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Britney Spears’ Instagram account, long seen as a portal into the pop singer’s cloistered and secretive world, has vanished from the social media platform.
As of Tuesday afternoon, visitors to Spears’ profile were greeted with the message “user not found.” According to a screenshot posted to Twitter, Spears’ profile was deactivated after she posted a message in support of the #FreeBritney movement, which has advocated to end the conservatorship that has controlled Spears’ life for more than a decade.
That movement notched a stunning victory last week, when Spears’ father and longtime conservator, James Spears, filed documents to end the conservatorship entirely. James Spears had already taken steps to remove himself as the overseer of Britney Spears’ $60 million estate, after Spears retained a new lawyer and repeatedly spoke out against the conservatorship, calling it abusive and accusing her handlers of refusing to let her take out her IUD.
With its 34 million followers, Spears’ Instagram was viewed as one of the icon’s few ways to directly communicate with her fans—if not her only avenue. Before Spears went public about her thoughts on the conservatorship, followers combed over her sometimes-cryptic posts for clues about her life and inner thoughts.
A spokesperson for the Facebook company, which runs Instagram, told VICE News over email that the platform didn’t delete Spears’ account.
An “insider” source told Page Six that the decision to remove the account was Spears’.
“She’s happy and in a great place,” the source said. “Silence can be a powerful thing and a powerful message.”
Update, 9:50 am: Spears tweeted Tuesday evening that the break from Instagram was her idea.
“Don’t worry folks … just taking a little break from social media to celebrate my engagement,” she tweeted, adding a string of exclamation marks and emojis. Spears recently got engaged to boyfriend Sam Asghari.