and highlighted fans that were “crazy” about 1D.
I’m not sure about shows in the UK but in The United States shows with shock value get huge ratings. More people watch shows like Here Comes Honey BooBoo and My Strange Addiction than. Shows about regular normal people. Actually, most reality shows ONLY have extreme people doing extreme things like Jack Ass and Punk’d.
The show was NOT well received by the millions of 1D fans on social network sites like Twitter and Ask.FM.
Fans quickly got #thisisNOTus trending and let Channel 4 know that the show did not reflect the whole fanbase.
Soon that wasn’t enough. There were several tweets about “14 Larry Shippers who committed suicide because of the show. This happened within hours of the show airing.
“Larry” is the fan name for the alleged relationship between Louis and Harry. “Shippers” are fans that love and accept this relationship.
In the fan base it’s accepted that if you think Harry and Louis are straight and want them to date girls you aren’t as “good” or “loyal” a fan As if you accept that they love each other. The story goes is that the Larry Shippers make the fanbase look bad or embarrass the rest of the fan base.
So twitter was full of people unhappy and angry about these “14 Larry Shippers” who committed suicide because of the show that Channel 4 aired. Many people quoted recent legislature saying that Channel 4 could be held accountable for the deaths. (This is not true for many reasons. The law is only in the US. The channel never told the girls to kill themselves or directly bullied them. There is no proof that anyone died as a result of the show airing.)
These deaths are most certainly a hoax. The number 14 raises a red flag. Even in a bus accident or natural disaster when there is law enforcement and medical staff on scene we don’t get a “final death toll” for days. How was it that 14 people died from committing suicide and then the suicides stopped? Did14 out of 14 girls die after their suicide attempts? Many times after attempting suicide people are found, paramedics are called. People administer CPR. People get their stomach pumped. How did the Twitter world know exactly 14 people killed themselves within hours and that all 14 weren’t just 1D fans but “Larry Shippers”?
The more likely explanation is upset 1D fans wanted to “punish” Channel 4 by making them look bad. It may have started off like “what if fans killed themselves after watching this?” Then it probably grew from there ..
The fan base would actually look worse if 14 fans committed suicide because of a documentary. It also looks bad to make up the story of suicides and just blindly believe it and continue spreading the rumor. It’s too bad that some fans thought “to make Channel 4 look bad lets fake some suicides..” It kinda makes them look as crazy as Channel 4 said they were.
There are some good things coming from the documentary. The majority of Directioners are realizing how normal they are. They love the guys, vote for them, buy their merchandise like good normal fans! Also, beliebers are defending Directioners so that’s sweet!
Channel 4 didn’t use good judgement offending millions of Directioners. Sadly, they did it for viewers and publicity. They sure got it. But Channel 4 did not cause any suicides. At least at this point there is NO proof of ANY teens committing suicide in the UK as a result of this show.
Lets see over the next few days if the news has stories of actually people who committed suicide because of this.
I think the show actually brought the fan base together and made the bond between them and 1D even stronger!