The pop star has come under fire for her refusal to condemn the so-called alt right.
Taylor Swift launched a new app for her loyal fans last week and within just two days, it was overrun by President Donald Trump’s fans to spread homophobia.
In a Tuesday report from the Daily Beast, screen captures of the app reveal the newly launched app, “The Swift Life,” was taken over by dogged Trump supporters.
Swift’s followers rushed to the app stores and by Monday it was among the top trending apps. It gave Swift fans a place on social media to see exclusive videos, use “Tay-mojis” and have their own Swift-centric newsfeed. But the most popular feature, which allows supporters to meet each other and chat, was possessed by right-wing trolls. Many Swift fans already know each other and have met on Facebook and Twitter. They’ve formed a collective of fans ready to respond to any criticism of their favorite star.
While the singer’s fans all had something in common with Swift, their political ideologies don’t mesh well. When conversation turned to politics, the fans started in on Trump and hate aimed at Hillary Clinton.
“Republicans and Trump supporters have just as much right to be here as everyone. There are people who voted for him or may vote Republican but didn’t vote for him. They may not agree with his beliefs but at least he supports our troops,” on fan wrote.
The comment spawned an argument in the comments section which quickly devolved into other Swift fans saying things like, “I just don’t accept gays lesbians and bisexuals,” Britt said.
Another comment from Britt claimed that her husband serving in the military was safer with Trump in office. Hillary has “done some things I don’t agree with when it comes to the safety of our troops… at the end of the day it came down to what I felt was best. There are people who voted for reasons other than Trump being a bigoted, sexist, homophobe,” she wrote in another post. The backlash was swift.
Those who love Swift and Trump quickly flocked to the defense of their kin on social media. They demanded their freedom of speech be recognized.
“I downloaded Tay’s app and before you start criticising me I’m a trump supporter (sic),” one fan tweeted. “I don’t see why people talk politics in there???? Like helloooooo let’s talk about our fav. We should support Taylor and I’m so disappointed she didn’t have one million downloads a minute.”
Britt ultimately deleted all of her posts about the president before writing, “Speak now and forever hold your peace. Not on TSL. Speak now here and everyone jumps down your throat.”
“You don’t get to use ‘free speech’ as an excuse to be rude and hateful,” another fan responded.
Rumors spread of political posts being deleted by moderators while international Swift fans blasted Americans for “ruining the app” and “distracting from Taylor.”
When a user logs into the app it demands users “help make this a safe and inclusive place for everyone to enjoy.” They’re encouraged to report content, saying, “see anything inappropriate, including instances of bullying or harassment, please report it.”
Swift made news when she refused to speak out against neo-Nazis and white supremacists in the so-called “alt-right.” She ultimately became the darling of the far-right movement, although Swift has tried to remain non-political. However, in 2016 Swift drew attacks from feminist supporters, who alleged that she was using feminist ideals to sell records while secretly supporting the anti-feminist candidate.
In a Yahoo interview with Swift friend Todrick Hall, Swift’s politics came up and he shut down the speculation she was a closet Trump supporter.
“Yeah, many people have been tweeting me, ‘She supports Trump! She probably voted for Trump!’” he said. “They’re making this huge assumption, when Taylor has never to my knowledge come out and said anything about her being pro-Trump.”
While he wouldn’t confess any inside information on whether Swift was a closet white supremacist, he said she has been “nothing but a great person to me,” as an gay African-American man.
“Her family has welcomed me into their home and treated me like I was a member of the family,” he said. “They’ve welcomed every single person I’ve ever brought around them. I’ve never felt like there was ever a moment that I couldn’t be myself, and talk about the fact that I’m gay or whatever.”
“Maybe one day, Taylor will start being super-political, and using her voice to do the things that people think that she should be doing,” he added. “But even then, she will probably be ridiculed for not being vocal enough, or not being on the right side.”
Left-leaning Swift fans attacked the pop star just last week after she claimed she “couldn’t have asked for a better year.” They allege the comment was “tone deaf” to the horrors many people of color faced in wake of the Trump presidency.
“I mean, yeah there were Nazi’s and white supremacy marches, and families are being torn apart, and there were mass shootings, and people are losing health care, but none of that affects me, so 2017 was great!” one person said on Twitter.
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