When I reviewed the new Taylor Swift app, The Swift Life, last week, I left it thinking that it was an innocent app where happy Swifties swapped selfies and stories about their love for the singer. However, I turn my back for one minute, and what do I find? Well, in the words of @tswiftsgomez, "a hot ass mess for [R]epublicans and homophobes to vent on."
I guess I should have known this would happen. Swift is a lightening rod for political commentary, and I almost feel bad that she can't do anything without it spiraling into the same debate, but even by the internet's standards, this was quick.
In one tweet, user @haylor shared screenshots of users with names like @taylorhatesrepublicans, and a post by another user that reads, "I hope everyone who voted for and supported Hillary meets Taylor."
Things got even more heated. On a post defending Republicans and President Donald Trump supporters (isn't this supposed to be an app about Swift?), one person commented "I just don't accept gays, lesbians, and bisexuals."
In response, some fans are speculating that these posts are just from trolls who are trying to stir up trouble, but when I went to go look for myself, I couldn't find any instances of political debate. Why? Well:
According to one post on the app, anything political is getting removed, presumably by mysterious moderators. While there doesn't appear to be anything that specifically prohibits talking about politics in the app's community guidelines, "abusive, disrespectful, harassing, threatening, intimidating, violent, predatory, or stalking conduct" is not allowed, as well as engaging in any activity that "could interfere with, disrupt, spam, negatively affect, or inhibit other users from fully enjoying our services."
Like with Swift herself, the app's stance on politics is confusingly vague. Many fans were left with a bad taste in their mouths after the singer refused to address or disavow her fans in the neo-Nazi and alt-right movements. The necessary clean up on her app is another reminder for Swift that it's going to be hard for her to move forward if she still refuses to address her past.
Refinery29 has reached out to both Apple and Taylor Swift for comment.
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