Rebecca Black Proves New Rules of Fame

Meghan Daum: To be really popular, you have to be really unpopular
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2011 3:23 PM CDT

With Friday, 13-year-old Rebecca Black has a top 20 song on iTunes and a video that’s reached 35 million views—but what she’s most noted for is widespread derision. “We don't hate you because you're famous. You're famous because we hate you,” reads one of the printable tweets. But that’s what fame is in the age of the Internet, writes Meghan Daum in the Los Angeles Times: "To do anything in a public arena is to invite an insta-response that will echo just as loudly with harsh critics as with fans."

Rebecca's mom paid for a song-writing service for her daughter, trying to give her "the gift of attention and maybe a teeny bit of fame." As a result, total strangers are now urging her daughter to kill herself. “Whereas it used to be that the forum for anonymous public opinion was the high school bathroom wall, now the whole world is essentially a bathroom wall,” Daum writes. And "being extremely popular is now basically the same thing as being extremely unpopular." (More Rebecca Black stories.)

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