Rise of a New Form of Accountability: Cancel Culture
As individuals start to become "influencers" their popularity increases, but their chance to be “cancelled” also increases.
What exactly is Cancel Culture? Dictionary.com defines Cancel Culture as: “The phenomenon or practice of publicly rejecting, boycotting, or ending support for particular people or groups because of their socially or morally unacceptable views or actions.”
“Cancelling” influencers has become a topic of controversy. Questions such as “does the celebrity/influencer deserve their platform?” or “Can the influencer be forgiven?” arise. The verdict is often given by public opinion and leads to the destruction of the influencer’s image and career.
The roots of Cancel Culture can be traced to Tumblr blogs during early-2010s when fandoms would expose celebrities for their improper behavior. Cancel Culture surfaced again around 2017 when the #MeToo movement emerged. This phrase has begun to gain more attention recently.
Celebrities and influencers often get cancelled for atrocious actions, offensive language, and controversial pasts. A platform perceived as a safe space with many followers can immediately be deserted once these actions are discovered.
Platforms such as TikTok and Twitter are often used to expose a certain person or group of people. They are held accountable for their actions and have to redeem their image through apology videos or charitable actions. Some have their entire platform taken away from them.
Holding people accountable begs the question whether or not they can be forgiven. This question causes debates to spark. One side of the debate argues that people often forget these influencers are human and make mistakes. They should be educated instead of punished depending on the extent of their action. The other side argues that these influencers should be held accountable and have their platform taken away from them.
Recently, TikTokers Charlie and Dixie D’Amelio have been receiving public backlash from a dinner video. People have been labeling the sisters as disrespectful and spoiled. Many TikTok users are divided if the D’Amelio sister’s even deserve their platforms. This raises the question of whether the sisters should be accountable for their actions.
Cancel culture is considered controversial because many people saw how some were wrongly accused. James Charles, beauty YouTuber and makeup artist, lost millions of followers after a false allegation was claimed against him. He is one of the few influencers who have redeemed themselves after being proven innocent.
Celebrities and influencers are not the only individuals who get cancelled. Many social media users use their platform to call out their colleagues or acquaintances for actions they do not agree with.
Cancel Culture is a controversial phenomena that is utilized to hold celebrities, influencers, and even regular people accountable. At the end of the day people have to choose between two options: holding someone accountable by “cancelling” them or holding someone accountable by educating them.