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!
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:
Justin shouldnt RT people like @courtney_cb she doesnt even care.......
@courtney_cb AND HE NOTICES YOU BUT NOT THE GIRL WHO'S BEEN TRYIN FIVE LONG YEARS TO GET HIS ATTENTION!????????????????????????????????????????????
@courtney_cb HOW CAN U NOT BE A FAN THO R U DELUDED AND HE RTd U THIS IS Y I H8 MI LYF
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:
You and Justin are so cute together congratulations about they baby b... — We are not a couple and im not pregnant. http://t.co/y7LJnaBwbD
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":
stop hating @courtney_cb !she was just talking about the album and she didn't even mentioned him. She wasn't rude to anyone so stop bitching
@courtney_cb hi girly, people are just hating because there jealous. ignore the hate hunny xx