One Direction Fan Suicide Rumours Hit Twitter
Twitter was flooded with rumours that One Direction fans committed suicide after watching a Channel 4 documentary on the group.
Crazy About One Direction, broadcast in the UK on Thursday, prompted an angry response from fans unhappy about being portrayed as "obsessive".
#ThisIsNotUs ended up being among the top trending hashtags worldwide, as did #RIPLarryShippers - which refers to a sub-group of One Direction fans.
Some users of the site claimed 42 people had committed suicide after the programme - but not one case has yet been confirmed.
Liam Payne from the UK pop group hit back at the programme and tweeted his concern at the suicide rumours.
"Hearing some horrible things ... Really hope this isn't true," said the singer.
He added: "We couldn't give a **** what any documentary says there dramatised for entertainment and full of ******** anyway we all know how hard you work for us and see it everyday at our shows."
The singer's responses to the documentary have all been retweeted tens of thousands of times.
Fans on Twitter reacted instantly to their portrayal in the programme.
"Shame on Channel 4 in the UK airing #CrazyAboutOneDirection and showing Directioners in a negative light to troll for ratings. #ThisIsNotUs," said one fan.
Another user posted: "Channel 4 showed the 1% of the fanbase and forgot to include the 99% of directioners who are actually the nicest people ever."
In its description of the programme, the channel describes "death threats to band members' girlfriends" and fans "being willing to chop off limbs and kill kittens to just be in the same room".
In a statement, the broadcaster said: "This documentary made by an award-winning filmmaker followed a number of fans who, by their own admission, are obsessive about the band.
"Whilst not suggesting that the girls featured represent all 1D fans, it examined the impact social media has had on teenage fandom and how it has developed a new form of idol worship for many teenage girls.
"Both Channel 4 and the film makers took the utmost care to produce a documentary with genuine affection and respect for the fans."
An authorised film about the group comes out in the UK on August 29.
Directed by Supersize Me film-maker Morgan Spurlock, it is being billed as a 3D 'warts and all-style' documentary.
One Direction have had phenomenal success in Britain and around the world since they found fame on the X Factor in 2010.
:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 08457 90 90 90 or email email@example.com.