Pop star Justin Bieber appears to have gone beyond his threat to turn his Instagram account private and has abandoned that social-media platform altogether.
“Sorry, this page isn’t available,” read the standard Instagram message at the 22-year-old singer’s page at instagram.com/justinbieber. “The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed.”
The UK newspaper The Guardian noted early Tuesday that Bieber’s Instagram account — the sixth most-popular on the service, with 77.9 million followers — first simply went private before being deleted.
Bieber had warned followers on Sunday to stop posting highly derogatory comments attacking him and model Sofia Richie, who turns 18 on Aug. 24. The two have been photographed together for more than a week and recently visited Japan.
“I’m gonna make my Instagram private if you guys don’t stop the hate this is getting out of hand, if you guys are really fans you wouldn’t be so mean to people that I like,” the “Sorry” singer wrote on Instagram to accompany the last of several black-and-white photos he’d posted in quick succession showing close-ups of himself in a car with Richie, a daughter of singer Lionel Richie. As of Monday afternoon, the post had garnered more than 548,000 comments. He subsequently uploaded a photo of his limousine driver.
Bieber has not commented on social media since Monday night, when he posted a black-and-white selfie on Facebook, captioned, “No longer a boy, there’s a new man in town,” followed approximately two hours later by a color shot of himself seated and holding a large beige-and-white puppy, writing, “My new little fluff ball Todd.” The two messages had received approximately 12,000 comments each by noon Tuesday.
Before Bieber shuttered his Instagram account, he reportedly traded barbed commentary with former girlfriend Selena Gomez, 24, with many media outlets publishing screengrabs of posts, though with no links to the purported originals. “If you can’t handle the hate, then stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol- It should be special between you two only,” Gomez allegedly wrote in her initial comment. “Don’t be mad at your fans. They love you and supported you before any one ever did.” Gomez’s representative did not respond to a Newsday request to confirm the posts’ authenticity.