Taylor Swift controversy casts a shadow over Australia Day

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Monday 26 January 2015 16:50

Australia Day is celebrated each year on the 26 January - to commemorate the day the first fleet of British ships arrived on the continent. This year it may as well be called Taylor Swift Day.

To mark the occasion each year Triple J, Australia's hippest radio station, holds its Hottest 100 list - touted as the "world's biggest music poll". Fans can vote for their favourite song of the year that was played on the station from a list of 2,000 songs or nominate their own.

This year has seen a guerrilla internet campaign from Taylor Swift fans to have her Shake it Off single placed at number one via the #Tay4Hottest100 hashtag - even though Triple J hadn't actually played it.

The campaign was driven in large part by BuzzFeed's Mark di Stefano in a supposed attempt to "teach those music snobs a lesson".

In retaliation, the station disqualified the song from its poll and created a parody BuzzFeed site called TripleJFeed to explain why.

On a post titled "8 Hilarious But Totally True Reasons You Won’t Hear “Shake It Off” In The Hottest 100", the station included things like "whilst their advertisers enjoyed the sweet page views, it’s not legit for other media to try and troll the poll" and "it became pretty clear, pretty quick that a lot of people just wanted to prod some ‘hipsters’ for the lulz".

Although it was initially unclear if the website had actually been created by Triple J, or by internet trolls, sources from ABC - the station's parent company - confirmed to Buzzfeed it was genuine.

As a result of Swift's exclusion, social media across Australia has been dominated by the story and the #Tay4Hottest100 hashtag has overtaken the usual BBQs, beers and national reminiscence - or whatever it is they usually do on Australia Day.

After TripleJFeed went down under the weight of traffic, Chet Faker's Talk is Cheap (below) was eventually announced as the winner.

More: Policeman filmed dancing to Shake it Off and it's ridiculously cheering