On Wednesday, December 25, Stan Schroeder of Mashable was one of many journalists who reported that singing sensation Justin Bieber announced he would be retiring on his Twitter feed. However, Bieber fans in the greater Spokane area may be relieved to hear that the tweet was probably just a joke.
On Thursday, December 26, Justin Ravitz of Us Weekly reported that the tweet was a hoax intended to see if the media would pick up the story without confirming it first.
According to Ravitz, "'He isn't retiring, clearly,' a source close to the 'Boyfriend' singer, 19, [told] Us Weekly.
"'It was a joke and he explained in two tweets afterwards!' Continues the insider: 'He is basically poking fun of how quickly news spreads without anyone vetting if it is true or not.'"
Russ Weakland and William Earl of Hollywood Life posted a similar report on Wednesday, December 25.
According to Weakland and Earl, "'It is all for show,' a source in Justin’s camp tells us. 'He is going to take some time off, but retiring is an impossibility.'"
At least some of Spokane's local media outlets such as 101.1 FM reported that Bieber was retiring. Either they just trusted their news sources, or much like Schroeder they weren't completely sure what to make of Bieber's follow-up tweets that explained the joke.
According to Schroeder, "Bieber followed up today's tweet with a couple of others that indicate he might not be retiring for good, claiming he would 'never leave' his fans.
"The singer leaves a lot of questions unanswered, though. In a very recent tweet, he claims he's going to 'surprise a lot of people this week,' followed with a #BelieveMovie hashtag. Could all this be a promo for Bieber's Believe movie, opening on Christmas day, or is the talk of retirement real?"
Some journalists seem to agree with Schroeder's suggestion that the tweet may have been a marketing ploy to generate interest in his movie "Believe." However, fans may be willing to give him more benefit of the doubt about the true intention behind his tweet and accept the story that it was just a joke.
Either way, many people will probably be following Bieber's Twitter feed in the coming weeks to see if he says anything more about the tweet and whether or not he really intends to retire.