Taylor Swift had barely hit publish on a statement breaking her long-held political neutrality and endorsing a Democrat when the backlash started.
The singer was notoriously guarded about her political beliefs as she rose to fame, leading to speculation that she was quietly a supporter of Donald Trump, but Taylor broke her silence on Sunday in a long post endorsing Tennessee Democrati Senate candidate Phil Bredesen. Though many on the left praised Taylor for finally announcing her political stance, the endorsement did not go over well with many on the right.
Social media lit up with abusive statements against Taylor Swift, including many personal attacks against her. On Twitter, many attacked Swift as a "b**ch," attacked her looks, and even posted death threats against the singer.
"Burn in hell, wh***," one Twitter user posted.
There were more direct protests against her senate endorsement as well. One viral video showed someone burning a Taylor Swift album, and others vowed that they would never spend money on her albums or concerts again.There were some who theorized that someone else had written the endorsement for Taylor, hinting that either she was being used as a pawn or was not intelligent enough to write it herself. That theory sprung up from the image-sharing site 4chan, a site that has become a haven for white supremacists and nurtured a theory that Swift herself was secretly a white nationalist who supported Republicans.
A number of reports made reference to 4chan after Swift's endorsement, noting that the commenters there were having a particularly difficult time dealing with her finally taking a political stance.Much of the abuse seemed emanated from The_Donald, the Reddit page that is billed as the largest forum of Trump supporters on the internet. Within an hour of her Facebook post announcing support for Bredesen, a number of posts were created mocking Swift, including one that called her a "celebrity PIECE OF S**T" and was filled with abusive comments toward the singer. Others mocked Taylor Swift for the endorsement itself, with a number of right-wing commentators painting her as a Hollywood elitist who had no place in jumping into the contentious race. While the backlash may have been immediate and in many cases very bitter, the overwhelming reaction online to Taylor Swift's endorsement was positive. She was embraced by many left-wingers who praised the singer, and her fans vowed to defend her against the inevitable political attacks that were to come.