Justin Bieber appears to have followed through on his threat and vanished from Instagram, potentially leaving thousands of Beliebers bereft.
It all started when Bieber posted some photos on Instagram of himself and his latest gal pal, Sofia Richie.
Richie, who is a 17-year-old model as well as the daughter of singer/songwriter Lionel Richie, has been seen out and about with Bieber in recent weeks.
The Instagram photos did not go over well with some of Bieber’s followers, apparently, because they had plenty to say about it — most of which was not nice.
Well, the singer did not take kindly to the comments. He threatened to block access to his social media accounts, which for Beliebers, could be the equivalent of cutting off their oxygen supply.
“I’m gonna make my Instagram private if you guys don’t stop the hate,” the 22-year-old pop star wrote in a caption of a black and white photo of himself and Richie. “This is getting out of hand, if you guys are really fans you wouldn’t be so mean to people that I like.”
Apparently the hate continued — the superstar singer’s account pointed to an error page early Tuesday: “Sorry, this page isn’t available. The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed. Go back to Instagram.”
The social media schooling had turned serious after Bieber’s ex, singer Selena Gomez, weighed in on the drama. “If you can’t handle the hate then stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol – it should be special between you two only,” Gomez wrote on Instagram.
“Don’t be mad at your fans,” Gomez added. “They love you.”
Bieber clapped back by commenting, “It’s funny to see people that used me for attention and still try to point the finger this way. Sad. All love.”
Then #RIPBeliebers and #SelenaEndedJustinParty became a thing, with folks declaring themselves Bieber free and #TeamGomez.
Now #JustinDeactivatedParty has emerged…
But Beliebers need not fear, the singer remains on Twitter and Facebook — for now they can get their fix.
By Lisa Respers France and Susannah Cullinane, CNN