Cancel culture is one controversial topic in the society nowadays. It refers to as a modern way of mass ostracism in which by the use of online platform, mainly imposed against public figures and celebrities by calling out their wrongdoings like hate crime, bullying, embezzlement, or any other of these sorts, to cancel them out of the society or their industry. Views of agreements and disagreements in regards to this issue are equally loud and powerful, when some said it is like a revolution to speak up and leading positive change, but some others justified that no one should ever be made the victim of this cancel culture and it will empower the concept of cyber-bullying. I would say these are both valid constructs, and it is important to look into the justifications of both sides before making our own judgements.
But are they really doing it for the victims, or just jumping on the bandwagon to express anger?
First of all, looking at cases of famous celebrities that are, or, were once dragged into this cancel movement by viewers or online users, such as the host Ellen DeGeneres due to scandal of inflicting toxic work culture, actor Kevin Hart of his homophobic tweets, ex-entertainer Jung Joon Young of being convicted for gang rape and sharing filmed sex footage without consent. For some of them they were not completely being cancelled out of the industry, who returned after the controversial debate dies down. Maybe you would start thinking if some were even deserved to be called ‘victims’ of this cancel culture when what they did was totally wrong and showed unapologetic attitudes. At some point it is true for people to take up the role to reinforce sense of justice when they feel like the justice system is not doing its part well enough. But are they really doing it for the victims, or just jumping on the bandwagon to express anger? For me, I think what matters most is about those online users that might face a risk of turning themselves into perpetrator, for doing rash behaviours without thinking or used extreme methods that might end up with events that lead to guilt and shame.
There should be a fine line of whether or not to instigate this seemingly “benign” movement that is mostly online commentary and bashing without the usual form of demonstration and shouting. We have to understand that the internet is a powerful tool that a single comment can really put someone down or build an army from all around the world against that particular person or group. The more this cancel culture gets heated, the more people are abusing this right by just spreading false rumours or even on matters that is hateful and personal like whether or not that public figure had gone through plastic surgery, or some celebrity coming out of the closet, which these are not crime but people took advantage of it to make them a big news and cancel them out from the industry. The youths, who are the generations who use the internet to surf for information most of the time, become a vulnerable target as either they will be brainwashed to join the movement blindly or potentially become the next victim like getting hate messages or threats.
Understanding cancel culture is not only about eliminating someone out and for all, but it is to give spaces for reflection and forgiveness as some people still deserve a second chance.
Of course, we wanted to reveal those hideous acts by people who have access to fame or power that makes them easier to get away from being convicted, and hence this cancel culture is formed. It comes from a stance of equality and justice, but a misuse of it could lead to stirring of hateful forces and happening of regretful events such as cases of celebrities’ suicide after suffering from unbearable online hatred. Those fine lines that I believe should be obeyed includes refrain from making it into direct personal bullying, such as some online users personally giving hateful comments on public figure’s personal social media or dm-ing threats, even though some did something awful they should be punished legally but not given personal attack. Other than that, doing proper research from unbiased resources that does not give ‘fake news’ and twisted rumours. Understanding cancel culture is not only about eliminating someone out and for all, but it is to give spaces for reflection and forgiveness as some people still deserve a second chance and we are not making ourselves a perpetrator for punishing someone mercilessly.
At the end of the day, this cancel culture warrants the need of all parties to be responsible of their own behaviours, either it is the cancelled figure to take account of their own behavior, and the online users to refrain from turning this movement into pure hatred. So, what do you think about cancel culture being a necessary tool in these modern days or should it be cancelled itself?
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