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In the most cataclysmic news event so far this year (well, at least it is if your only source of news is JustJared… and if so, I can’t blame you given the shitshow of everything else going on), Taylor Swift wiped out all her social media accounts and seemingly deleted her webpage, leaving behind nothing but her music on streaming services and YouTube. Conspiracy theories began: Was this a further withdrawal from the public eye for the secretive star, who even canceled her customary July 4th rager this year? Is this a statement about online bullying? Was she hacked? Or have the prayers of 20-something white girls everywhere finally been answered, and this is all a publicity stunt for a new album? (The latter is what’s going on, of course, but still, gotta have some fun!)

So, time for a bit of digging around on a lazy Sunday — and, as it turns out, not everything on the singer’s website has become a blank space.

 

The timing of this to happen just as a full solar eclipse is nigh and also just as she won her trial against the lecherous DJ cannot be an accident — this must be a carefully managed ploy, as nobody besides Beyonce manages herself more carefully than Taylor Swift. Clues were found in the fact that post-wipe taylorswift.com wasn’t so empty, after all. Breathless conspiracy theories soon emerged that, hidden within the page’s source code or still-active javascript, the name of a new track or perhaps the entire album may be found within seemingly nonsense strings of letters and numbers.

Not that I can fact check this today, though. Attempting to access taylorswift.com fails with the “too many redirects” error message. Apparently, the page keeps redirecting back to itself, meaning this is intentional.

But… aha! What about Google’s cached-version option? Which is hosted by Google and not whatever service Tay-Tay uses?

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Still blank, but at least it works. A check on the page’s source reveals a bunch of html garbleygook that does at least make clear the site is still tracking pageviews and whatnot.

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Oh, what’s this? “Wonderful Union?” Jackpot! Clearly the title of her new single! Except… no, it’s just some kind of e-commerce portal she happens to use. They also boast deals with Drake and deadmau5. (Rumors say Drake helped her with a more hip-hop sound for TS6, but who knows?) Wah wah. Unless an expert cryptographer can magic up something out of the code or seemingly random alphanumeric strings, this looks like a dead end.

Or is it? Because Bing also caches web pages. And because Bing does not exactly have the same hustle as her big sister, the last cache there was Aug. 15, long before the big wipe!

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Well, kind of, anyway. It’s like taylorswift.com as envisioned by Netscape circa 1998 or something. But something we can work with, anyway!

While the links are valid, unfortunately most give the same “too many redirects” error message as the main page.

That is, unless one wished to sign up for the Taylor Swift newsletter.

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BAM! We’re back in business. It seems that not even the Big Wipe(tm) can dissuade T-Swizzle from wanting your email addy. A check of the page source reveals a much different coding style than the main site — probably run by an entirely different firm.

Also, note the address. It is a www2 address, possibly indicating a separate service or server. What if one were to visit just www2.taylorswift.com?

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Sigh. A check of the javascript console indicates it just tries to redirect back to the main site (and fails). The source code for this page is literally empty.

Ok, back to the email page. What happens if one were to actually sign up for the newsletter?

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It’s still working. Maybe Tay wants to announce her big news via an email blast to her loyal followers, and not to the trolls of Instagram or Twitter. So, all it takes is a click to confirm the email. And now… we wait.

Anyway, while we may get official word during the eclipse, rumors that she would actually call it “Eclipse” are almost certainly spurious — her marketing team would not want to be associated with the Twilight series. (Being associated with 50 Shades is bad enough.) My guess is it will be called “Black Out” or something along those lines. Maybe even “Black” to contrast with “Red.” And what we really wanna know is what the title of the Kanye/Kim diss track is gonna be, right?

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