Cancel culture is a term that only gained popularity in recent years. However, the concept of “cancelling” someone itself, has been around for a while. It stands for those who have been demeaned are ostracized . Now shunning those who have done something socially inappropriate is nothing new. The age of the internet has made it even more prevalent due to the fact that theoretically the entire world can find out this information about you and shun you. Especially if you happen to be a very public figure on social media.
Initially, cancel culture was first known as “call-out culture” .A term with more positive connotations that came into widespread use with the emergence of the #MeToo movement. Women and Men are encouraged to call out their abusers on a public forum where their accusations is heard.
Cancel brings powerful individuals to justice . Most people who end up losing their jobs due to these allegations are CEOS ,directors and managers. Unless action is taken, the public always threatens to boycott whatever institution they worked for that demean the public. Social media helped boost the voices of marginalized people in this case.
Over time, call-out culture slowly changed to cancel culture, a term with more negative connotations that gained popularity in 2019. Cancel culture signifys that society will hold individuals that display offensive conduct and seeks to help marginalized people get justice, but has many critics. Some of these critics include former US presidents Donald J. Trump and Barack H. Obama and Pope Francis.
“Cancel culture is a political weapon used to punish dissenters.” Obama warned ,” people who do good things have flaws”. Pope Francis ,”cancel is a form of ideological colonization that leaves no room for freedom of expression”. Many have wondered whether anything can truly be fair in the court of public opinion. False allegations may be used to unfairly kick someone out of their position by manipulating public opinion. This coupled with the prevalence of misinformation on social media seems to be a valid concern.
We live in unprecedented times. People all around the world have access to each other at the push of a button. Public opinion can easily be swayed but cancel culture is here to stay with us. It is a net positive or negative for society either way.