Justin Bieber Being Shot On CSI: An Unlikely, Disturbing Viral Sensation

In what is a fairly disturbing trend, a very specific moment of Justin Bieber’s CSI appearance has gotten more than NINE MILLION VIEWS: the scene where he’s shot to death.

In this scene, the completion of a story arc that began with his first appearance back in September, Bieber reprised his role as foster teen and bomb expert (um, okay…) Jason McCann for the season’s fifteenth episode: ‘Targets Of Obsessions.’  After refusing to surrender and shooting another police officer, character Nick Stokes, (played by George Eads) opens fire, and a gunshot ridden, bloodied Bieber slowly, dramatically tumbles to the ground.

A clip of the climactic thirty seconds was uploaded on February 17th, and just four days later has received more than NINE million hits. Do the math: two and a quarter million people a day wanted to watch a clip of Justin Bieber being violently shot.

Coincidentally, Britney Spears’ new video for “Hold It Against Me” was released and uploaded on her official YouTube page the same day, and has received 9.5 million views at post-time… both impressive numbers. And yet, the Spears’ video is clear in it’s intent to be viewed as entertainment … the Bieber  video is a very specific clip of the teen being shot dead – even if it’s in the fictional sense. The motivation for watching it is less clear.

Is the phenomenon slightly disturbing, or even surprising? Yes and no. On one hand, Bieber’s more emphatic fans want to see anything and everything Bieber, and that undoubtedly contributes to viewership of a Justin Bieber video clip – no matter what’s actually in the video. (Savvy YouTube uploaders often tag their videos with misleading keywords like Bieber, Gaga, and more just to increase their viewership… look no further than the angry comments section at the bottom of one of these pages to see how many people have been misled.) But a clip of this nature, clearly titled “Justin Bieber Shot and Killed” is hardly misleading.

As popular as it is to be a Justin Bieber fan, it’s also extremely popular to be ‘anti-Bieber’.  For some, it’s a badge of honor or sorts – an anti-establishment statement that they’re not a ‘tool’ of the entertainment juggernaut. For every fan, there is another person who is ‘doesn’t get it’ or simply has a tendency to resist the popular vote. But this is a pretty disturbing viral sensation.

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