A British teenager has received torrents of Twitter abuse from jealous Justin Bieber fans after the Canadian superstar retweeted the girl's compliment.
Fifteen-year-old Courtney Barrasford from Portsmouth initially posted an innocuous positive review of a Bieber album:
Not a really a fan of Justin Bieber but his acoustic album is actually good!From @Courtney_CB on Twitter:
The tweet was picked up by the @justinbieber account - despite not being directed at him with an @ reply - and retweeted to the 34 million people who follow the singer.
This outraged a particularly fanatical strain of 'Beliebers' who thought Courtney was undeserving of his attention:
The interactions soon escalated and even resulted in death threats being sent to the teenager.
"It started to get worse as more people found out," Courtney told the Daily Mail. "I had things like “you’re not a fan, go kill yourself."
Things took a turn for the surreal when the online army of fans began circulating a rumour that she was pregnant with a Bieber baby:
"So far things hadn’t got to me," she said. "But then they started saying I was pregnant with his child, and that my child would be a prostitute."
The schoolgirl was even forced to tweet a denial:
A spokesman for the Child Expolitation and Online Protection Centre said: "Social networks online are an increasingly important part of young people’s lives.
"They take risks online, perhaps more so than in the real world, as the computer screen provides the illusion of anonymity and safety.
"Sometimes young people post without considering the consequences. It’s important they know what to do when something goes wrong.
"In the first instance they should flag up offensive comments through the site’s reporting page.
"Children can also access support through the charity BeatBullying, by phoning ChildLine or by reporting inappropriate sexual comments to CEOP."
- See ceop.police.uk for more advice on handling online bullying
Friendlier Bieber fans have since been in touch to encourage Courtney to "ignore the haters":