A Closer Look into Cancel Culture

This article was published on August 3, 2020.

More and more drama occurs every day on social media platforms like Tik Tok, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. Many influencers, whether celebrities are young social media influencers, are having to experience the toxicity of cancel culture because of their past mistakes and scandals. According to dictionary.com, cancel culture (also known as call-out culture) is the popular practice of withdrawing support or canceling public figures or companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. It is also done on social platforms in group shaming.

The origin of cancel culture is credited to the African American community on Twitter during the 2010s when they used the term to express their thoughts on racism and discrimination. Some of the reasons why these celebrities might be canceled are due to their past racist, sexist, and predatory actions. Though there are many ways for big names to be canceled, the most common methods are to boycott or not promote them, doxing or posting personal information online without consent, and often seen on Tik Tok – to make memes and jokes of it. The process of cancel culture can include having hashtags like #____isoverparty trending on Twitter, Youtube videos by drama channels covering their thoughts about the matter, and other rumors and speculations circulating around the internet, overall destroying careers. Influencers can also end up losing thousands of their loyal supporters in hours with many hurtful hate comments and death threats flooding their platforms. Sometimes, if the influencer is large enough, their close friends and family can get canceled for supporting that person.

Over time, many people have formulated mixed opinions about cancel culture as they see more of these influencers being taken down. Some people believe that the right course of action is to completely remove the voice of someone who has done something wrong so that they don’t continue to cause trouble. Supporters of cancel culture say that it holds people accountable for their bad decisions in ways that haven’t been possible in the past. They also believe that it addresses and demands changes for the equality problems deep in our society. Cancel culture is also seen as a way to deliver punishment for those who did wrong when they are not taken care of by the justice system.

However, others believe that mindset is unproductive and is just another example of mob mentality. Because when you erase a person from the internet, as they say, they never really have a chance to learn from what they did wrong. In the long run, cancel culture can be very hurtful to the mental health of those affected. Another point many people express is that even if the person were to be canceled, they would still be able to continue doing the harmful actions in their private life. Other than the fact that their wrongdoings won’t be online for everyone to see and comment on, there would be no actual change. Those against cancel culture think that the hate can come from people coming to conclusions too quickly and that we don’t check if the people have previously apologized for their mistakes or not. Moreover, some people even try to cancel influencers because of their actions from when they were in elementary school and middle school and don’t accept their apologies for their past actions.

Many times, influencers end up getting canceled or get haters for ridiculous reasons. One example is when Charlie D’amelio, a 15-year-old influencer, made a Tik Tok of herself and her friends dancing to a song in a bikini when she was on a vacation in March. Blogger Perez Hilton then commented on her post saying that he thinks it was inappropriate for her to dance to that song. He then also made another comment saying that he wished he looked as good as her wearing a bikini at that age as well. Charlie replied to some of the other comments on that video asking the commenters why she shouldn’t dance to trending songs and wear a bikini at the beach. Over the next few days, Charlie made tweets talking about how her body is her own and that she can wear what she wants. She also tweeted that people online need to let her breathe, showing how the many negative comments online were affecting her mental health. Supporters of her expressed their thoughts online, saying that people should be allowed to feel confident in their own bodies. They also bashed only Perez for being a creepy adult and sexualizing kids. Though she wasn’t completely canceled, it is evident that many wanted her to be.

Because of all of these negatives, many people are talking about how they should steer away from cancel culture to “cancel cancel culture.” Instead of people trying to band together and bring other people down, that energy should be spent on fixing that specific issue in society and finding ways to help. Many believe that people who are canceled should try to find criticisms and learn from it to grow and become better. Cancel culture shouldn’t be pushed onto those who show that they are willing to redeem themselves. Instead of thinking that the people canceled only amount to their mistakes, we should remember that we are all humans and make bad choices at times. No matter if you support cancel culture or not, it’s important that we do our best to identify those who need to take responsibility for their mistakes so that as a society we can grow from them.