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Watch: Taylor Swift hits out at detractors in new video – and finds it’s become an alt-right anthem

This can’t have been what the singer had in mind.


Hitting out at the controversies popstar Taylor Swift has found herself surrounded by in the last few years, her latest music video Look What You Made Me Do does all the talking. The Joseph Kahn directed visual piece, which became the biggest debut for any video after gaining 43.2 million views in one day, has her lashing out at her detractors as she discards her older avatars for a snarky new one.

The track opens in a graveyard, and the light shines on a tombstone that reads “Here lies Taylor Swift’s reputation”, with a zombified Swift theatrically spewing venom:

“I don’t like your little games,
don’t like your tilted stage.
The role you made me play
of the fool, no, I don’t like you.”

The darkly catchy song featuring slithering snakes, from the album Reputation, is brimming with references to all the rows Swift has had with fellow singers, her exes, music streaming services, and the media. As her older avatars grovel at her feet – the lovesick country singer, the one dressed as a white swan from Shake It Off, the innocent, naive Swift in her pyjamas – the “new” Swift declares them all dead. Finally, they all appear in front of an airplane with “Reputation” emblazoned across it, repeating the lines people have said about her: “There she goes, playing the victim again,” says one, and “You are so fake,” while another wilfully announces, “I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative.”

However, the video has created its own controversy. In spite of its groundbreaking popularity, it has been labelled an unofficial anthem for the alt-right, neo-Nazi community. Conspiracy theories have been floating around the internet saying Swift is a secret Trump supporter and a closeted white supremacist. Several other ludicrous theories have also cropped up that suggest she could be anything from a reptilian mother, and a satanic snake worshipper to a clone of herself.

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Virat Kohli and Ola come together to improve Delhi's air quality

The onus of curbing air-pollution is on citizens as well

A recent study by The Lancet Journal revealed that outdoor pollution was responsible for 6% of the total disease burden in India in 2016. As a thick smog hangs low over Delhi, leaving its residents gasping for air, the pressure is on the government to implement SOS measures to curb the issue as well as introduce long-term measures to improve the air quality of the state. Other major cities like Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata should also acknowledge the gravitas of the situation.

The urgency of the air-pollution crisis in the country’s capital is being reflected on social media as well. A recent tweet by Virat Kohli, Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, urged his fans to do their bit in helping the city fight pollution. Along with the tweet, Kohli shared a video in which he emphasized that curbing pollution is everyone’s responsibility. Apart from advocating collective effort, Virat Kohli’s tweet also urged people to use buses, metros and Ola share to help reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

In the spirit of sharing the responsibility, ride sharing app Ola responded with the following tweet.

To demonstrate its commitment to fight the problem of vehicular pollution and congestion, Ola is launching #ShareWednesdays : For every ​new user who switches to #OlaShare in Delhi, their ride will be free. The offer by Ola that encourages people to share resources serves as an example of mobility solutions that can reduce the damage done by vehicular pollution. This is the fourth leg of Ola’s year-long campaign, #FarakPadtaHai, to raise awareness for congestion and pollution issues and encourage the uptake of shared mobility.

In 2016, WHO disclosed 10 Indian cities that made it on the list of worlds’ most polluted. The situation necessitates us to draw from experiences and best practices around the world to keep a check on air-pollution. For instance, a system of congestion fees which drivers have to pay when entering central urban areas was introduced in Singapore, Oslo and London and has been effective in reducing vehicular-pollution. The concept of “high occupancy vehicle” or car-pool lane, implemented extensively across the US, functions on the principle of moving more people in fewer cars, thereby reducing congestion. The use of public transport to reduce air-pollution is another widely accepted solution resulting in fewer vehicles on the road. Many communities across the world are embracing a culture of sustainable transportation by investing in bike lanes and maintenance of public transport. Even large corporations are doing their bit to reduce vehicular pollution. For instance, as a participant of the Voluntary Traffic Demand Management project in Beijing, Lenovo encourages its employees to adopt green commuting like biking, carpooling or even working from home. 18 companies in Sao Paulo executed a pilot program aimed at reducing congestion by helping people explore options such as staggering their hours, telecommuting or carpooling. After the pilot, drive-alone rates dropped from 45-51% to 27-35%.

It’s the government’s responsibility to ensure that the growth of a country doesn’t compromise the natural environment that sustains it, however, a substantial amount of responsibility also lies on each citizen to lead an environment-friendly lifestyle. Simple lifestyle changes such as being cautious about usage of electricity, using public transport, or choosing locally sourced food can help reduce your carbon footprint, the collective impact of which is great for the environment.

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Join the fight against air-pollution by using the hashtag #FarakPadtaHai and download Ola to share your next ride.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Ola and not by the Scroll editorial team.