While fans may have the singer's best interest in mind, there's a slight problem with the way the #FreeBritney movement sometimes treats Britney Spears. The wave of support for Spears is generally positive and encouraging, but as with most online groups, there are a few concerning trends that keep popping up. Spears is currently wrapped up in the legal system as she negotiates with the courts about the conservatorship over her person and finances, including the role of her father. Her recent filing to reduce his involvement seems to have been delayed until her team files a second set of documents before September, and reports say that the conservatorship will continue until next year.
The hashtags are punchy and memorable, but as with nearly every shortened slogan, there's some important nuance that gets forgotten. #FreeBritney comes with the implication that Spears is controlled by people she doesn't want to have control of her life, which, according to her latest filings, lines up with the truth. However, when other messages like #EndTheConservatorship get tacked on, the message gets a little muddier.
The problem is that Spears hasn't filed to completely remove the personal and financial conservatorships, and the entire situation about how much control the singer has over her life and estate is extremely personal. While it's fine to ruminate on court documents and social media posts most of the time, it's another thing entirely to imply that fans know Spears' wishes better than she does. There's a reasonable chance that the pop star would use the shift away from her father as a stepping stone to remove the conservatorship entirely, but until the matter progresses as such, we're leaving it to Spears and focusing on empowering her choices rather than assuming we know her next move.
Thankfully, there's been a renewed focus on the singer's wishes, although it's still a bit of a rough situation. The American Civil Liberties Union came closest to emphasizing Spears in their Twitter response to the news that she had filed papers to remove some of her father's control and making her temporary conservator permanent. "If Britney Spears wants to regain her civil liberties and get out of her conservatorship," the organization tweeted, "we are here to help her."
It's still an aggressive message, sure, and it's a little tacky to capitalize on the ongoing legal situation for a snappy tweet. But at the very least, it gives some credit to Spears' own decision-making. On a platform with limited characters, that might be as much nuance as we can get. Twitter is still a massive hive of activity and chatter, and it's admittedly somewhat difficult to have high expectations for trends and slogans. However, so long as the message remains focused on what Britney wants and empowering her rather than tearing down those close to her, then we have high hopes for the movement.