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How The #FreeBritney Movement Went From Helping To Harming Britney Spears — She's Begging Fans For 'Respect'

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Britney Spears

Concerned fans and members of the #FreeBritney movement may be causing more harm than good to the singer they adore, in light of Britney Spears’ current mental health situation.

After the 41-year-old pop superstar’s Instagram account was erased on January 24, 2023, her legion of fans sounded the alarm— quite literally.

Her dedicated fans believed that the deleted social media account meant that Spears was in danger. 

RELATED: Britney Spears Says Her Conservatorship Was A ‘Set Up’ & Slams Her Family In Audio Tape

The #FreeBritney movement might be harming the singer more than offering help.

Many fans went so far as to alert the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office about their concerns surrounding the deleted Instagram account, which led to a welfare check by deputies at Spears’ Thousand Oaks home.

A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office reported to TMZ that they received multiple calls about Britney Spears’ safety on January 25, 2023. 

After going out to her home to check on her well-being, the police determined that Spears wasn’t in any form of danger.

Spears released a statement in the aftermath of the check, asking fans for privacy.

“I love and adore my fans but this time things went a little too far and my privacy was invaded.”

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“During this time in my life, I truly hope the public and my fans who I care so much about can respect my privacy moving forward,” she wrote.

According to sources close to Spears, she was reportedly “annoyed” that the police were called to her home. 

TMZ claimed that Spears “understands how deeply her fans care about her and her well-being, so she wasn’t totally surprised things escalated to law enforcement’s involvement… but nonetheless, it was an inconvenience” for the star.

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Spears has expressed love for the #FreeBritney movement in the past, but it seems her feelings might be shifting.

Fans frequently take to social media to share theories about whether or not the singer is truly free. They perceive her social media content as "cries for help," frequently flood her comments with questions about how they can help her and have even theorized that the singer is dead.



The iconic singer has exhibited a string of strange behavior in recent weeks, including changing her name to “River Red” on her now-deleted Instagram account and having what some called a “manic” breakdown at an LA restaurant. 

Spears’ infamous conservatorship, which lasted 13 years and denied her the right to make her own personal, professional, or financial decisions, ended on November 12, 2021, in part due to the intensive organizing of her fans through the Free Britney movement.

Spears originally expressed gratitude towards her very involved fans, saying “you guys rock” to the #FreeBritney movement after her conservatorship ended.

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“Honestly, my voice was muted and threatened for so long, and I wasn’t able to speak up or say anything,” Britney said in a video posted to Twitter. “I honestly think you guys saved my life, in a way.”

In that same video, Spears’ commented on appreciating the “awareness” the #FreeBritney movement brought to the public about her conservatorship.  

Yet now it seems that the #FreeBritney movement has overstepped its bounds.

The extreme scrutiny Spears is facing is due, at least in part, to the intense public focus on her actions and behavior, including by her fans. 

One has to wonder where the line is between public awareness and hyper-vigilance.

Spears’ initial mental health challenges were at the very least exacerbated by extreme and invasive paparazzi attention; at worst, that negative attention was a root cause of her breakdown.

Her fans might not mean to cause Spears any harm, yet she’s clearly experiencing harm from the ripple effect of her fans’ reactions.

After not being in control of her own destiny for so long, it’s not surprising that Spears might want to lead some version of a private life, which means that even her most dedicated fans should leave her in peace.

RELATED: Fans Think Britney Spears Is In Trouble & Believe Her Public Appearances Are Being 'Faked' As A Cover Up

Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.