The Pulitzer Prize and 14-time Grammy winner, rapper Kendrick Lamar asks, “what the f*** is cancel culture, dawg?” in his track N95 from the album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.
So, why do people cancel?
The cancel culture is a mass movement that emerged to raise arguments against hate speech and oppressors. But, cancel culture has slowly emerged as a practice that curbs pluralism of ideas and beliefs on social media based on the majority’s opinion.
The primary purpose of canceling people today is to outcast someone from social media because the masses didn’t like what they did or said.
How did the cancel culture emerge?
The movement started to help the masses call out powerful people and corrupt businesses on social media and take their presence, authority, and popularity away. But now, it has become a way to normalize and justify cyberbullying.
A few examples of cancel culture include celebs like Bill Cosby, R. Kelly, and Harvey Weinstein, who faced social media trials before appearing in court – and for good reason! These trials fueled strong movements like #metoo. But in recent years we’ve witnessed the internet canceling people for mere jokes, tweeting, artwork, and their ideas.
This makes us question ourselves…
Do we still believe in instant punishment?
Are we trying to curb someone’s freedom of speech by canceling them?
It is right to cancel someone who’s committed a criminal offense, and we must raise our voices against injustice and oppressors.
But, also be wary of the violation of freedom of speech. Blindly following someone on their every crusade will take us nowhere. As responsible citizens, we must stand by those who are doing better for society and actively participate in helping them bring social change and development to communities.
How to avoid blind cancel culture?
Before getting on someone’s bandwagon to cancel others, keep the following things in mind:
- Are they promoting a certain agenda of their own while canceling the other party?
- Are they just in it to gain clout out of this situation?
- Did they put any effort to go to the concerned authorities before a social outcry to cancel someone?
- Is their activism only limited to social media?
- Have they provided any proof or just their opinions?
Talk. Don’t yell.
While we have every right to speak out about what we believe, no one has the right to participate in the violation of freedom of speech. Understand that canceling someone for their opinion is not going to change their opinion.
Why do people cancel? To make the other person understand their mistakes. Instead of going ballistic on someone, we must try to convince them. Why not have a word before drawing any conclusions?
Read more: Leadership Ethics and Values
Don’t impose your opinions.
By imposing your will on someone, you only create extreme viewpoints and radically inclined individuals. Instead of canceling someone for their opinion, we must have a sense of empathy towards them. Our approach should be to calmly make them understand why they are wrong, and they still have a chance to change, and saying or believing in something politically incorrect is rectifiable.
Turn that phone off!
More often than not, you might be exaggerating the situation in your head. If you feel like a person is guilty and they are not owning up to their actions, take necessary legal actions. If it isn’t possible, then switch off that phone and take a walk before ranting online.
There’s more to life than Twitter
Humans have evolved to gossip about each other. Evolution biologists argue that it was a way to keep society in check. So it’s natural to complain about the wrong-doers of society and instigate the masses to raise their arguments against hate speech. But needing to impose your opinion backed up by the masses isn’t very ethical. There’s a fine line between calling someone out for their actions and canceling them because you don’t like them.
Think twice before following the cancel culture. Take the high road.
Speak up for a cause. Not for applause.
Cancel culture emerges from media: https://www.dataforprogress.org/blog/2022/6/9/new-poll-finds-that-opinions-about-cancel-culture-stem-from-media