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Cancel Culture: What does it mean?

  • Published:
    09 November 2023
  • Updated:
    30 January 2024
Cancel Culture

The practice of canceling culture, commonly referred to as "canceling," is a form of social punishment that involves the withdrawal of support from public figures and corporations due to offensive or objectionable statements or actions.

The development of new ethics in digital culture is based on behavior that avoids harm to oneself, others, and the environment, and social media platforms often serve as the primary arena for cancel culture. The story of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is an example. In a way, Depp was almost "canceled."

Reasons for Cancel Culture

The aim of cancellation is to provide virtual support to the victim and virtually punish the aggressor, drawing attention to unacceptable behavior and curbing the spread of destructive ideas. However, it is important to acknowledge that cancel culture is a complex phenomenon, serving as both a manifestation of social justice and a tool for manipulation.

The Phenomenon of Cancel Culture

Canceling involves exerting pressure through societal influence, which is not always fair and can be easily misled. Both the living and the deceased are judged by the standards of social acceptability prevailing in today's dynamic society.

Consequences of Cancel Culture

Being "canceled" can mean losing friends, work, and community connections, missing business chances, and not having a platform to share one's thoughts. Cancel culture is an uncontrolled and spontaneous phenomenon, which makes it unclear how to stop canceling someone who is no longer in the wrong, or how to determine when they are no longer in the wrong. Psychologically, cancel culture helps those who cancel others feel righteous, as if they are rectifying injustice, and can also be used to promote their unsupported ideas against government policies.

For the opposing sides, cancellation restricts discussion without the opportunity to explain their point of view, apologize, or educate others. The most effective approach to defeat unsound ideas is through exposure, argumentation, and persuasive tactics, rather than attempting to suppress them and pretend they are absent.

Cancel Culture in Simple Terms

Sometimes, cancellation is a direct violation of freedom of speech, essentially censorship, as any immoral opinion can lead to public shaming and being "banned." Furthermore, cancellation leads to further cancellation, as not aligning with the majority makes one an outcast. In today's world, the fear of ending up isolated frightens people more than the inability to express their opinions on certain matters.

Thus, cancellation also leads to self-censorship, the need to adhere to social acceptability standards to avoid public condemnation. Regardless, today, no one is immune to being added to the "canceled" list.

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