Several Twitter users say they have been suddenly blocked by Ian "H" Watkins from Steps on the social media site.
The move, which has led to "Blocked By H From Steps" hashtag trending on the social media site, has revealed several accounts claiming to be blocked by the singer for no apparent reason.
According to reports over 300,000 people were culled, including many who claimed they either did not kn ow who the 46-year-old was or did not follow him in the first place.
One person tweeted: "I too have been blocked by H from Steps. And I have no idea who H is or who Steps are."
'h from steps' is a person i’ve barely heard of, whose timeline i’ve never checked before this week, who has never interacted with me, nor i with him. yet i’ve been blocked by him.— ken edwards (@kened) December 28, 2022
Another wrote: "Funny thing Is I’m not blocked by Elton John but blocked from H from Steps as the only steps I’ve heard of are the ones I walk up and down on to get my flat when the lift don’t work."
A third commented: "h from steps’ is a person i’ve barely heard of, whose timeline i’ve never checked before this week, who has never interacted with me, nor i with him.
"Yet i’ve been blocked by him."
Funny thing Is I’m not blocked by Elton John but blocked from H from Steps as the only steps I’ve heard of are the ones I walk up and down on to get my flat when the lift don’t work pic.twitter.com/q7W1FYZi4K— Jonathan Evans 🏒😼 (@TheGothSpecial1) December 28, 2022
In a now-deleted tweet the singer addressed the confusion. In response to a fan who wondered why he’d been blocked, he replied: "Hi James… I recently signed up for a clean up of ‘bots’ & ‘phobes,’ he wrote.
"Apologies if the blocking offended… I didn’t do this manually! Merry Christmas."
On Wednesday, he made light of the uproar and tweeted a snap of himself behind a desk and laptop and wrote: “Very busy day at the office… #blocked.”
Watkins revealed in October that he’s targeted by hateful homophobic trolls on a daily basis.
The gay pop star, who is a single parent to twin boys Macsen and Cybi, six, told The Sun: "I’ve learnt to grow a thick skin, but I’m only human.
"What really gets to me, and I will always speak up, is when they question my parenting or bring my children into it because social media is a vicious place, it really is.
"It would be nice to have some laws in place to stop that happening, but I don’t think that’s going to happen."
Very busy day at the office…. 😂 #blocked pic.twitter.com/aklF4JoxRr— H from Steps (@Ianhwatkins) December 28, 2022
Earlier in the year he called out an Instagram troll who called him "queer" in a derogatory manner.
"We’re all about celebrating education and I will always call a troll out," he said.
"I get hate messages on a daily basis about me being gay, about me being a gay dad, but I know for some people the word queer doesn’t sit very well because historically speaking, it was always a slur, but a lot of the LGBTQ+ community have embraced that word, not all, but I definitely have.
"I use that as my armour now. It’s a very positive empowering word, and I use it unashamedly."
The singer became famous in the 90s with the British pop group, alongside Lee Latchford-Evans, Claire Richards, Lisa Scott-Lee and Faye Tozer.