As part of a new online promotion, Taylor Swift will perform a private concert at one school anywhere in America. The school with the most online votes wins the show. This, however, has led to an army of internet ‘trolls’ determined to send Taylor to perform at Boston’s Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
The ploy is similar to the one that sent hip-hop artist Pitbull to an obscure Wal-Mart in Alaska for an autograph signing. Votes for any school in America can be cast at TaylorSwiftOnCampus.com, which has partnered the superstar singer with textbook rental company Chegg, VH1 Storytellers, and other sponsors.
The contest itself is a nice idea, but the “voters” at sites like Reddit and 4chan are rapidly making a mockery of it (at least that’s how they see it) with their attempts to send Taylor to the Horace Mann School for the Deaf in Boston. The school is currently one of the runaway leaders for the contest, which closes voting at the end of the day on September 23.
As of press time Thursday afternoon (Aug. 30), the school had earned over 26,000 votes.
There’s still more than three weeks left to vote, however, so the Boston school may not end up winning. But it’s undoubtedly got the highest number of votes of all the schools so far. The fine print of the contest does note that Taylor can decline the concert if she or her management deem it necessary, but can you imagine the PR nightmare that would follow if Taylor turns down a concert for deaf students?
It’s obviously a tasteless prank pulled by the “voters” in this contest, implying that deaf students would be unable to hear Taylor’s music. But deaf people have been known to have the ability to “feel” music, recognizing the varying vibrations in the sounds. It’s how Beethoven continued to compose music after losing his hearing in his mid-20s, and concerts have even been designed so deaf people can enjoy them through the vibrations. So the joke may really be on the voters after all.
CBS Boston station Mix 104.1 reached out to the Horace Mann School for comment, but as of press time they had not responded.
– Matt Dolloff / Mix 104.1