This reporter accused Taylor Swift of being a neo-Nazi and got taken down by Swifties
Taylor Swift has been called many things in her time. A queen of mean, a snake, a cheater, a backstabber, a man-eater, a liar. She's taken a lot of these names with a pinch of salt, others with a dash of humour, while the few that have properly ruffled her feathers have been met with her wrath. As one of the best-selling female artists of all time, people are bound to label you, and the sad truth is that most of the time you just have to suck it up. However, there is one thing that Taylor, and her millions of fans, simply will not stand for her being called: a neo-Nazi.
Over the past few years, the Look What You Made Me Do singer has gained a fanbase that most artists wouldn't be particularly proud of, namely white supremacists. Despite never having shown any support at all for the rejuvenated Nazi movement, racial hierarchy or the people who believe in these heinous ideas, Swift has been accused of secretly giving the stamp of approval to these fans and their beliefs. However, when a reporter recently charged the pop star with being an "Aryan monarch of today's Nazis", her fans had well and truly had enough.
The incident in question began when Amy Harvard, a journalist who allegedly now works for Google, took to social media on January 5 to discuss both Swift and American vlogger Logan Paul, who recently found himself as the subject of public disgust after he filmed a man hanging from a tree in Japan's notorious "suicide forest". Posting on Twitter, Harvard, who has reported for the Washington Post and Vice in the past, wrote: "Meet Taylor Swift and Logan Paul, the Aryan monarchs of today's neo-Nazis."
However, what started out as a simple tweet, spiralled out of control when Harvard's 15,000 Twitter followers caught wind of what she had said. Soon enough the Swifties had gathered and were out for blood. While some demanded to see evidence of their hero's neo-Nazi support, others berated Harvard for her slanderous journalism and a certain especially vicious few asserted that the reporter was more deserving of the Nazi title than their golden girl.
It must be noted that what Harvard posted wasn't in any way original; hundreds of others have attached Swift to the neo-Nazi regime in the past. Far-right conspiracy theorists allege that Swift's lyrics contain coded messages and her music videos use Nazi imagery to "red pill" her fans, while Andre Anglin, a writer for white supremacist website The Daily Stormer even went so far as to claim that the star was an Ayran goddess.
In 2016, she wrote: "Firstly, Taylor Swift is a pure Aryan goddess, like something out of classical Greek poetry. Athena reborn. That's the most important thing. We are certain that as soon as Nazis saw her, they were magnetically drawn to her sculpted Aryan form and angelic demeanour. ... The entire alt-right patiently awaits the day when we can lay down our swords and kneel before her throne as she commands us to go forth and slaughter the subhuman enemies of the Aryan race."
Many people on social media have called for both Swift and Logan Paul to take Harvard to court; if Swift did take their advice, it wouldn't be the first time that the I Don't Wanna Live Forever singer has threatened legal action to defend herself against white supremacist allegations. When blogger Meghan Herning wrote a post for Popfront entitled "Swiftly to the alt-right: Taylor subtly gets the lower case kkk in formation," in which she charged Swift of playing up to white supremacists, the pop star's attorney, William J. Briggs, II sent a cease and desist letter to PopFront and Herning on Swift's behalf, demanding that the blog post in question be removed.
In the letter, her attorneys made it clear that the Reputation star would not stand for such allegations when he wrote: "You are requiring Ms. Swift, but not any other celebrity or musician, to loudly denounce white supremacy and you do not accept her previous condemnations as good enough. Given your apparent animus and malice toward Ms. Swift, the intent to cause harm to Ms. Swift is clear." In the wake of this news, several other journalists came out claiming that they had also received letters from the singer's legal team after writing articles focusing on her.
Perhaps the most used argument used to allege Swift has neo-Nazi sympathies is the fact that Swift has kept a pointed silence regarding her personal politics in the past. Her critics have pointed out that, despite being a household name, she has never revealed who she supported in the 2016 American election and never made any comment for or against President Donald Trump's many controversial decisions.
But, as her many fans point out, should Swift really be targeted for her silence on politics? Her supporters have argued that she sees political stances as a matter of privacy and integrity, as well as noting that she risks alienating her more conservative audience if she speaks out, so it is unjust to assume where her affiliations truly lie. There's a chance she could be a member of the alt-right, a Democrat, a Libertarian, or even a member of the Modern Whig Party - the point is that we simply just don't know, because she has always declined to comment.
In response to the online outrage, reporter Amy Harvard posted another Tweet on her page, reading: "Today was a weird day. After posting a snarky tweet about how Logan Paul and Taylor Swift have a strong following of neo-Nazis, I had droves of neo-Nazis and Taylor Swift fans in my mentions harassing me. Right on, 2018. Good job, Twitter." Her reaction to the incident appears to infer that she herself was not implying Swift was a neo-Nazi, but instead referring to the hordes of neo-Nazi fans the singer-songwriter has accumulated over the years. If this is the case, the incident demonstrates the power that a misinterpreted tweet can have.
Overall, throughout the whole debacle, there were some clear messages that came through. Number one, choose your words on Twitter wisely. Number two, don't accuse people of things without evidence. And last, yet most importantly, never cross a Taylor Swift fan. You won't win.