At this point, Justin Bieber's camp is sort of used to the Internet hoaxes — he's had syphilis, gotten pregnant and even died a few times, if you can believe what you read — but over the past week, there's been one hoax that just won't go away: his (supposed) concert stop in North Korea.
It all started with an alleged contest organized by a site called Faxo.com that allowed fans to vote on which country he should visit on an upcoming leg of his My World Tour, with absolutely no restrictions. That proved advantageous for the jokesters over at the notorious 4chan message board, who encouraged folks to vote for North Korea — the communist nation where citizens are denied Internet access and the media is strictly controlled by the government.
Within days, North Korea climbed the charts, and by Wednesday, when the contest ended, it had leapfrogged Israel to claim the top spot. Of course, the Internet went insane once again, and some media outlets even reported that the contest was real.
But while the idea of Bieber performing for Kim Jong-il is certainly hilarious, it's not actually true. Sure, North Korea may have won the Faxo contest, but the contest was in no way sanctioned by Bieber or anyone in his camp, according to a statement e-mailed on Wednesday (July 7) to MTV News.
"It was a spoof site," a spokesperson for Bieber wrote. "This is not a legitimate contest."
So, sadly, the Justin Bieber North Korea concert will not come to fruition anytime soon, which the Internet attributed to something other than the contest's illegitimacy. Early Wednesday morning, more pranksters had made the most-searched term on Google Trends "Justin Bieber Hates Korea."
Meanwhile, Bieber fans were subjected to yet another Internet attack. According to the BBC, hackers wrote code into the comments sections of Bieber videos on YouTube, flashing unsuspecting fans with news of the singer's death and/or redirecting them to adult websites. Google issued a statement saying the company "took swift action to fix a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability" on the video site.
None of this seems to have slowed Bieber's own Internet activity, however, as the avid Twitterer continues to rally his followers around his latest singles and even deigns to respond to a rumor or two. Back in June, for instance, he wrote, "One ... I'm not dead. I had to check on this one ... but it turns out I'm alive."