Cancel Culture has become a buzzword in recent years. What does it mean? And why should you care?
Cancel Culture refers to the practice of social media platforms or individuals taking action against someone who they deem inappropriate or offensive. The term was coined after the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalists clashed with counterprotesters. The event resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, 32, who was killed when a car plowed into a crowd of protesters.
Cancel Culture has become prevalent on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. These platforms allow anyone to post anything at anytime. This means that everyone can share their opinions, whether positive or negative.
What Is Cancel Culture?
The term “cancel culture” was first used by journalist Yashar Ali in August 2018. In his article titled “How Social Media Cancels People,” he described how people are being canceled for expressing themselves online.
He wrote: “Social media companies have been canceling accounts left and right — not just for trolls but also for those whose views fall outside the mainstream.”
He continued: “In the past few months alone, we’ve seen YouTube demonetize videos from prominent YouTubers like Philip DeFranco, Steven Crowder, and PragerU; Instagram ban Alex Jones and Infowars; Twitter suspend far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos; and Facebook remove pages belonging to conservative news site Diamond & Silk.”
Why Should I Care About Cancel Culture?
It seems that everyone wants to be heard these days. But what happens when everyone gets to say whatever they want without any consequences? That’s exactly what happened during the 2016 presidential election. Donald Trump won the presidency despite losing the popular vote.
During the campaign, many people were banned from social media sites because of their political beliefs. For example, Twitter suspended the account of Republican candidate Carly Fiorina in March 2015. She had tweeted about her support for Planned Parenthood and abortion rights.
Twitter later apologized for suspending her account. It said in a statement: “We mistakenly removed this Tweet earlier today. We apologize.”
In another instance, Twitter suspended the account belonging to pro-Trump user @CarpeDonktum. He posted memes supporting President Trump and criticizing Hillary Clinton.
This led to #FreeCarpeDonktum trending on Twitter. Donktum eventually regained access to his account and posted an apology.
“I am sorry for offending some of my followers,” he wrote. “My intention was never to offend anyone. I do not condone violence against others. I will continue to fight for our great country and stand up for our MAGA agenda!”
Where does cancel culture come from?
Many people believe that it comes from the idea of free speech. They think that if you don’t agree with something then you should be able to express your opinion freely. However, there are other reasons why people might get canceled.
For example, people might be canceled for posting racist comments, making sexist remarks, or spreading hate speech. Or maybe they’re canceled for sharing fake news or conspiracy theories.
Or maybe they’re canceled for saying things that go against religious beliefs.
Some people even get canceled for saying mean things about celebrities.
Examples of cancel culture
Here are some examples of people who got canceled for their opinions on social media platforms.
1. James Damore
James Damore was fired from Google after writing a controversial memo that criticized diversity programs at the company. The memo argued that women tend to be more interested in technical fields than men.
Damore wrote that Google has a problem with gender imbalance because its workforce is mostly made up of white males.
Damore also claimed that women have lower levels of interest in programming jobs compared to men. This is because women prefer working in areas such as teaching, nursing, and medicine, according to him.
2. Steven Crowder
Steven Crowder was canceled by YouTube after he posted a video mocking Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg. In the video, he called Hogg a “cuck”.
Crowder later said that his comment was meant to be sarcastic. He explained that he didn’t actually mean to insult Hogg.
3. Milo Yiannopoulos
Milo Yiannopolous was canceled by Facebook after he supported the so-called alt right movement. The alt right is a far-right group known for promoting racism, anti-Semitism, and misogyny.
Yiannopoulos was also accused of being a misogynist. He denied these allegations.
4. Alex Jones
Alex Jones was canceled by Apple after he shared a link to a story about the Sandy Hook massacre.
The article contained false information about the incident.
Jones later admitted that he was wrong to share the story.
5. Laura Loomer
Laura Loomer was canceled by Twitter after she tweeted that she wanted to punch Ilhan Omar in the face.
Loomer’s tweet came after Omar criticized Israel. She suggested that Omar should be deported back to Somalia.
6. Paul Joseph Watson
Paul Joseph Watson was canceled by Twitter after he posted a meme showing President Donald Trump surrounded by Nazi soldiers.
Watson later apologized for the post.
7. Louis Farrakhan
Louis Farrakhan was canceled by Instagram after he posted a photo of himself wearing a shirt that says “Death To All Gentiles.”
Farrakhan had previously been banned from multiple social media sites.
8. Gavin McInnes
Gavin McInnes was canceled by Patreon after he published an image of Heather Heyer lying down in front of a car.
Heyer died when a man drove into her during a protest over the death of George Floyd.
9. Milo Yiannopoulos
MILO was canceled by PayPal after he promoted a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for his book deal.
PayPal blocked the account of Milo’s crowdfunding page.
10. Candace Owens
Candace Owens was canceled by Twitter after tweeting that black people were better off under slavery.
Owens later deleted the tweet.
Is cancel culture toxic?
Yes! Cancel culture is toxic because it can ruin lives. It can cause people who are not guilty of any wrongdoing to lose their job or even get arrested.
It’s important to understand that there is no such thing as free speech on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. These companies don’t allow you to say anything they don’t want you to say. They censor your posts before they appear online.
So if you criticize them, they will delete your comments. If you praise them, they will promote your content. If you call out their censorship policies, they will ban you.
This means that anyone with power has the ability to silence critics. And this includes celebrities, politicians, journalists, and ordinary citizens.
Cancel culture is a growing problem on social media platforms. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We need to stand up against it and fight back.
If we all work together, we can make sure that our voices aren’t silenced.