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Taylor Swift Fans Fight For Hottest 100 Poll

Shake It Off

Campaigns to help songs chart fall under many different guises, they can be a reaction to bias, an exposure aid or even an act of protest (Killing in the Name reaching Christmas number 1 springs to mind there). In the case of Taylor Swift though, it seems to be just another string to her already-impressive bow of social media influence


You might not have heard of Triple J, or their annual Hottest 100 poll, but anyone who’s been down under on Australia Day can tell you that it’s kind of a big deal. Since 1989, when listeners had to write their top 10 picks down on envelopes (or a series of spliffs, in one listener’s case), the poll has steadily risen to become the most definitive annual music roundup in Australia. 

The rules are simple: any song released between December 2013 and the end of last November is eligible, provided it actually got airplay on Triple J. ‘Shake it Off’, Taylor Swift’s most recent hit, did not receive airplay on Triple J, but that hasn't stopped a slew of her Australian fans launching a Twitter campaign to get it into contention

Backed by BuzzFeed and operating under the hashtag #Tay4Hottest100, thousands of fans took to the internet to throw their weight behind the campaign. Characteristically for this kind of thing, it’s since snowballed and in recent days death threats have been made on Instagram, comparisons to ISIS have been made by some guttersnipe on Twitter with a disturbing brain cell deficiency and a hilariously abrasive counter petition has been launched by embittered Perth resident Hayden Davies. 

Davies and other naysayers argue that giving the honour to Taylor runs counter to the entire spirit of the Hottest 100, and could well divert exposure away from artists who really need it. There’s some grounding to that argument, but then you have to remember that Macklemore, Oasis, The Offspring and Mumford & Sons are all previous winners. On the other side of the equation, supporters of the campaign have suggested that getting Shake it Off to the number 1 spot would act as a massive boost for equal representation. A solo female artist has never managed to reach number 1, and even bands with female vocalists to have managed it are rare. Whether this is a result of some underlying prejudice, unevenly stacked odds or just one of those things is pretty unclear, but it certainly gives the campaign a more interesting edge. 


It’s looking like it may well all be futile anyway. Tripe J are sticking to their guns on the ‘no airplay, no entry’ clause, much to the chagrin of many supporters. The station are historically fairly averse to big pop hits, but the runaway success of Shake It Off and the mainstream popularity of past winners suggests that Triple J might well just be swimming against the current. We’ll have to wait until next week to see how this all pans out, but if nothing else, the campaign has sparked some interesting debates about the line between popularity and quality.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Taylor Swift Fans Fight For Hottest 100 Poll Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 Rating: 5
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