Threats against Web sensation Rebecca Black probed

LOS ANGELES Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:09am EDT

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Police said on Tuesday they were investigating two death threats against 13-year-old Internet sensation Rebecca Black over her low-budget music video "Friday."

The threats were made sometime in March, after "Friday" became a YouTube hit and went viral as a web phenomenon, Anaheim Police spokesman Rick Martinez said.

"In essence the threats were related to getting the music off the Internet or they were going to kill her," Martinez said.

"We can't validate how serious they are, but we do take it seriously," he said.

Martinez said officers were "keeping an extra eye out" for Black as they investigated the messages, which were made through her Los Angeles-based production and management companies.

One of the death threats was made by phone and the other by email, he said.

Martinez said that investigators had not yet identified the person or persons behind the threats, but that they could face criminal charges.

"We're going to investigate and determine, number one, the source of the comments and then based on the investigation determine what intent was and where we go from here," he said. "If we believe they were actually intended as threats we will work toward prosecution"

Black was an unknown Southern California middle-school student before "Friday" was released in February by a boutique record label.

The video, in which Black can be seen singing gleefully about her weekend plans and riding in a car with friends, generated more than 110 million views on YouTube even as it was mocked by Internet critics.

Since then Black has made appearances on national television and racked up chart entries in the United States, Britain, Australia and Canada.

Visible Measures, a company that tracks the performance of Web videos, has said that including copies of the video, spoofs and other versions available on hundreds of video sites, "Friday" has generated more than 200 million views -- surpassing Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" and Justin Bieber's "Pray."

(Editing by Greg McCune)

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Comments (2)
Zoey wrote:
Just because something has a ton of hits dosen’t mean that it’s good. People love to see a train wreck.

Apr 19, 2011 10:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
specvern03 wrote:
No body should receive death threats over their music— no matter how good or bad it may be. I know my curiously to see what all the chatter was about has eternally ruined my Fridays. That awful song rings in my brain when Friday rolls around– so much I wish it was Monday again.

I give her kudos for trying but “try” means “to attempt to do,” so in the better sense of the word— attempted but failed. Everyone’s defense about this is her age. “She’s only 13,” no– sorry that does not cut it. Look at Willow Smith, she is only 10 and has a great voice at her age– and she is not monotone.

Also– the report of 200 million views might be correct but they fail to show the real truth. Not to mention that this could be the new version of “Rick Roll-ing” your pals (look it up). You Tube posts that the video has “298,844 likes, 2,235,031 dislikes.” The likes which were VERY low earlier have taken a considerable increase recently because of all the media hype defending her.

But whatever— I can sing and no I don’t have a video on the internet. The reason being is because I don’t care that much. No matter how many views that video has— Star Wars Kid and Numa Numa Guy are far more entertaining to watch.

Apr 20, 2011 10:53am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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