In Linkage a few weeks ago, this page sent you humorously on your way to an add-on for the Firefox and Chrome browsers called Shaved Bieber. Don’t worry it’s nothing rude. With Justin Bieber now the biggest teeny pop star in the world it’s becoming practically impossible to use the web without encountering Bieber in a myriad of situations. Whether it’s a video of Bieber whacking his head off a glass door, not understanding what the word German means (“We don’t have that word in America.” ), a video of a young Bieber-obsessed fan who cries uncontrollably because she’s not married to him or his appearance on Saturday Night Live in the U.S., avoiding Biebermania can be difficult.
Enter – Shaved Bieber – a browser plugin designed to remove all mentions of the words “Justin” and “Bieber” from web searches, sites and even pictures. A simple install results in an eraser-like effect. Where the word “Bieber” once was, a solid block of colour now appears. It’s a silly little add-on from the same person, Greg Leuch, who brought us Lowercase Kanye – an add-on designed to let you read Yeezy’s blog in non ALL-CAPS demented form.
As you can imagine, Shaved Bieber wasn’t looked upon kindly by Bieber’s most-obsessive fans, who call themselves “Beliebers”, and Leuch has posted many of the rants and mails he has received as a result at shavedbieber.tumblr.com.
Some of the correspondence was obviously written by fans in a heightened sense of emotion. “What’s next?,” writes Kelly. “Are you going to blow up a federal building with a daycare [facility] in it cause the sound of the children’s laughter gets on your nerves?”. Others are delusional: “If you say anything else about my boyfriend I will find you!”, written in Kanye-style all-caps of course.
Others yet resort to threats involving guns or accuse him of being a “hater”, envious, and so on until that inevitable accusation in internet commentary rears its head once more and the whole thing jumps the shark. “What you are doing is going back to World War II all over again,” writes Swiss 15-year old Alex. “Hitler wanted to erase Jews from society – you want to erase Justin Drew Bieber… Are you really ready to become that next bad guy that everyone i against?” That missive was followed by a mention of a “Biebercaust” and this whole silly plugin idea gets taken to seriously by the Beliebers.
Still, another Twitter user showed the potential of Shaved Bieber, after tweeting that her parents threatened to install Shaved Bieber “if my grades don’t come up.” Parents, you now have a new skill.