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One Direction is a British-Irish boy band formed in 2010, consisting of members Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik and Liam Payne. The group rose the fame after finishing third in the seventh series of British television music competiton reality show The X Factor.
One Direction was formed in July of 2010 after each member failed to progress to the “Boys” category while competing on The X-Factor. After guest judge Nicole Scherzinger suggested the five boys form a group, they were put together and managed to finish third in the show’s “Group” category. After the competition, One Direction was signed to a £2 million Syco Records record contract by Simon Cowell.
On August 9th, 2010, the domain OneDirectionMusic.com was registered, which serves as the official promotional website for the boy band. On September 30th, the “One Direction” Facebook page was created, accumulating over 12 million likes by December of 2012. On October 29th, the @onedirection Twitter account was created, which gained over 8.6 million followers over the next two years.
One Direction rose to fame in the United Kingdom after an online marketing campaign was launched on July 4th, 2011. The campaign was based around a fictional diehard fan character named 1DCyberPunk, who purportedly stole the group’s laptop and leaked images and videos as fans completed a variety of challenges online.
What Makes You Beautiful
On August 19th, 2011, the music video for the group’s hit single “What Makes You Beautiful” from the album Up All Night was uploaded to OneDirectionVEVO YouTube channel (shown below). Within 16 months, the video received over 301 million views and 1 million comments.
On April 21st, YouTuber barelypolitical uploaded another parody portraying the group as mentally disabled (shown below, right), receiving over 23.8 million views and 85,000 comments within the next eight months. On July 20th, YouTuber BartBaKer uploaded a parody of the video, portraying One Direction as a group of overly feminine guys (shown below, left), which received over 3.8 million views and 15,000 comments in the next six months.
Other YouTubers followed suit, with over 3,000 search results for the keywords “what makes you beautiful parody” on YouTube by December of 2012, many of which accumulated several hundred thousand views.
The band has garnered a considerable anti-fandom as well. A Facebook pages for “One Direction Sucks” and “I Hate One Direction” have received over 9,000 likes each as of December 21st, 2012. YouTuber ghero46 uploaded a video titled “Why I HATE One Direction” on Feburary 21st, 2012, in which he explains how he is disturbed by pre-teen and teenage girls expressing their sexual attraction for the band members (shown below). Within the next year, the video received over 300,000 views and 9,700 comments.
Metro – Are One Direction’s Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson gay? ask US fans / 28-3-2012