Expanding the #FreeBritney Online Persona

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 19: Supporters of Britney Spears gather outside a courthouse in downtown for a #FreeBritney protest as a hearing regarding Spears’ conservatorship is in session on August 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Spears was placed in a conservatorship managed by her father, James Spears, and an attorney following her involuntary hospitalization for mental care in 2008. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

When describing last week’s epiphanies and using fan accounts as a source of interacting with the Britney Army, I thought I would adapt a bit more on my personal experience with Britney Spears fan culture, how my DA relates to me personally, and why I decided to use youtube as a platform for Controversial Studios Presents.

For my first epiphany, describing myself as a fan girl of Britney Spears since the age of 12 helped me build an online persona for my DA and share researched information that I am passionate about to my targeted audience. Through out the years I have kept tabs on the history of Britney Spears, especially the highs and lows of her career which helped me shape my ethnographic research and create my media niche. The era I would always remember first about Britney Spears is her early 2000’s moments as a teenager before the conservatorship and how different her mental state was then to now. I connected to those moment from early years due to how positive she was and her stage presence which really got me intrigued from a young age. Also Britney’s songs motivated me through out of high school to be the best version I could possibly be and keep a healthy lifestyle due to watching her music videos. With music’s deep connection to the limbic system, people tend to find connections in music through memories. (Millersville University) the limbic system sets off a sensation that brings back memories from a certain time from a certain place. “The Limbic areas of the brain, known to be associated with emotions, were found to be involved in rhythm and tonality processing”. ( Rosie Davies). This means we associate with the rhythm, tones and lyrics of each song.

Second epiphany I want to expand more on is the #FreeBritney research I’m currently doing and how it relates to me on a personal level similar to Britney Spears’s career itself. The reason why #FreeBritney relates to me personally due to the mental health struggles behind the conservatorship and my own personal battle with depression makes me feel that I am not alone and that people are willing to help like what #FreeBritney is all about. The online persona of #FreeBritney is the driving force for Britney’s freedom to regain her estate back and is journalised through all social media platforms. Even though social media can be a root cause of mental health issues, social media can also be used to set awareness of what is going on in the world and what we can do to help with these issues. “Using a nationally representative sample, we assessed the association of two dimensions of social media use—how much it’s routinely used and how emotionally connected users are to the platforms—with three health-related outcomes: social well-being, positive mental health, and self-rated health.” (Havard. TH. Chan School) Havard School of Health goes on to say sharing positive feed on social media as apart of everyday routine and responding to that type of content is a form of emotional self-rated health.

Finally for the third epiphany, using youtube as a social media platform for my DA, is easier for me to present my research to my audience about #FreeBritney and easier to use videos as a source instead of writing blogs as it feels like more of a flow when speaking in videos. Using net ethnographic research and combine it with auto-ethnographic research helps me categories each weekly youtube video. With youtube’s algorithm, it is definded by the viewers history (Personalisation), the performance of the video (performance) and the overall audience or market (the external factors) (Paige Cooper).


Pharm, J 2021, What Are the Major Functions of the Limbic System?, MedicineNet, MedicineNet, viewed 13 September 2021, <https://www.medicinenet.com/what_are_the_major_functions_of_the_limbic_system/article.htm&gt;.

Cooper, P 2021, “How Does the YouTube Algorithm Work in 2021? The Complete Guide“,Hootsuite, webblog, viewed September 21st.


Roeder, A, 2020, “Social media use can be positive for mental health and well-being” Havard TH Chan School of public health, Article, viewed 21st September.

Davies R, 2018 “What does music do to the brain, body and soul?” Scottish Ensemble, article, Viewed 21st September

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