In a comment captured by The Shade Room, Gomez, 24, called Bieber, 22, out for threatening to make his Instagram account private after fans dissed Richie, 22, with snake emojis and rude accusations.
“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. “Don’t be mad at your fans. They love you.”
Earlier on Sunday, the “What Do You Mean” singer had captioned a black-and-white shot of himself with his new love, who has joined him on his tour in Japan, with the words: “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.”
His fans instantly took offense to Bieber’s harsh reprimand, dismissing the singer for his threat.
“You don’t act like you love them,” one commenter wrote. “Respect them! Without them you wouldn’t be where you are today! Remember that!”
After Gomez commented on her ex’s Instagram photo, her fans came forward to slam Bieber as well, commenting on another photo he posted Sunday.
“Selena is very intelligent,” one fan wrote. “Justin fans are like customers into a store and the store is you.”
“Let’s all unfollow him,” another suggested. Another commented: “Otherwise you would still be that boy playing alongside the street making jams for coins.”
Bieber later replied to Gomez's comment, writing, "It's funny to see people that used me for attention and still try to point the finger this way. Sad. All love."
He followed it up five minutes later with another comment that was screen-grabbed by a Gomez fan: "I'm not one for anyone receiving hate. Hope u all can be kind to my friends and eachother. And yes I love my beliebers."
Bieber only recently began to follow Gomez again in June after a long hiatus. (He previously unfollowed her on the social media site in November 2014 after the pair split.)
"Justin Bieber recently followed Selena on Instagram," one Jelena believer tweeted after that took place. A second added: "Waiting for Selena to log on to Instagram and follow Justin back but knowing [her] she probably won't …"
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