Justin Bieber fans are allegedly self-harming after being fooled by a hoax protest over photos appearing to show the singer smoking marijuana.

The hashtags #cutforbieber and #cuttingforbieber started trending on Twitter today after posters on internet message board 4Chan began promoting them as a "joke".

They originally posted fake photos on dummy Twitter accounts of arms which appear to have self-inflicted wounds from cutting.

Photos were accompanied by the hashtags and messages saying they would not stop cutting until Bieber stopped smoking.


However, recent reports say some of the singer's younger fans have picked up on the trend and started posting real photos of self-harm.

The scam has been slammed by other Twitter users, who say it shows extreme disrespect to those struggling with real mental health issues.

It is not the first time posters on 4Chan's /b/ forum have targeted Bieber fans.

An earlier scam concocted a fake report the singer had been diagnosed with cancer and called for fans to cut their hair off to support him.

Bieber was caught up in the smoking scandal earlier this week, after gossip site TMZ posted several photos of him appearing to hold a roll-up cigarette at a party.

After the snaps appeared on the web, the 18-year-old singer took to Twitter to post a cryptic message to his followers.

"Everyday growing and learning. trying to be better. u get knocked down, u get up... i see all of u. i hear all of u. i never want to let any of you down. i love u. and... thank u... like i said... 2013... new challenges. new doubters... Im ready. We are ready. see u all tomorrow and everyday after that," he wrote.

- Herald Online