Bieber la Revolución
Social media has rightly been heralded as a democratising platform that gives the little man a chance to make his voice heard. However, for celebrities and brands it is also an incredibly powerful tool to mobilise their legion of fans.
This second point was recently drummed home emphatically to Detroit teenager Kevin Kristopik. The fifteen year old saw fit to hack into the account of a friend of Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber in order to find the singer’s phone number and text him.
Bieber, who himself was discovered after Scooter Braun, saw him singing on YouTube retaliated to the invasion of privacy by tweeting Kristopik’s number and encouraging his followers to call or text him.
The tweet was later removed, probably once some grown-ups had found out what was going on, but had already been retweeted several times.
So far Kristopik has received around 26,000 messages and the whole adventure could cost him up to $10,000. Given Bieber has 4.7million followers, this equates to a ‘redemption rate’ just above 0.5%, so one might argue that Kristopik got off lightly!
Bieber has been both praised and condemned for his actions which have raised the ever so important topic of ethics and abuse of power.
Though it is hard to heavily criticise a sixteen year old for acting immaturely, Bieber can’t claim innocence to knowing the power of an online army.
In recent months pranksters have recently voted for him to entertain the citizens of Pyongyang, attempted to push ‘Justin Bieber Syphilis‘ to the top of Google Trend’s Hot Searches, spread rumours of his demise in a car crash and claimed that his oeuvre is more palatable when it has been slowed down 800 times.
While Bieber will probably ride out this particular storm, Kristopik is probably wishing he’d picked a celebrity with a little more street-cred.