The blogger in question, PopFront editor Meghan Herning, wrote a post on September 5 called “Swiftly to the alt-right: Taylor subtly gets the lower case kkk in formation” criticizing Swift’s lyrics and the fact that many on the alt-right have embraced her.
The post also called for Swift to denounce white supremacy, because “silence in the face of injustice means support for the oppressor.”
Then, on October 25, Herning received a letter from Swift and her attorney demanding that Herning issue a retraction of what they called a defamatory post, threatening a lawsuit if Herning didn’t comply. The letter did mention that it should serve as an “unequivocal denouncement by Ms. Swift of white supremacy and the alt-right,” but as Herning was told not to publish the letter, it would remain only between them.
Herning then contacted the ACLU, who stated that the threat of legal action was unsubstantiated, because the blog post was protected free speech.
“Intimidation tactics like these are unacceptable,” said ACLU attorney Matt Cagle. “Not in her wildest dreams can Ms. Swift use copyright law to suppress this exposure of a threat to constitutionally protected speech.”
“The press should not be bullied by high-paid lawyers or frightened into submission by legal jargon,” said Herning. “These scare tactics may have worked for Taylor in the past, but I am not backing down.”
The ACLU has requested a comment from Swift in response by November 13th to confirm that she will not pursue the lawsuit.