Pop superstar Lady Gaga has called on fans and social media bosses to crack down on Internet abuse, just days after she started a nasty online feud with a gossip blogger.
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The singer hit headlines last week when she began a war of words with Perez Hilton after he criticized her new music on his website, branding him "sick" and accusing him of "stalking" her. Hilton subsequently claimed the Twitter.com rant prompted Gaga's legions of fans to send him a barrage of abusive messages and death threats through the website. However, Gaga has now issued a statement urging her fans not to spread hatred online.
In a message posted on the website of her Born This Way Foundation, Gaga writes, "[I am] passionate about tolerance, acceptance, and kindness, and I've made it a point early in my career to make it known that this is what I stand for as an artist. While it may be difficult at times to hear the things that people say and write about me ... Sending threats of any kind, using hateful or abusive language, and the provoking of others on the Internet is not supported by me or anything that I stand for. What I've seen transpiring is wrong and upsetting to me...
"I ask you to take a pledge with me to continue the change toward positivity, and to recognize that this behavior is wrong ... The anonymous nature of social media has made it easy for many to vent their anger by bullying others with no recourse or accountability. But this is not a healthy way to handle your emotions."
Gaga also calls for an overhaul of social networking websites to help stamp out abuse, adding, "I also ask that Twitter and other social media platforms support this effort to monitor and control abusive and threatening language, as I don't know that I am powerful enough to stop it myself. Please represent me and our community with the values we cherish and live by."