Cancel Culture: A Systemic Explanation

European Straights, 2020-07-27

This snippet looks into the Cancel Culture issue without taking sides.

  • Def: Cancel Culturethe removal of support (i.e. boycotting or refusal to promote their work) for public figures in response to their objectionable behavior or opinions.

  • [MK] needless to say, the keyword is “objectionable”, which means different things to different people.

Status Seeking

  • Most humans are in search of status, and attacking a personality subjectively raises this status.

  • Social media’s echo chamber [thanks to Facebook, Twitter, etc.] amplifies the perceived support of the attacking position.

One Against the Crowd

  • Best conflict resolution is getting 1:1 with the most fierce attacker and finding common ground.

  • Not possible in social media (anonymity, too many attackers).

  • Personalities routinely address audiences larger than they can handle ignoring the fact that it’s no longer a one-to-many communication.

  • Or personalities can double down on their positions, enlist supporters and rage an all-out war with attackers. Force against force.

  • … or play victim (rightly or not), attacking their attackers from the side.

  • [MK] And, of course, the dichotomy is that the person whose position you respect and who can attack you the hardest are often two different people.