Definition Rewrite-Johnwick66

Cancel culture, tool or weapon?

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 table from them. 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 people’s lives do that help make that person better?

Short answer it doesn’t, and its there isn’t an exact group that is targeted either. People don’t only go after the Klansman, or neo Nazis. They’ll target anyone for any reason. Hell you can go from the canceler to the canceled with the snap of your fingers. A perfect example of this was from a NPR podcast called “The callout” a punk Rockstar named Emily. she was a member of a hardcore punk band in Richmond Va. Well one day she received news that her best friend was accused of sending unwelcomed sexual pictures to a woman. Now her friend of course denied these allegations, however Emily didn’t buy it and in an act of social justice took to face book to denounce her ,now ex bestfriend, as an abuser. ” I disown everything he has done. I do not think it’s O.K…I believe women.” Through her “righteous” acts her former friend basically lost everything, kicked from the his band, forced to leave the punk scene, Emily even heard rumors that he was fired, evicted, and forced to move to a new city. In one swift move she destroyed everything that man had for not even the actually doing it but rather the allegation of it. Think of that, a destroyed life over the accusation of a photo, and as his former friend suffered she prospered fronting her own band. But as fate would have it her actions of canceling would come back to haunt her. A few years later she would get exposed for posting an emoji (I shit you not) in a group chat as a response for a indecent picture of a highschool student back when Emily was in highschool, nearly a decade ago. Just as she denounced her friend a few years before people came after her. She was kicked from the punk scene, her friends left her, and she was forced into hiding for months. As for her canceler? He was a man named Herbert who when interviewed described calling her out” a rush of pleasure, like an orgasm.” Then when asked if he cared about what Emily went through after he cold heartily responded” ..I literally do not care about what happens to (her) after the situation. I don’t care if she’s dead, alive, whatever”

Think about that for a second. When someone does something that is deemed unacceptable by society. We take everything from that person, burn them at the stake then leave them buried in the ashes, and for what? The feeling that what was done somehow bettered the world? Or perhaps its the idea of oppressing the oppressors, or maybe, us as society take these interactions as an excuse to dehumanize these individuals since in these situations we are capable of getting away with whatever we say about them since they are at fault for their cancelation. But why do we dehumanize these people? Their people all the same just like you and me. The only difference is that they said or did something not socially accepted. But its through these action we find it acceptable to trash them. But does it make the people who cancel them any better? Especially like in Emily’s situation. She basically stabbed her friend in the back in the name of Social justice only for the same blade to be turned on her. She experienced both sides of the spectrum so tell me does that mean she was ever justified to be the one that destroyed her friends life if it was only a matter of time before spotlight turned to her past discrepancies? The overall answer to all these questions should ironically be another question. What gives us the right to play Judge, Jury, and executioner with people lives?

While true that these canceled people have said or done some really shitty things that are clearly not ok in today’s world, there is really one difference between us and them. They were caught doing their act. To sit here and say that anyone in their life has never said or done something deemed socially unacceptable is frankly bullshit. We as people are prone to screw up, that is what comes with developing as a person. But for a majority of us these incidents aren’t put online, they aren’t exposed to the web for all to see and judge, also its important to note that even though these people messed up, they are still people, with thoughts and dreams, and feelings. For when we ignore these facts we can truly became inhumane in our actions

In January of 2017 a 68 year old women stole a wallet in a shop. Not known to her she was recorded on the shops security cam. To which the film was broadcasted on a crime program. Eventually the women turned herself in but despite that that film was posted onto a media-hosting platform, which then went viral. The followers of the platform went out of there way to harass the women including a public comment section in the paper. Eventually she couldn’t take it anymore and shortly after committed suicide. The incident to say at least “.. exemplify the social harm inflicted by shaming through digital media.” This sadly, yet perfectly shows the horrible problem of cancel culture. That people find it perfectly acceptable to dehumanize someone to the point of death. Then to carry on, not giving a care for the consequences of their decisions. Its through these actions that we become worse than the people we cancel.


Brooks, David . 2019. “The Cruelty of Call-Out Culture.” New York Times, January 14.

Trottier, D. (2018). Coming to terms with shame: Exploring mediated visibility against transgressions. Surveillance & Society, 16(2), 170-182. Retrieved from

The callout. (2018, April 13). Retrieved March 08, 2021, from

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3 Responses to Definition Rewrite-Johnwick66

  1. davidbdale says:

    John Wick, I sense and appreciate the passion here, but not the scholarship. You are tackling your subject as if it were trying to prevent it from running away from you. We understand it well enough that you don’t have to worry about losing it. It’s been captured and handcuffed. Now begins the systematic and sober interrogation of your perpetrator. You’ve already pronounced it guilty, and apparently it has no redeeming qualities. But you might want to step back a bit and consider how it came to be. Surely the surveillance camera wasn’t placed in the store FOR THE PURPOSE OF driving a woman to suicide. Obviously the purpose of the newspaper, and the social media platforms that propagated the story of the wallet theft (and the girlfriend abuse of the earlier story) was not TO ACT AS EXECUTIONER of all its participants’ lives. The question of how they morphed into what they’ve become is worth consideration.

    When Emily shamed her friend for abusing a woman, did she do so in her publicly-recognizable persona? Or did she do so anonymously? Either case would be instructive.

    I couldn’t tell from your post that the story of the wallet came from your one academic source, but I followed the link to “Coming to Terms with Shame” and found some very academic language and an attitude of engaged curiosity about the subject of cancel culture that I expect to see reflected in your later drafts and Portfolio posts.

    For example:

    Shaming in a social context is necessarily assembled, as it depends on a loosely and often spontaneously arranged network of actors to convey denunciation. Digital tools further the expansion of such networks, a development that is of particular concern for surveillance scholars. The notion of the surveillant assemblage underscores the potential for formerly discrete institutions and social actors to share information along with various forms of capital (Haggerty and Ericson 2000).

    That’s interesting. Security companies and agencies, police body cams, or simply businesses with surveillance cameras used to treat the materials they gathered as “for personal use” or “for internal use” in conducting investigations. The new development is that they find their way now into the public sphere, where the “social media mob” can jump to conclusions and act as executioners without a full hearing.

    Through increased mediated scrutiny of all facets of both public life and personal conduct, we may consider how shaming mobilises such morphologies and even serves as a moral justification in order to facilitate information sharing and socially harmful visibility. Shame is manifest as a form of cultural violence (cf. Galtung 1990), at times implicitly or explicitly endorsed but also operating beyond the remit of the state.

    Also very interesting (minus the nonsense about morphologies). Our personal lives have become much more public, and the supposed moral GOOD of shaming motivates good people to share what they think they know, whatever the cost to the unproven guilty. Shame is CULTURAL VIOLENCE. Society tacitly endorses it as a way to control behavior, but so far there appear to be no legal consequences for the shamers, even when their actions result in DIRE CONSEQUENCES for people who may have DONE NO WRONG. Your Emily caught some karma, but only by accident. Nobody held her accountable the way she held her former friend accountable.

    Likewise, many examples covered in this paper also operate in excess of traditional press due to the proliferation and uptake of digital media devices and platforms. The relation between states, public broadcasters, private entities such as social media platforms, and citizens is an overarching concern in this area, yet without formal strategies or mechanisms, many individuals and organisations by default leak and circulate personal details, especially in cases where a target’s alleged actions invoke feelings of outrage or disgust.

    Also interesting. We haven’t yet as a culture had the conversation about the proliferation of media WAY beyond the usually responsible traditional mainstream news sources. For example, the institutional press would withhold the names of minors involved in a crime (even the victims) as a way to protect them from public scrutiny. That shield has now been broken. Once a single social media source leaks a detail, the public is free to run with it, take it from context, share just the inflammatory or despicable snippets of audio and video, and tag the person that would have been protected from uninformed scrutiny in a less-saturated media age.

    Do you see what I’m getting at? You’ve selected an immensely rich topic and settled on a thoughtful and informed source to guide your thinking. Don’t now settle for a blog rant as your contribution to the conversation.

    I mentioned to you after class that I had with misgivings permitted the inclusion of a blunt swear word in a former student’s blog post arguments. Maybe you took that as encouragement to juice your own jargon. If so, I regret misguiding you. The word I sanctioned was the ACTUAL CONTENT of my former student’s Hypothesis. Your use of shits and giggles and the other overly informal language doesn’t serve your rhetorical needs here. You’re the authoritative voice on a subject with life and death consequences. Be more responsible than the mob you’re pillorying.

    Delete paragraph three, John Wick, and while you’re cutting it, recognize how little it contributes to a thoughtful examination of your topic that hasn’t been said in other paragraphs.

    The passion and moral concern that are driving your language are admirable and very valuable. Don’t lose them. But do maximize the value of the sources you find to make the most intelligent arguments you can support with logic, evidence, and reason.

    Feedback, revisions, and regrades all take place here on this post. When you’ve made substantial changes, submit for a regrade as many times as needed to achieve the result you want.

    Liked by 1 person

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