this is why the internet wants to #freelorde

Plz don't send Lorde to jail. :(

by Douglas Greenwood
10 October 2019, 4:47pm

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

Okay, so here’s the thing: hashtag campaigns are a vital component of modern activism. In the past, we’ve used them to save gorillas (RIP Harambe), protest against shitty presidents and generally shift people’s perceptions on issues by spreading positive and/or vital messages throughout the internet. So who’s the next person to benefit from the world wide web’s warm embrace? Could it be prodigal Kiwi pop star Lorde, by any chance?

Yup, that’s right. In the most internet thing to happen since yesterday’s Coleen Rooney notes app takedown of Rebekah Vardy, social media has banded together to #FreeLorde. But why?

Well, the roots of this story lie in very specific Kiwi political discourse. Right now, the opposition party in New Zealand’s Parliament is arguing that any parents who take their child out of education before the age of 16 will be liable to a fine in excess of $3000. If they don’t pay it, they risk jail time.

We all know by now that Lorde, Generation Z’s most prominent musical voice, was itching to get out there and do her thing from the age of 12, when she was scouted by Universal, so she’s spent much of her childhood balancing school life with recording. In fact, she left Auckland’s Takapuna Grammar School in 2013.

Although she was of legal age to leave by the time she finally flew the nest and became the star we knew now, the internet has run with the idea of Lorde being imprisoned because she is both young and from New Zealand. Make sense? No? Well, just accept it.

Even though the hashtag is inspired by a factual error (turns out Twitter can't do maths), it’s nonetheless a movement that’s spawned plenty of memes and viral tweets already. Here are some of our favourites.

So there you have it! While we have some very solid intel that Lorde is, in fact, not in jail nor at risk of being incarcerated, we recommend you join the movement. We support you Lorde.

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

internet culture