A hoax is being spread on Twitter saying “#CutforLiam” in reference to cutting oneself for One Direction’s Liam Payne.
The messages appear to have started as a way to rile fans of the popular group.
Over the weekend, Payne got into a spat with a YouTube personality Tyler Oakley about Payne’s views on “Duck Dynasty.” Oakley deleted his tweets about the matter, but throngs of One Direction fans went after him–with some even posting death threats.
Oakley then said he would “take a break” from Twitter for a while on Sunday. Payne also said he’s quitting Twitter amid media reports about the matter.
But on Sunday night and Monday, the #CutforLiam term appeared on the social media site.
Many users decried it, saying it’s not real.
“#CutForLiam is literally the most stupid thing ever,” wrote one.
Tweeted another, “I really wanna punch whoever started the #CutForLiam trend and #DirectionersWantTylerOakleyDead like grow up.dont do stupid things like this.”
Said another, “To all the people that r doing #cutforliam its not cool or funny…”
In recent years, there’s been Twitter hoaxes about cutting oneself over popular groups and singers, including Justin Bieber. The most popular one, “#CutforBieber,” was started by imageboard 4chan.org to stir up trouble.
It’s unclear if #CutforLiam was started by 4chan.
A professor said that #CutforBieber and images of cutting oneself can serve as a catalyst for teens or people who are prone to self-injury.
“In the 1990s, there were 14 pop icons that came out and talked about cutting,” Janis Whitlock of Cornell University told the Huffington post. “They weren’t necessarily advocating it, but they talked about it as part of their history and that really did make a difference in terms of getting it out there into the world as an idea that was then available to young people.”
She added: “Ideas are as contagious as germs.”