Not Ready for It
Trump Supporters Invade Taylor Swift’s New App
Taylor Swift’s new social network for her fans quickly turned into a community debating if it’s OK not to ‘accept gays lesbians and bisexuals’ in its first weekend online.
Less than 48 hours after launching, Taylor Swift's new app has become plagued with Trump-loving trolls and homophobic comments.
Swift launched her new app, The Swift Life, on Friday. The app gives fans access to a Swift-centric social network, exclusive video content, “Taymojis,” and a newsfeed of its own.
Swift’s legion of devoted followers were elated. The app shot up the app store rankings and reached trending status on Monday.
One of its most popular features is the ability for Swift fans to talk with each other. Swift's fan base is notorious for its level of dedication to the star and its rapid response to any perceived criticism online. Many fans have already banded together via a haphazard network of accounts dedicated to protecting Taylor.
But it turned out many fans had less in common than they might have thought.
Discussion on The Swift Life quickly turned political and fans began debating politics and President Trump in the comments of several posts.
"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," a fan named Britt posted over the weekend.
Her post sparked a discussion in the comments where another user said, "I just don't accept gays lesbians and bisexuals."
"I felt like my husband who is in the military is safer under Trump's leadership than Hillary's as she's 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," Britt continued in another post that received widespread backlash in the comments.
As the controversial posts about Trump went viral on Twitter, other Trump-loving Taylor fans began tweeting in defense of their choice to support the president, citing free speech.
"I downloaded Tay's app and before you start criticising me I'm a trump supporter," one fan wrote on Twitter. "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 later deleted her posts about Trump before posting, "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," one fan wrote in response.
Other foreign fans blamed Americans for "ruining the app" and "distracting from Taylor."
Some fans also began claiming that political posts were being deleted by an unseen moderator.
The app implores users on its login page that users to "help make this a safe and inclusive place for everyone to enjoy” and if they “see anything inappropriate, including instances of bullying or harassment, please report it."
Earlier this year, Taylor Swift became a darling of the alt-right and neo-Nazis, two groups she has refused to speak out against or renounce. And though Swift has tried to remain politically neutral, many on the left have criticized her for claiming to be a feminist without actually promoting feminist ideas.
Last week Swift also declared on Instagram that she “couldn’t have asked for a better year" which generated immediate backlash and was seen as "tone deaf" by many fans.
"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 user responded on Twitter.