Japan's latest rising pop star also happens to be one of Japan's latest pieces of technology. Aimi Eguchi is the newest member of AKB48, a famous Japanese pop group with 61 members. Eguchi made her debut in a TV commercial last week and is on the fast track to super-stardom. But Eguchi's thousands of fans were shocked to find out that their pop idol is literally larger than life. A video released online shows behind-the-scenes footage of Eguchi's eerie computer-generated creation. The producers of AKB48 made her by taking features from six real members of the group and recording an actor's voice. Believe it or not, this isn't the first time Japan fabricated a singer. Hatsune Miku, a singing hologram, has performed in arenas throughout Japan and makes her U.S. debut next month in L.A.video). And Bieber fans, aka "Beliebers," were out for blood. Death threats against the "crazed fan" identified as Tom Patterson were all over Twitter yesterday, launching "Tom Petterson" to the top of Twitter's trending topics list. One Tweeter said, "To this 'Tom Petterson' person ... There's no need to hide, we will find you." Bieber fanatics also took their rage out on Facebook, where dozens of anti-Tom Petterson pages have popped up. But fans can't "belieb" everything they hear. That's because the attacker is actually an undercover NYPD officer who reportedly had a misunderstanding with one of the singer's bodyguards. Reports say that Bieber was a little rattled by the incident but fine.
The TV commercial that led to the capture of mobster James "Whitey" Bulger after 14 years as a fugitive was actually part of a large-scale social media campaign. Before the capture, the FBI had posted a video looking for Bulger's girlfriend on its Facebook page (which has 117,000 fans) and on YouTube. The FBI first got into Facebook in 2009, when it noted "we need to be where the people are, and we know tens of millions of people spend their time on social media sites." After catching Bulger this week, the FBI spread the news on Twitter.
What do you think of Japan's virtual pop star? Did Bieber fans overreact to yesterday's incident? Do you think social media help or hurt police investigations? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter. And get my updates all day by following me on Twitter @AdrianaTweeting.
- Aimi Eguchi