White Paper- Johnwick66

1.Cancel cultures attempts to stop racism only further cement racial views in the people they target by crushing their futures in the name of social justice rather than try to educate them on the wrong doings of their actions , thus leaving behind in its wake a sea of destroyed lives with their racist thoughts now expanding rapidly since they are the only things left for them to cling to.

1a. Cancel cultures attempts to stop racism, while progressive in its results need heavy adjustments in their aftermaths, while these actions do allow for change to occur, the victimizers that are canceled need to be allowed to eventually reenter society with them being cancelled used as learning tool for them. By simply leaving them in the dust with nothing but their racist thoughts will lead to those thoughts expanding since they are the only things left for them to hold onto.

1b.Cancel cultures attempts to stop predijuice (racism, sexism, homophobia) only further cement those awful views in the people they target by crushing their futures in the name of social justice rather than try to educate them on the wrong doings of their actions , thus leaving behind in its wake a sea of destroyed lives with their radical thoughts now expanding rapidly since they are the only things left for them to cling to.

Note to self: make adjustment to hypothesis to include hate speech overall not just racism


Source 1: Brooks, David . 2019. “The Cruelty of Call-Out Culture.” New York Times, January 14. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/14/opinion/call-out-social-justice.html.

Background: The author of the article recalls a podcast that told the story of Emily, a member of a hard core punk band and how she basically disowned her bestfriend after an accusation was made about him. Only for her a few years later have the same scenario happen to her and she lost everything. Then how her accuser relishes in her pain and doesn’t care what happens to her next. The author then goes on to say how through these incidents society stops looking at these people like humans and more like the embodiments of good vs evil.

I find it counterintuitive how cancel culture is regarded as a way to push forth social justice and rights of the people, yet at the same time dehumanizes its victimizers. How just because of something we said(even if its messed up to say)automatically means that you should be stripped of everything you ever wanted/ had is, to say the least, quite extreme. Emily, the member of the hard-core punk band, was, through her own actions, made a unquie example from both sides of the fence. It was through her actions that her best friend(who at the time was accused of sending unwelcomed sexual photos) had his life basically ruined. He was forced to leave the punk scene, apparently lost his job, and has been living on hard times since. She did what she thought was right in regards to fighting for social justice. Yet the irony unfolds a mere few months later when Emily herself gets canceled for something she posted years ago. Then everything that she threw onto her ex friend now fell upon her. Even the dehumanization of her as a person, all because for a message she sent years ago.

Note to self: investigate the podcast behind the article: (NPR’s Invisibilia series ” The Callout”)

Source 2:“What is the cost of ‘cancel culture’?”BBC News. 2020-10-08. Retrieved 2021-01-06

Background: The article first covers the actions of Mr.Paulinich, a social media activist that regularly posts videos of people saying predijuce things in an attempt to cancel them. His account is gaining followers as more people come together in support. Then the article goes on discussing what cancel culture is and the effects of it on not only people, but companies and brands alike(aunt Jemima, Uncle Bens, Land o Lakes). Then finishes the article by discussing how the targets need to be able to make amends for their actions.

I find it counterintuitive how when they discuss when the cancelations of different people/ products the people who cancel those them act as if what they did really brought change in terms from the person they cancel. Like when Goya was cancelled for their chief executive praising former President Trump, do you honestly think cancelling them will change that man views on Trump. Or like how when people get exposed and cancelled online for the things they said, even if what they did was wrong, is destroying their life the best way to go? Especially if after their messed up remarks are going to be the only thing they have left. The idea that the canceled can’t make amends for their mistakes doesn’t feel accepting but rather authoritative.

Source 3 .Huffman, E. M. (2016). Call-out culture: How online shaming affects social media participation in young adults (Order No. 10120833). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1795577817). Retrieved from http://ezproxy.rowan.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.proquest.com%2Fdissertations-theses%2Fcall-out-culture-how-online-shaming-affects%2Fdocview%2F1795577817%2Fse-2%3Faccountid%3D13605

Link:Call-out culture: How online shaming affects social media participation in young adults – ProQuest (rowan.edu)

The text is about call out culture and how online shaming affects young adults and how the participate in social media. Social media is filled with lurkers. (People who use social media but don’t post on it) about 90% of social media users are lurkers. The paper then went into detail how shaming has been used by humans dating back to the creation of the bible. This document is around 61 pages long so I still have quite a bit to read through.

I find it counterintuitive how social media is made as a platform for people to find their voice, however only about 10% of it’s users actually post on these sites. The remaining 90% (also know as lurkers) specifically only follow the guideline of look don’t touch. It’s hypothesized that the reason most people follow this rule is due to how frequently people get publicly shamed on these platforms due to things they either say or post.

Source 4: Trottier, D. (2018). Coming to terms with shame: Exploring mediated visibility against transgressions. Surveillance & Society, 16(2), 170-182. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.rowan.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.proquest.com%2Fscholarly-journals%2Fcoming-terms-with-shame-exploring-mediated%2Fdocview%2F2138979618%2Fse-2%3Faccountid%3D13605

Link: Coming to Terms with Shame: Exploring Mediated Visibility against Transgressions – Criminal Justice Database – ProQuest (rowan.edu)

The text is a “report” on public shaming and its creation, use in todays society, what exactly it is and if we overstep our boundaries with it. It also covers and distinguishes the differences between social/public shaming and shaming in a parent/child relationship and how they aren’t similar and that through today’s social media the shaming of our “transgressors” is out of proportion to the actions committed.

I find it counterintuitive how people will take to social media publicly in order to shame others for their actions, but then at the same time dehumanize the person at question in order to feel justified in their treatment of the transgressors. Even most state governments believe these actions are an unnecessary overreach of public punishment and try to go out of their way to try to minimize shame and shaming’s.

Source 5: Aitchison, G., & Meckled-Garcia, S. (2021). Against Online Public Shaming: Ethical Problems with Mass Social Media. Social Theory & Practice47(1), 1–31. https://doi-org.ezproxy.rowan.edu/10.5840/soctheorpract20201117109

Link: Against Online Public Shaming: Ethical Problems with Mass Social Media: EBSCOhost (rowan.edu)

Based off what I’ve read so far, the article covers how the mass online gatherings of people who desire to ruin the life of someone that did or said something they didn’t agree with and how even though the people who said/did the thing may be wrong in what they did, that doesn’t make it justifiable in how their lives are basically ended by these crowds.( Still reading through it, its about 32 pages. So I’ll more as I continue to read through.)

I find it counterintuitive how people find it so necessary to destroy peoples lives for saying things that they don’t agree with and reducing them to simply unworthy characteristics and and personalities that are then stripped of certain human relationships. Only to then talk how we as people must be more kind and accepting to one another. How can you go from one state of mind to another so rapidly?


Definition/classification Arguement”

Cancel culture, possibly one of if not the biggest miss use of social media. Where people lives can be terminated in a matter of minutes. With the rise of social media, the world is more connected than ever, people from all over capable of communicating as if the other person is simply across the street. Along with this kind of tech comes a new profound power. The ability to cancel(a form of shaming) anyone for saying/doing something the public doesn’t agree with. With this kind of power the people could use it for good in order to help bring change. But instead we use it to burn normal people’s lives for nothing more than shits and giggles. Instead of bringing change like we could we’d rather destroy the lives of relatively innocent people for what, social justice? Please tell me what does the destruction of peoples lives do that help make that person better in terms of predejuice ? It doesn’t, if anything it makes it worse by now basically forcing those people to hug onto their bad remarks/actions since they’d be the only thing left for them.


It’s this weird common idea that we make the world a better place by cancelling people who say and do awfully predejuce things. That by destroying their lives in terms of their job, friends, and family, we somehow benefit society. Honestly though it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Through these actions we only deepen the thoughts these people have in regards to race, sexism, homophobia, etc by giving them a scape goat in terms of why they are in that situation. especially since after these people are publicly shamed they are left behind, they aren’t allowed to have any kind of redemption for their actions. But rather its like they are locked into this scenario that they are these dehumanized pieces of garbage that no one cares for anymore. What do expect to happen to these people when they are stripped of everything except their remarks with no real chance to right their wrong? Simple, they embrace the only thing they are known for and make it apart of them. This can be seen with the man known gypsy crusader(look for documents on him in order to help my case)


Not everyone who gets canceled loses everything. look at celebrities like Morgan Wallen, who are doing fine after their incident.

True, their are certain scenarios where people may recover and be fine following them being cancelled but these are one rare and two typically only happen for celebrities, political figures, and the rich. However the same cannot be said for the common folk, we don’t have money or power to make these kind of situations go away. If some random citizen were to get cancel tomorrow, they wouldn’t be able to protect themselves from the rather large backlash that would be bound to come for them.

5. Current status on my research:

I’m going to be very frank about it, I’m having trouble in terms of my research. Cause the information I find in regards to my topic don’t really cover it. Plus most of it is more opinionated than factual which I find troublesome in terms of finding decent sources. Also I feel as if I need to work on my topics for smaller papers more. I know I’ll need to expand on them more but I’m not sure if they are in the direction I want them to be in.

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