5 Times Taylor Swift Used Her Social Media Powers for Good

Apple is the latest to feel the impact of the pop superstar’s celebrity prowess

Last Updated: June 22, 2015 @ 4:52 PM

Long before she took on Apple and won, Taylor Swift was utilizing social media to do good and actualize her savvy business decisions.

Apple bowed to criticism by Swift on Sunday, reversing a policy to not pay artists for streams of their music played during subscribers’ three-month trial period of its new streaming service.

Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue tweeted the news on Sunday, after Swift posted an open letter to the company, calling it “shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.”

It’s not the first time the pop singer shook up the internet, affecting real change or just making a difference in a small number of people’s lives.

“I want to make the most of this cultural relevance or success or whatever you want to call it, because it’s not going to last,” Swift previously said in an interview with The Telegraph in May. “I have to be as good a person [as I can] while my name matters to them. Because it’s not always going to matter to kids who are 15 and really struggling with who they want to be or [because] their friends were brutal to them at school that day. That’s actual turmoil. I have to do everything I can to make their day better while I still can.”

Here’s 5 other times Swift proved to be the Queen of Social Media, using her status for good.

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1. If Swift didn’t take on Apple in such quick succession, this may have been the calling-out story that went viral. On June 20, tabloid OK! Magazine published a series of tweets and headlines that the pop star took offense to. “This misleading headline and your choice of words in labeling me are why we need feminism in 2015,” the singer tweeted after OK! referred to her in an article as “Harry Styles’ ex-girlfriend” and “Calvin Harris’ rumored girlfriend.” Like everything Swift does, the post went viral, racking up over 25,000 retweets. OK! Magazine ultimately took down its tweet, which referenced the singer making a “pregnancy announcement” though she was only helping two fans.

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2. Swift is undoubtedly one of the richest entertainers on the planet, so it’s not surprising she sometimes does more than just use social media to make her fans’ day. One superfan was in for the surprise of a lifetime when she opened a Christmas gift from the singer to discover not just the hand-picked and handwritten presents that a few handful fans had been getting, but also a check for $1,989.00 to pay off her student loans.

Swift had only one response, “”I love you so much.”

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3. Swift also gave money, seemingly out of the blue, to a firefighter in Texas who responded to a car crash only to discover it was his own wife and son in peril. Because they had no insurance, friends set up a GoFundMe for Aaron VanRiper’s family and soon noticed a $15,000 donation from Taylor Swift. Buzzfeed and other outlets verified it was indeed the “1989” singer. The donation has also paid dividends after going viral — the family has now received over $121,000.00 in donations.

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4. Swift has publicly proclaimed herself a feminist after years of dodging the label. She credits her friendship with “Girls” creator Lena Dunham for her evolving stance on the word, saying in August 2014, “As a teenager, I didn’t understand that saying you’re a feminist is just saying that you hope women and men will have equal rights and equal opportunities. What it seemed to me, the way it was phrased in culture, society, was that you hate men. And now, I think a lot of girls have had a feminist awakening because they understand what the word means. For so long it’s been made to seem like something where you’d picket against the opposite sex, whereas it’s not about that at all. Becoming friends with Lena — without her preaching to me, but just seeing why she believes what she believes, why she says what she says, why she stands for what she stands for — has made me realize that I’ve been taking a feminist stance without actually saying so.”

Dunham, in turn, praised Swift for her change of heart, in a series of tweets: “Taylor recognizes that at its core it’s not about radicalism or rage, but equality. Her willingness to own the term means much to many … She’s been my feminist role model for a long time. And I cannot fucking wait for her VMA performance … When someone grows, changes and shows their vulnerability and evolution publicly … That’s a gift they give to us that we should honor.”

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5. Swift is famous for being accessible to her fans, and she took it to another level with the release of her latest album, 1989. In the weeks leading up to the October 2014 release, Swift secretly and vaguely invited some of her most die-hard fans to “an amazing opportunity” — which turned out to be a visit to one of her homes to listen to the entire new album while eating pizza and taking Polaroid selfies with their idol. The aptly titled “Secret Sessions” didn’t just endear Swift even further to her fans — they also made the singer even more of a viral sensation as the already social media savvy fans shared every second of their experiences on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

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