Is an 'invisible string' tying Taylor Swift to a secret Pentagon psychological operation?
Some conservative commentators likeJesse Watters, Laura Loomer, Benny Johnson — and even former presidential candidateVivek Ramaswamy — are peddling theories that Taylor Swift is the mastermind behind Joe Biden’s reelection campaign and is helping rig the results of Super Bowl LVIII.
Long story short: Across the political spectrum, some would rather worship outlandish theories like a False God than believe their politicized narrative is wrong.
What’s true: Thousands of articles are written about Swift every day. A recent Newsweek poll found that almost a fifth of respondents were likely to vote for a candidate Swift endorsed – and she endorsed Joe Biden in 2020. Plus, Swift says Scooter Braun’s infamous 2019 deal to buy her back catalog of music was funded partially by the Soros family, which provided additional fodder for the alt-right crowd, even though she opposed the deal.
What’s not true: The Pentagon and NATO planned to use her to battle online disinformation, as Fox News’ Jesse Watters suggested. The video used as evidence (and subsequently seen by millions across social media) was from a conference organized by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence, and it merely used her as an example of how powerful celebrity status can influence the flow of information online. The presentation was given by an academic with no known ties to the US military.
What’s inconclusive: Whether her and Travis Kelce’s love story is genuine. All signs point to legitimate happiness between the two, but haters gonna hate, and speculators gonna speculate.What to watch: Algorithmically promoted clickbait (nefariously edited videos as well as AI-generated content) taking on a life of its own after being regurgitated and distorted by millions online — and having legitimate real-world consequences. Trust in American institutions is at an all-time low, which ensures The Great War of 2024 won’t be between Biden and Trump but between what combatting narratives can prevail online in the battle for truth.