NZ singer Lorde, with boyfriend James.

NZ singer Lorde, with boyfriend James. Photo: Instagram/Lordemusic

If you haven't heard of Lorde you've been living under a rock. At just 16, this singer/songwriter took the world by storm with her debut single Royals.

The song went to No.1 in the US, and Platinum in Canada and New Zealand, as well as earning her four 2014 Grammy nods and breaking a truck load of records in the process.

Since exploding on to the international music scene the girl from suburban Devonport, Auckland, aka Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O'Connor, has never been backwards in coming forwards.

She's quickly become known for her "outspoken and opinionated" commentary on society. Making jibes at Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, David Guetta and having a dig at Taylor Swift's girl-next-door "flawless" looks.

Lorde is no stranger to the wrath of the Selenators, Smilers, Swifties and Beliebers, but nothing has come close to the tirade unleashed on her by Directioners and Narnians (the latter being non-British One Direction fans) after she allegedly called the teen heart-throbs ugly and questioned their fame and their musical ability on Twitter.

It seems odd she would make these comments, considering she was happily tweeting and posting selfies from one of their New Zealand concerts in October.

A legion of diehard ID followers who worship these baby-faced icons Twitter-fied Lorde for bagging their idols. Only later it was revealed that Lorde's comments stemmed from a hoax.

It turns out a Belieber created a fake tweet about Lorde dissing One Direction, in an attempt to get a One Direction song to dethrone Royals on a radio chart show.

The Twitter-sphere went postal, slamming the singer, her music, and more. James Lowe, Lorde's 24 year-old photographer boyfriend, became a target, copping a barrage of bigoted insults from livid and ill-informed teens.

Derogatory comments about Lowe's appearance, age and race in regards to his Asian heritage bombarded Lorde's Twitter and Instagram feed.

 

This Twitter-bashing raises a number of concerning issues; before social media it was more difficult to slander someone in the public domain but in an age where we live behind avatars, nicknames and our internet identities its now much easier to be hateful or inappropriate with impunity.

Not to mention the influence social media wields to create and populate the masses and the media with false and misleading information.

But most sickening is the racial aspect. Have the Lincolns, Martin Luther Kings and Mandelas of the world and their fights for equality and respect been forgotten?

It's one thing for teens to get their knickers in a twist about someone bagging out their favourite babes, it's another issue entirely for these future generations to retaliate by resorting to racial slurs, personal insults and stereotyping.

Which raises the question: have we become too complacent, taking what the internet tells us as gospel? Should what we read and see on our social media be taken with a grain of salt?