Cancel Culture, or online ostracism, consumed social media platforms throughout this year and continues to. With the escalating racial division, separation due to COVID-19, and an overall difficult year, many social media influencers fell victim to the increasingly toxic online bullying tactic that is cancel culture.
Some may argue that Cancel Culture brings justice to those who get “cancelled” for various reasons. Reasons for canceling someone include, yet are not limited to, racist or homophobic speech or behavior, inappropriate behavior regarding fans and or peers, and insufficient precaution for the pandemic. This behavior should not be condoned, but there are better ways to address these issues than feeding into cancel culture.
It comes down to whether or not the audience can be a true judge of character. Social media influencers and personalities commonly put on a façade when presenting themselves online. While several actions are inexcusable, it is common for stars to be canceled for past actions, some dating back decades. What is left is the decision to judge and in turn ostracize a person for actions that they performed in a transitional stage of life. Stars grow and live in front of an audience. Typically, mistakes are shared and regrettable things happen daily. The difference is that there are more people watching. Should someone be ostracized for a mistake just because more people witnessed it happen?
The Internet is an asset and a curse. Though the internet can be used to connect people from across the globe, it can also be used to harass those one will never see in person. It enables others to access and harm those in which they truly know nothing about. Cancel Culture creates toxic and harmful judgment and fosters division and hostility for others. In the current state of the world, empathy and understanding is more necessary than ever. Spreading hate on the Internet does not help anyone.