Lady Gaga's questionable tactics to get her new single "Applause" to the top of the charts has caught the attention of Billboard's Bill Werde.
The singer recently started a contest that encouraged fans and supporters to purchase multiple copies of the song in order to increase its position on iTunes and Amazon. In exchange for their hard work, Lady Gaga agreed to fly the two most dedicated followers to the iTunes Festival in London.
However, it was the musician's recent tweet that caught Werde's attention. Lady Gaga reportedly encouraged her fans to visit a link that allowed them to watch the video over a hundred times in a row. Since Billboard keeps track of this data, Werde feels that Gaga was gaming the system.
In a series of tweets that were aimed at the singer's shady practice, Werde said boosting views for the sake of chart positioning is "not in the spirit" of what Billboard does.
"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. Please keep this in context. Streaming is only a portion of Hot100 and surely overwhelming percent of views have been well-earned," he wrote.
The tweet from Lady Gaga was later deleted shortly before Billboard launch an investigation into the allegation. However, it didn't take very long for the singer's legion of fans to direct their unhappiness at Werde.
"Gaga fans sending me threats and profanity: Don't you think this is why she deleted that link? It is fine to self-promote, send links to fans, etc. my objection is to playlisting," he explained.
As of this writing, "Applause" is currently perched at number four on the US iTunes charts. However, the tune is stalled at number nine in the UK. According to reports, the singer's new tune Swine is set for release on September 1.
Are you a fan of Lady Gaga? Do you believe the singer was attempting to game the Billboard charts?