Larry Shippers died? Who is Larry Shippers? Why is Larry Shippers trending on Twitter and did he die? These are just a few questions being asked around the web and the answer lies in one thing: the One Direction fandom.
Late Thursday evening a rumor began swirling around Twitter that several One Direction fans known as "Larry Shippers" had committed suicide. When the story was first posted it was claimed that 14 young One Direction fans called Larry Shippers had killed themselves. That number soon exploded to 28, and then 42. Up to this point nothing has been printed in the news concerning these Larry Shipper deaths, but it seems Twitter isn't the only social network trying to figure out the truth from the tweets.
The last few days have been particularly emotional for young 1D fans as a new documentary on Britain's Channel 4 featured the One Direction fandom at its worst and most extreme. The documentary caused a number of trending hashtags to surface on Twitter in relation to the film, including #THISISNOTUS and, more recently, #RIPLarryShippers.
It was the second that stood out. We found ourselves wondering, "Who is Larry Shippers?"
What Are Larry Shippers?
A little Internet research reveals that Larry Shippers are a sect of One Direction fans who envision a "bromance" between boy band singers Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, renaming them "Larry Stylinson" (a kind of male "Brangelina" I suppose).
At any rate, this particular sect of 1D fans seem to be at odds with the fans who like the relationship between Louis Tomlinson and his girlfriend Eleanor Cadler.
The Cadler fans reportedly dish a lot of hate at the Larry Shippers, as the Channel 4 documentary revealed. Since the documentary, more hate has been aimed at these devoted 1D fans, and before long, the message that 14 Larry Shippers had died from committing suicide began to fill Twitter's timeline. It didn't take long and #RIPLarryShippers became a worldwide trend that is still going hard and heavy even now.
Watch "Crazy About One Direction" Channel 4 Documentary Trailer
14 Larry Shippers Killed Themselves? Why Isn't It In The News?
This is the question though; is it real? Did Larry Shippers really die or could this all be a hoax? This isn't something we ask out of ridicule for the One Direction fans who are so dearly devoted to the band. There simply isn't any substantial proof that it has actually happened. Truly the suicides of 14, 28 or 42 young girls as a result of hate and threats would certainly have made it into the news somehow. If you search the web though, you won't find any news source reporting the deaths.
It seems we aren't the only ones wondering where this story got started as taking a quick gander at 4Chan — a site notorious for starting initiating twitter trolling and other similar types of acts — users there seemed to be as taken aback by the trending Twitter hashtag as we were.
Here are a few comments which surfaced on 4Chan related to the #RIPLarryShippers trending twitter hashtag:
"What the f*** is this? Did you start this, /b/?"
"Some twitter trend about One Direction fans that killed themselves because of some Channel 4 documentary in England?"
"Ahaha no way this is real"
"Is Channel 4 supposed to be us?"
"I've been looking around for 30 minutes and I can't find anything to substantiate this. If it is a joke whoever pulled it off is a god."
"Who the f*** is Larry Shippers?"
"Whoever did this is a f***ing master troll. Didn't originate here though."
Although we won't name this an outright hoax, it's obvious we aren't the only ones who feel it can't possibly be true that so many young people took their lives Thursday evening and it hasn't been noted.
Meanwhile on Twitter though, the hashtag seems to still be gathering steam as some One Direction fans have even come up with some unique ways to commemorate the Larry Shippers they believe were lost as a result of the Channel 4 documentary.
Here are a few of those tweets.
— Bravery. (@StylesRoyalty) August 16, 2013
To all of you Larry Shippers thinking of taking you're life tonight please open the pic, i beg you #RIPLarryShippers pic.twitter.com/Rqv1Lk7zzu — #RIPLarryShippers (@iBullShipper) August 16, 2013
PLEASE TELL ME THIS ISN'T TRUE #RIPLarryShippers pic.twitter.com/DSFM7dIR6r — smile ily ♡ (@iStylesCastle) August 16, 2013
PLEASE DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE 14 BEAUTIFUL DIRECTIONERS THAT TOOK THEIR LIVES TODAY