Brand Behind Viral Insta Trend Says They Won���t Be Able To Plant Promised Trees

S1: Hey, guys, it’s Taylor and my new version of Red, including the 10 minute version of all too well, is out now on all of the songs are available on TikTok, so I can’t wait to see what you make.

S2: Hi, I’m Rachel Hampton

S3: and I’m Madison Malone Kircher. You’re listening to I.C.. Why am I in

S2: case you missed it?

S3: Slate’s podcast about internet culture.

S2: Before we do quite literally anything else, yes, we will answer the question. We have gotten approximately twenty seven thousand times.

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S3: It’s true every single I see. Why am I a guy did, in fact, ask us where the hell that viral Instagram for every picture of a pet posted we will plant a tree thing came from.

S2: Spoiler alert. Ain’t no trees being planted.

S3: We all know our ozone is broken. Here’s the deal. Instagram has this new sticker feature called Add Yours, where somebody can start by posting a prompt to their Instagram Story like last pic in your camera roll and then share the sticker with the last pic in their camera. Then their followers can tap the sticker to create their own, thus creating a giant chain of photos, all based on a single prompt. Important to note, Instagram does not display which account starts any given ad your sticker.

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S2: So this week, someone posted We’ll plant one tree for every pet picture, which combines the internet’s favourite things pets and slacktivism and narcissism.

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S3: It took off like wildfire is probably a bad simile here, but you get the idea there were so many frickin pet pictures.

S2: Eventually, though, the creator of the Ferrari pet picture will plant. A tree sticker is outed as a 23 year old Florida man and the creator of the Instagram company Plant a Tree Co, which I don’t know anything that has a KO at the end of it. That’s not Petco strikes me as a scam, so

S3: the reason this whole thing smelled fishy is because it is fishy. This account is known to be scamming. A similar slacktivism scam happened surrounding the bushfires in Australia a couple of years back. Same deal, you know. Share this post! We’ll plant a tree to help Australia. Guess what? No trees. Once again, no trees and Planetary Co is actually just a charitable sounding front for a drop shipping business.

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S2: For those of us who are perhaps uninformed, what’s drop shipping business?

S3: It’s an internet business and doesn’t have to be internet, but it usually is a business that doesn’t stock their products, so they’ll sell you stuff that they don’t actually keep on hand and they’ll order it from like a third party distributor. Basically, planetary company will sell you a necklace you could buy from Alibaba for like a buck, but if you buy it through plant a tree, they’ll allegedly, you know, plant a tree or something. None of this actually happens.

S2: Mm hmm. So no trees are being planted, and in fact, dubious shipping practices are involved.

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S3: Yeah. And I want to take a minute to shout out at exposing Insta scams on Instagram, which is a really great account. I follow that that deals in taking down scammy Instagram types and came out of hibernation just to post about for every pet picture, we will plant a tree.

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S2: Wow. I like the way we wrap that up.

S3: Thank you. I put a bow on it like a nice, like a nice Christmas gift.

S2: It’s November Madison

S3: supply chain, you know? But actually, all this talk of trees has me thinking about other trees, Christmas trees. Which brings me to Christmas tree farms and you know who was raised on a Christmas tree farm and actually sings a song about them? Taylor Allison Swift Yes, that’s right. Welcome to the show. Today we are delving into the depths of my brain to talk about my absolute favorite thing. Taylor Swift.

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S1: My winter nights are taken up. I study. Stress, holiday shopping traffic,

S2: in case you somehow missed that, Madison is a swift. She has appeared in the shit. I am merely a bystander. Madison, take it away.

S3: It’s true, and I would say that this week everything has changed.

S2: Featuring Ed Sheeran.

S3: OK, so you do know some things.

S2: I do know some things. I know her discography. I just don’t know anything beyond

S3: the reason we’re talking about Taylor Swift today is because she just rereleased her album. Red Taylor is currently in the process of rerecording all of her old albums because she doesn’t own the rights to the Masters. To those albums, a bunch of, let’s say, shitty dudes in the music industry on them and not her, which means she is on this crusade to get back the ownership of her creative work. And also, let’s be real, there’s a lot of money to be made in the process, so she rolls out red in this Easter egg laden breadcrumb trail of an extravaganza that has had fans like me digging for clues and making TikToks for weeks. This is her thing. She is the master of world building and fan engagement. And Rachel. I do. I do care about you. And so, you know, I’m going to give you a gift here

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S2: the way you set that makes me. And sure,

S3: it’s very easy to draw a straight line back from the way that Taylor Swift interacts with her fans today to her days as a drum roll Tumblr team.

S2: Oh my god, Ari. Yes, I was like, We can’t talk about her history on the internet without talking about the fact that she loved Tumblr.

S3: She loves Tumblr. You love Tumblr. And what is Tumblr? Love more than a conspiracy theory?

S2: I mean, if this episode includes somewhere, I guess I shall allow it to proceed.

S3: OK, so there were five holes in the fence, and Taylor just released the album for Red White Rachelle online, but it was priced at $20 and 10 cents 2010, and the price was written in purple. So this actually might be a clue for Enchanted Enchanted, which was dropping on Disney Plus on November 12th, the same day as the album, which means we might be getting a concert DVD of record that’s ever been released.

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S2: What so many clauses in my food need explanation, and I also feel like you might need to take a puff of your inhaler. We’re going to take a break. Madison’s going to take a breath and perhaps make herself a tinfoil hat. When we come back, we’re going to talk about what exactly makes Taylor slip so damn good at bending millions of fans to her every internet whim.

S3: It’s true I do need to calm down. So more on that after the break. Loving him is like to change your mind to what it’s like to be.

S2: All right, and we are back. Dr. Malone Kircher, would you like to take it away?

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S3: I absolutely would. Tis the damn season to talk about Taylor Swift.

S2: How many song titles are you going to be dropping in this episode?

S3: I mean, I just want to know. I don’t feel that they are quantifiable. No long story

S2: short. I’ll keep count. Oh my god. I think that was five. I feel like it’s impossible to exist in 2021 without knowing anything about Taylor Swift. But what to you is the best place to start?

S3: The very beginning of Taylor Swift, which is to say we need to establish that Miss Swift or Blondie, as she’s known by anyone who makes a tick tok about her, was born in 1989. So what this means is she’s a millennial, she’s an internet native, and how she harnesses the internet is not totally dissimilar to how we talk about how good Lil Nas X is at the internet. He’s better, obviously, but that’s like a micro generational gap. This is a person who grew up not unlike you or I with the internet.

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S2: I was going to say she grew up. I think Lil Nas X was probably young enough for his first internet platform to be something like Facebook or Twitter, but she would have had a MySpace.

S3: Oh, did she ever have a MySpace? You can Google the old posts. They are great. Yes, she said. Fuck and post it. Bad flash mirror pictures and joked about dethroning a lollipop. There’s lots of like La La La Chortle Exo Exo kind of shit from 2006. I love

S1: these posts.

S2: I was going to say I feel so bad for that. These posts are so easily accessible because of mine where I would simply pass away.

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S3: They’re like artifacts for me, and I actually find them really humanizing and very endearing. Like, none of this is embarrassing in a Oh. Bet you wish you didn’t put that on the internet way. Instead, it’s just like, Oh, cool, you were a teenager, just like me in 2006. So she gets so much of the Swift brand now. It’s like calculated within an inch of its life. It is really nice to see this internet evolution of like a weird, goofy normal person who went on to become one of the biggest stars in the world. We should also note that 2006 is when Taylor Swift’s first album, self-titled Taylor Swift, came out, so you can really see the parallels of her growing as an artist like literally releasing music into the world and becoming an artist. People knew and this evolving internet presence.

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S2: Does this bring us to my favorite part of the episode?

S3: It most certainly does, because what comes in the internet timeline after MySpace for teenagers on the internet in the early aughts, but Tumblr?

S1: OK, so this is a video reenactment of my Tumblr post about fall and hats and scarves and knee socks and wearing tights for the first time in months and when the mornings are all chill.

S2: Tumblr. This is my first introduction to Taylor Swift as not the tabloid phenomena dating Taylor Lautner and everybody else under the Sun. This was probably my first interaction with something that she was putting out herself like a media coverage that she was generating herself rather than that was being generated around her. This was kind of the first step in Star’s social media brands that they could carry, rather than having to basically exist at the whim of the paparazzi. And Taylor Swift was the girl love Tumblr. The girl was just all over my dashboard because it was so intoxicating for her fans to know that one day she might blog them in response to them, which she did literally all the time.

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S3: Taylor Swift was a known Tumblr regular. She loved to lurk there, too, to block her fans she’s been known to stalk. Fan stock is may be wrong. Love stalk fans creep on their internet presences for months and then send incredible care packages with personalized gifts. Fun fact she’s actually a pretty good painter because apparently being like a talented musician and singer and lyricist and producer wasn’t enough. She’s a cat person, of course. She loves Tumblr.

S2: Oh, her cat person posts are, perhaps, I think, one of the more lingering legacies on Tumblr she always posted about her cats. In fact, she did a whole post defining Meow as an

S3: adjective cat people, man.

S2: Meow as an adjective equals basically when something is just catty in nature or aesthetic. Your eyeliner is so meow because it’s cat eyeliner. That leather bodysuit is very meow because your friend is dressed as Catwoman for Halloween. It keeps going. There’s more. Please stop, please. Taylor historically has used Tumblr more often and I think more personally than any other social. The media platform, she makes fun of herself on this platform all the time. And then of course, there is the iconic No, it’s Becky moment.

S3: I was going to say, I feel like if we’re going to talk about like a singular early days Taylor Swift Tumblr post, we have to talk about. No, it’s Becky.

S2: So there’s this photo of a teenage Taylor Swift like back when she used to like straighten her hair. The caption reads, This is a picture of my friend Becky. She used to be a happy popular girl until one night she snorted marijuana at a party. She died instantly. Please don’t do marijuana. It’s the most dangerous drug out there. Please don’t wind up like Becky. So someone free blogs this post saying, I’m pretty sure that’s Taylor Swift. And then the person who originally posted was like, No, it’s Becky. And so this becomes part of Tumblr lore like it’s across the dashboard. I would say at least once a week. And then one day Taylor Swift steps out in a yellow shirt that reads, No, it’s Becky. Which is just this a nod to her Tumblr fandom. Like, it’s this inside joke that is it’s it’s you just know Taylor Swift is always lurking on Tumblr and that she might see what you’re posting about her because I don’t think she ever commented on that post until she wore the shirt.

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S3: Yeah, that’s true. And I do think this is like the first time we see Taylor Swift realize an internet joke or realize a fan created meme and harness it for her own. And this is something she does over and over and over again now. And this is like the first iteration of it. So Taylor is still a Tumblr teen at heart. But like everybody else, she joined TikTok this year, and she has spent the last week or so commenting on lots and lots of TikToks about red. You might say that’s her team, but in case we have not established, this is a woman who likes to get to be the hands, the invisible string pulling her internet presence. So I’m going to assume those comments are actually coming from her. But these comments have been really fun, right? Giving instructions to fans on how to listen to the album confirming theories. You know, apparently Message in a bottle is going to be a pop banger. But all of these different social interactions mean that Taylor is serving up a select version of herself to her fans. Which, to be clear, is, I think the only way to be as famous as she is. But I think Taylor Swift tries to have some fun with it. I think like how she exists on the internet and interacts with fans and plays. These games with us is like the last vestiges of being able to be super involved on Tumblr back in the day. Like, that’s still an area where she can play around and like, be herself because there’s a safety there. There’s a protection there.

S2: Madison, I feel like up until this point is this is this has been a pretty tame, intelligent, fascinating analysis of Taylor Swiftie internet history. And I feel like I was promised crazy conspiracy theories.

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S3: And don’t worry, babe, I’m going to take you down the rabbit hole to Wonderland, and we are going to have the best day after just a quick break

S1: to use the color of your shirt. When you were 16 at the yogurt shop, you used to work to make a little money.

S2: Thank you so much for listening, and if you’re new here. Welcome, join the Isyu. I am my family. In case you missed it, we come out twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and you don’t want to miss Wednesday’s episode, which is about ticktalk life hacks that may or may not be real. But if you listen, you’ll find out how to get a free cup of coffee at Starbucks, so every listening to us go ahead and hit subscribe. Mark Madison, what

S1: are you what are you doing?

S2: I’m making myself a tinfoil hat. All right. Are you

S3: ready? I am ready. Come back. Be here. I’ve got my hat on and the fence has five holes. What? Honestly, I wish I could explain, but that’s the level of clue reading Swift has taught her fans to expect. So this was during the lover rollout. One time she posted a picture of herself behind a picket fence that had five holes, and we took that to be a countdown. A secret release countdown, was it? No, we got this. We got it wrong a lot. Taylor kind of trolled us with it, and it’s a meme now.

S2: So from what you’re telling me, the complicated puzzle of guessing when her album release was slated to come started as a fan bit. And then Taylor Swift was like, Actually, this is my no.

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S3: In this particular instance, it’s a running joke. But oftentimes she does leave lots of secret clues for fans to follow, and I consider myself an expert. But compared to some of the people whom I hang out with on the internet, I know nothing. A really basic example is Taylor Swift is obsessed with the number 13. Like F Taylor is releasing anything. You can expect a 13 Easter egg.

S2: Why? What? What’s up with 13?

S3: It’s her lucky number. She’s a play with it. Painted huge on her hand. Her birthday is the 13th. She turned 13 on Friday the 13th. Her first album went gold in 13 weeks. Her first number one song had a 13 second intro. Any time she’s ever like, won an award, she’s been seated in seat 13 or row 13 or Row M, which is number 13. Lots of her album releases involve numerology. Some you add up the dates you get. 13. I know I sound insane. I really, really do.

S2: I was like, This feels like a lot of confirmation bias from one miss Taylor Swift.

S3: Here’s an example Taylor Swift song love story, which if you’re going to listen to it now, you need to listen to Love Story Taylor’s version because she owns the rights to that one. Clocks in at three minutes and 55 seconds. Can you find the 13?

S2: I still, I really feel like this is this is a lot of looking for signs and finding them where you want to, which is someone who kind of traffics in astrology. I fuck with it.

S3: Taylor Swift has created this incredible, elaborate world where everything is a clue. Here’s a tick tock. This one’s kind of wild, and I’ll talk you through what you can’t see on screen. But this is the level of just wild twists and turns we’re actually talking about.

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S1: OK, so does anyone remember how Taylor Swift posted this picture with her mom? And then you look up National Scrabble Day, April 13th and then April 13th. She posted the countdown that led to the release of The Single of Me. Now this is all very old news, of course, right? Then these show up on her website, her merch and playing cards, and I was

S3: like, What? And everyone is. So what’s happening here is because one time Taylor Swift posted a picture of her and her mom playing Scrabble and National Scrabble Day is apparently April 13. And on April 13th of that year, Taylor Swift announced that album Lover. This fan is positing because Taylor Swift started selling playing cards on a certain day that we will be getting an album announcement on National Playing Card Day, which is December 28th, which I’m just saying 12:28 one plus two plus two plus eight.

S2: OK, I mean, I’ll see you on December 28 to see if this actually bears out believing.

S3: Now I can see it. I know I’m not.

S2: What I want to know is there is an actual album release that there’s a reason we’re talking about, and not just so you can try and indoctrinate me into this cult. It’s because Taylor is rereleasing red, so I’m assuming there has to be some kind of clues around red. And what are they?

S3: For a while, there was a rumor that Taylor Swift was doing a partnership with Starbucks. Oh, genius for a couple of reasons. Number one. What is this album called Red? Oh, and and the cups this time of year are red. I should mention that those rumors did actually turn out to be true. You can go to Starbucks right now and order a nonfat caramel Taylor’s version latte.

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S2: I was going to say because of that line, Starbucks, well,

S3: you do know a thing. See, that’s the other layer. So in blank space, Taylor Swift says, I got a long list of ex-lovers. They’ll tell you, I’m insane. But if you listen to it, go. Though it does sound a little bit like she says, Oh, I Starbucks lovers

S2: only thought she said, I think for at least two weeks of listening to 1989 that she said, I have a long list of Starbucks lovers and I was like saying, Bitch,

S3: do you know my favorite piece of trivia about that song, though? After she says, I got a blank space, baby? You know that like noise? Uh huh. It’s a pen. Click. Not a blank

S1: space, baby. And I’ll try to name her mind.

S2: OK, what else is coming out of her mind?

S3: So perhaps the most important part of the red roll out is that we’re getting a 10 minute version of one of Taylor’s most iconic songs, all too well, which is the song about one Jake Gyllenhaal

S2: and an absolute banger.

S3: So in addition to this 10 minute version, she’s coming out with a short film. The trailer for the All Too Well movie is the shot of a car driving down like a really beautiful rural road in the fall.

S2: Wait, I have a question. Yeah. Is the car a 1989

S3: making model, dammit? Yes.

S2: I’m learning. I’m growing. You’re learning, I’m listening.

S3: So those are some of the more satisfying Easter eggs right there. Concrete. They’re definitely real. You can even as just somebody who’s become a Swiftie temporarily for this podcast, like you’re starting to follow the pattern, right? You’re starting to be able to pick things. And isn’t it satisfying? Weren’t you satisfied just yet?

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S2: But again, you promise me conspiracy theories, and all you’re giving me is logical leaps.

S3: So on Disney Plus on November 12,

S2: Disney Plus how big involved

S3: Disney Plus is is adding enchanted. You know that Amy Adams movie?

S2: Yes, an incredible movie.

S3: Enchanted is coming to Disney Plus on November 12. Taylor Swift has a song called Enchanted on her album Fearless, which a lot of Swifties are speculating to be the next album to be released if you want to take it one step further. There is rumored to have been camera crews on the red tour filming for what some people online have said was supposed to be a concert DVD that never got released. And so there’s wild theories also that like on Friday, because Enchanted is coming to Disney Plus, that also means a red concert tour.

S2: What did did that happen?

S3: Now, of course, it didn’t happen, but that’s the fun, you know, she’s also been playing games with the pricing of her albums. Mostly, I think, to fuck with us because she knows how just magnifying glass we are with her every move. So fearless. Taylor’s version, which came out earlier this year, was priced at $19 and 89 cents, which made us all go, Oh my God. 1989 is next. Welcome to New York.

S2: So how much does Redd cost?

S3: That album cost $20 and 10 cents in 2010. Is the year that speak now came out in case that’s not heavy handed enough. The 2010 the price twenty dollars, 10 cents is written in purple.

S2: What is that?

S3: I like the color of the album.

S2: Yeah, I’m in. Ah, I’m shocked. I don’t know what to believe anymore. Yeah.

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S3: Well, and that’s sort of where we Swiftie land, right? Because she gives us all these clues. Sometimes they’re real and it’s really satisfying, and it’s really fun. Other times they don’t pan out. But then there’s a third category of like, Was this a clue? Is Taylor now just saying, Yeah, that was a clue. Did we invent the clue?

S2: OK, so I feel like there’s this dynamic where everything and nothing is a clue very much leads to people perhaps passing things that they’re not meant to reading too far into innocuous things, perhaps suggesting that Taylor Swift is in a relationship with Karlie Kloss,

S3: formerly my god, she said. Sorry, sorry. But what you’re saying is true, right? When everything could possibly be a coded message it has invited, whether intentionally or not, swift fans. We have this like overly intimate, very personal relationship with her because it’s not insane for us to think, Oh, she’s sending us a message when so often she is. So hypothetically, if you’re a gay fan and you’re hearing something about LGBTQ in these songs, and she’s teasing an album announcement pegged to National Lesbian Visibility Day, yes, I know that’s a fake holiday, but pretend it’s real for the sake of this, this conspiracy theory. And then she comes out with, you need to calm down and her hair is dyed in the color of the bisexual flag. Like, you might think that this person who is known for sending secret messages is just up to the usual tricks.

S2: All right, so this spicy question for you kind of based on all of the the past 30 minutes of Swiftie ology, which is do you think that the kind of grey area that Taylor Swift operates in in terms of sending a message is perhaps means that she doesn’t make a strong of political statements as she could because she’s sending all these subliminal messages that she’s she’s doing the right thing.

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S3: I think that was the case in earlier swift arrows. She has definitely had a real pivot post, let’s say, reputation. You know, she finally came out and said, like, you know, there was some very right wing conservative Republican running in Tennessee where she’s from and she, you know, came out and threw all of her weight behind the Democrat who was running. She got really into voter registration for young, you know, like she definitely there’s a pivot you can see happening. But. I think there’s always room for more. I think we’re this net’s out is that Taylor Swift one case? I just have not been clear. I think the woman’s a genius. I don’t think she’s the the voice of my generation while Carole King walks the Earth. But she comes in a close second. And she’s brilliant, right? Because she’s created this masterful world where everything she does is her calculation. She thought of it six years ago, and we are just figuring it out now, whether or not that’s true all the time. We will never know.

S2: Honestly, Madison, you might have you might have brought me into the the numerology fold.

S3: Excellent. I’ll send you your membership card. But all right, that is the show we will be back on your feet on Wednesday, so definitely subscribe. It’s free and the best way to make sure you never miss me, just fully spiralling out about something I’m really obsessed with. Leave us a rating and review in Apple Podcasts. Tell your friends about us! You can send us an email at ICYMI at Slate.com, or you can DM us on Twitter. At ICI. Why am I underscore Pod? We’d like to take a minute to shout out our listener, Rachael, who tweeted at us this week. And it turns out Rachel’s got an uncanny ability to predict with alarming accuracy exactly what our show topic is going to be. So, Rachel, we challenge you. What’s Wednesday’s episode going to be about? Let us know.

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S2: I see why a mass produced by Daniel Schroeder, a supervising producer, said John, we’re edited by Force Wickman and the like were Frank and Alicia Montgomery is an executive producer of Slate Podcast and a special shout out to Amber Smith C Online

S3: for wearing a dress, dancing with our hands tied in a getaway car driving down Cornelia Street. I meant to I meant to print a list before the show began, so I could be better equipped to talk to you

S2: for fun drinking game count, how many song titles Madison says over the course of the next half hour.

S3: Only if you don’t want to live forever. Featuring Zane.

Source : https://slate.com/transcripts/b0s1dm9HeThwck9WcGxmZ3VIK2Zmd0ZIWGNiS2FsNjhZMlpmTkhCU2JiYz0=

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Taylor Swift Knows the Internet All Too Well

Source:Slate

Taylor Swift Knows the Internet All Too Well

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