Instagram changed everything, in that it gave Britney a way to speak directly(ish) to her fans—who were overjoyed to hear from her, and who instantly started trying to decode every post.
Eventually, her avid followers started to wonder what she was really saying with her photo of a mug reading "It's motherf--king tea time" or the T-shirt that said "We're all dreamers." This had to have been Britney's way of sharing that she has so much to say, and will say it when she can, right? Or has she been asking for help all along?!
Alas, as conspiracy theories tend to do, this one got out of hand, resulting in abuse being hurled at her social media manager, Cassie Petrey, including accusations that she was part of a sinister apparatus at work to control or stifle Britney, as well as at Britney herself. (Which seems antithetical to the cause, but frustrated people react in unpredictable ways.)
Petrey posted Feb. 2: "First and foremost, I absolutely adore the Britney Spears fan base. They are incredible, loyal and passionate about her. I admire them. I know everything they do and say is because they truly love her. Which is why it's been easy for me to overlook some of the nasty comments that have been thrown my way over the years - because I know deep down it's all out of love for one of the greatest pop stars of all time.
"However, there are a lot of inaccurate theories out there...and I want to give as much information as I can without violating her privacy or mine."
Petrey insisted that Britney creates almost all of her own content, even editing the videos herself. But even when she doesn't hit "share" with her own thumb, she has full discretion over her account, and her team runs everything by her for approval. And for the record, "Britney is 'not asking for help' or leaving secret messages in her social media." Moreover, Petrey added, her work for Britney "does not involve her conservatorship in any way."