Justin Bieber axes Instagram amid war with Selena Gomez fans

FILE - In this Nov. 22, 2015 file photo, Justin Bieber arrives at the American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Bieber threatened to go private on Instagram in a post on August 13, 2016, after getting negative comments from fans of ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Justin Bieber has gone nuclear in his war with fans of ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez by deleting his Instagram account.

Bieber posted several pictures of himself with Sofia Richie over the weekend. He responded to negative comments, writing "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 comment sparked more criticism from some, reportedly including Gomez herself. Other commenters defended Bieber.

By Tuesday morning, his Instagram account with more than 77 million followers was gone.

Bieber hasn't commented, but Richie posted on Twitter Monday, "Justin is not shutting out his beliebers. He's thankful everyday for y'all, y'all got him here.. He doesn't forget that.. Period."

Gomez appeared to touch on the controversy in a Snapchat post early Tuesday morning, writing "what I said was selfish and pointless."

Richie is the daughter of singer Lionel Richie and the sister of former reality star Nicole Richie.

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