Really, none of this should come as a surprise. Justin recently threatened to make his account private following the massive wave of criticism the 22-year-old has received from fans because of his new girlfriend, Sofia Richie, primarily in the form of nasty comments on photos of the two of them.
“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,” Bieber posted to Instagram.
Then, Selena Gomez, Bieber’s ex, decided that she should weight in. “If you can’t handle the hate then stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol — it should be special between you two only,” she commented under a photo of Richie and Bieber. “Don’t be mad at your fans. They love you.”
Apparently, that was it for Bieber, as he deactivated the public feature account Monday night. His fans (who refer to themselves as “Beliebers”) reacted swiftly and, predictably, dramatically. The hashtag #RipBeliebers has since been trending on Twitter.
— bash (@alescia_bash) August 16, 2016
— 𝓥𝓪𝓵𝓮 (@valeriaamoya) August 16, 2016
— Tutiş (@loyalforhails) August 14, 2016
Justin’s account had 77.8 million followers, all of whom are now unable to see any of the star’s posts. At first, he just set the account to “private,” meaning that he’d have to approve all followers, but people could still follow him. Then, he set the account to “public” again before quickly deleting it.
Selena has since apologized over Snapchat, but it may just be too little too late.
Here are some salvaged screenshots from the now defunct account: