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December 19, 2017

Taylor Swift’s new app is being taken over by political debates among fans

Taylor Swift Social Media
Taylor Swift New Years Eve Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Taylor Swift performs in Times Square during New Year's Eve celebrations on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014 in New York.

Taylor Swift launched her app “Taylor Swift: The Swift Life” last week, and though it’s only been live for a few days, it didn’t take long for fans to clash over political opinions through the app’s social feed.

In the style of Swift’s sometimes-enemies Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj, Swift’s app offers “Taymojis” and the chance for Swift’s fans to interact with each other.

That interaction got a little more complicated, however, when the social forum started to discuss political beliefs. Though Swift has been celebrated for some liberal-leaning advocacy, being named one of TIME's 2017 People of the Year along with other "silence breakers" on sexual assault, she has also garnered a steady fan base of white supremacists who consider the singer an "Aryan goddess."

In 2015 Camille Paglia, a cultural critic and professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, described Swift as an “obnoxious Nazi Barbie” in a take-down of Swift’s “squad culture” published by Hollywood Reporter.

Though the essay was largely a criticism of the “girl squad” culture of the mostly white supermodels Swift was promoting on her social networks at the time, the “Nazi Barbie” title also alludes to the sect of neo-Nazis who are fans of Swift.

The singer has been criticized in the past for not publicly denouncing her white supremacist fans or the KKK, and some reports have suggested she’s kept quiet her Jewish heritage as a marketing strategy.

More recently, however, Swift took legal action recently when a website linked some the lyrics off her latest album to the white power movement. 

Nonetheless, Swift’s history of staying quiet about politics has led some Trump supporters to consider her one of their own. The launch of her app attracted both ends of the political spectrum of Swift's massive fanbase.

In a now-deleted comment, NME reported, one Swift Life user wrote, “Republicans and Trump supporters have just as much a right to be here as everyone,” going on to say “They may not agree with his beliefs but at least he supports our troops.” 

In another post the same user wrote, “There are people who voted for reasons other than Trump being a bigoted, sexist, homophobe.”

The thread launched a flood of other comments, some more controversial than others, including one user who wrote, “I just don’t accept gays, lesbians, and bisexuals.”

According to the Daily Beast, some app users have reported comments being deleted by a moderator.