Back in August 2016, Justin Bieber was spending a lot of time with Lionel Richie’s daughter Sofia Richie. While the pair never confirmed a romantic relationship, Richie made several appearances on Bieber’s Instagram, which led to a slew of negative comments. They allegedly became so vicious that the pop star issued a threat to his fans.
“I’m gonna make my Instagram private if you guys don’t stop the hate,” he wrote in the caption of a post, as reported by CNN. “This is getting out of hand, if you guys are really fans you wouldn’t be so mean to people that I like.” The online drama took a turn when ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez jumped into the comment fray. “If you can’t handle the hate then stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol — it should be special between you two only,” she wrote. “Don’t be mad at your fans. They love you. They were there for you before anyone.”
After replying to his former flame with, “It’s funny to see people that used me for attention and still try to point the finger this way,” Bieber took the nuclear option and deleted his Instagram account. During a November 2016 show in London, Bieber was still anti-Instagram, describing it as “for the devil” and “hell.” However, luckily for his fans and for T-Mobile, he reactivated his account the following February, just in time for his Super Bowl commercial for the mobile service.