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ACLU Condemns Taylor Swift after She Threatens to Sue Blogger
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Summary: The ACLU said that Taylor Swift should not threaten a blogger who wrote an opinion piece about her.

Taylor Swift has delighted millions of fans of all cultures with her catchy music, which is why she was horrified when one blogger accused her of being a closeted racist. Swift threatened to sue the little-known writer to protect her reputation; but yesterday, the ACLU said that it was Swift who was in the wrong.


“This is a completely unsupported attempt to suppress constitutionally protected speech,” ACLU of Northern California attorney Michael Risher told People.

The blogger at the center of all this is Meghan Herning who published a think piece called “Swiftly to the alt-right: Taylor subtly gets the lower case kkk in formation.” In the article, Herning tries to create a case that Swift is a racist who used “dog whistles to white supremacy” in her new music video “Look What You Made Me Do.”

As proof of her shocking claim, Herning juxtaposed images and words from Swift’s video with Nazi propaganda, and she quoted a blogger from the white supremacist website Daily Stormer who claimed that Taylor Swift is secretly a Nazi. The post was an interesting read but hardly one that could be taken seriously.

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“The presumptive post is tough to take seriously — it’s basically arguing that if some white supremacists like Swift’s extremely popular music it must be her fault and if she doesn’t make a statement denouncing these white supremacists she must be secretly one of them,” People wrote. “There’s some similarity here with President Trump’s post-Charlottesville controversy (where he was slammed for declining to unilaterally condemn white supremacist marchers) but that’s a weak comparison: Swift isn’t a politician dealing with racially charged issues and setting policy, but a pop singer who, if anything, strives to be so non-political that she gets criticized for having too few opinions.”

Herney’s blog has a little over 100 followers on Twitter, so it seemed odd that Swift would threaten her with a lawsuit. The post was clearly an opinion piece and such a reach that it is hard to be considered defamatory.

Swift’s team did not have a comment for People, but the publication noted that they had previously attempted to remove memes linking Swift to Adolph Hitler from the internet. Her team had argued that Swift’s association to the Nazi leader was harmful to her reputation, and websites holding such material had argued the memes were parodies and thus protected by the Constitution.

The ACLU called Swift’s decision to threaten Herney “unacceptable.”

“Intimidation tactics like these are unacceptable,” ACLU attorney Matt Cagle said. “Not in her wildest dreams can Ms. Swift use copyright law to suppress this exposure of a threat to constitutionally protected speech.”

What do you think of Taylor Swift? Let us know in the comments below.


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