Lady Gaga has been called out for urging her fans to watch her new video 'Applause' repeatedly to inflate the number of views online by the boss of US charts and magazine, Billboard.
Fans are accused creating playlists which included only 'Applause' and playing these on a loop, adding huge numbers of views to the star's comeback track.
Bill Werde, the editorial director of Billboard took issue with a now-deleted tweet from Gaga urging fans to watch her new video and ask others to do the same.
An artist tweeting out and facebooking a link that enables a fan to hit play and leave their computer is not in the spirit of what we chart.— Bill Werde (@bwerde) August 21, 2013
Tweeting that other artists game the system is like telling a cop other people were speeding. When we catch it we stop it.— Bill Werde (@bwerde) August 21, 2013
YouTube and Vevo views contribute in part to the US Billboard chart, but Werde stressed it did not make a huge influence.
Please keep this in context. Streaming is only a portion of Hot100 and surely overwhelming percent of views have been well-earned.— Bill Werde (@bwerde) August 21, 2013
I just hate to see anyone try to game the charts, be it fans or artists. It's not in the spirit of what we do, celebrating success.— Bill Werde (@bwerde) August 21, 2013
Inevitably, Werde was later bombarded by abuse from Lady Gaga fans, with Little Monsters calling him 'retarded' and telling him 'you're a dumbass and we hate you'.
Lady Gaga's 2013 comeback has not been the enormous success the star would have hoped for. In the US, she has been beaten in the charts by Katy Perry's 'Roar' single, while in the UK 'Applause' struggled to hit the Top Five, being outsold by Ellie Goulding, AVicii, Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey in this week's chart.
She is rumoured to be rush-releasing a second single from her third studio album ARTPOP in September, and this week had a very public meltdown on Twitter, accusing US blogger Perez Hilton of stalking her and suggesting he posed a gun threat to her.
Below: Lady Gaga live in London, 2012