This week we are discussing the ups and downs of online participation. I wanted to share my thoughts on cancel culture and how that has impacted society. For a 5-minute description of the issues, please watch the video.
If you’d prefer to read:
WHAT IS CANCEL CULTURE?
Cancel culture is a way for historically marginalized individuals have held people of power accountable. Whether through boycotting their products, their businesses, or even criminal sentences, cancel culture has evolved into a method of the masses working together to create power in numbers and serve consequences to the people in question. Most notable are the social movements like #MeToo and #BLM in which public figures like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby faced legal repercussions for their actions.
Most recently, people who have been “canceled” or in hot water are Chrissy Teigen and Ellen DeGeneres for bullying and JK Rowling for transphobic remarks.
When it comes to cancel culture, there is a place in society for it. And even though some people’s actions are unforgivable and deserve banishment, other times cancel culture has helped deliver harsh punishment that does not match the offensive behavior in question.
ISSUES WITH CANCEL CULTURE
My main issue with cancel culture is that it fails to allow people the opportunity to grow and truly learn from their mistakes. Statements that someone made in 2010 aren’t always reflective of how they think now because society (and people) changes, and people naturally make mistakes.
Also, cancel culture often does not focus on creating positive change through education and understanding. Rather, it creates a form of censorship in which people become afraid to share their true opinions out of fear.
CANCEL CULTURE IMPACTS EVERYONE
Lastly, cancel culture in 2022 is impacting more than just celebrities and public figures. Myself and whoever is reading this can be canceled under the right circumstances. This New York Times article includes quotes from high school students on their thoughts surrounding cancel culture. Some agree that it is problematic and doesn’t allow room for growth. One student was canceled by her friends and did not know why. It is shown that cancel culture can result in suicidal thoughts, depression, and even doxing (for the people being canceled).
I think that answers to improving cancel culture will come from the masses as we continue to evolve.
Pew (cancel culture in politics)