Is Taylor Swift part of a psyop?

Dr Simone Driessen in WIRED on fandom and politics
Taylor Swift with guitar
Kevin Winter - Getty Images

How could Taylor Swift turn from alt-right darling into a major conspirator? When Swift was named Time Person of the Year this year, supporters of conspiracy theories saw only one explanation: Taylor Swift is part of a 'psyop' (psychological operation) to influence the 2024 US presidential election. Dr Simone Driessen, media researcher at ESHCC, responds in WIRED Magazine.

Simone says fandom has merged with politics, making it easy to gain support for a particular point of view. "Fandom, particularly what fans do, can be used as a weapon." And Taylor Swift is a particular example of that. Swift's name attracts attention and that is power. That is why the state of Israel often tags her in social media posts and why #SwiftiesForPalestine have asked her to speak out about the war between Israel and Hamas.

Celebrity has been used by political movements for centuries. Taylor Swift's case is unique in that she remained largely apolitical in the first half of her career. Everyone could project their values and ideas on her then. But in recent years, when she finally spoke out for women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights and Joe Biden, she repelled some groups. Including QAnon conspirators, who now see her as the regime's "weapon" for the 2024 US elections.

Read the full article in WIRED


Compare @count study programme

  • @title

    • Duration: @duration
Compare study programmes