Some threats to free speech seem so frivolous and ridiculous as to be comedy sketches, but to those who are targeted the threat is very real.
In July fans of Taylor Swift harassed a music critic so relentlessly that the critic became frightened and made her Twitter account private. Her misdeed? Writing a review of Swift’s latest album that, while positive, was not complimentary enough.
On July 27 Pitchfork senior editor Jillian Mapes posted a review of the singer’s eighth album, Folklore, and within hours was bombarded with hateful messages on social media.
Furious fans even “doxed” her, tweeting out her address, phone number and photos of her home and herself, MailOnline reported.
Mapes’ review had given Swift’s album an eight out of 10 rating – a score actually derived from the ratings of multiple staffers – and even spoke of it in glowing terms. But it wasn’t positive enough for fans, who threatened to burn down the writer’s home and sent her “hexing” tweets including satanic images of Swift.
Mapes has even received death threats on and off the Internet, including late-night threatening calls to her mobile phone. The calls began around two in the morning on the day her review was published online.
Mapes said it was awful “to be scared of every person milling about outside or feel like you can’t answer the phone. That said, I am safe and doing fine,” she added.
She has now made her Twitter account private.