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Bullying Cyberbullying

Cancelling Cancel Culture: Ending the Toxic Pile-On

Cancel culture is part of life online today. We can generally expect a new person who is living in the public eye to be “cancelled” based on comments or actions, often from many many years ago. Whilst we are never saying that racism, ableism, sexism, homophobia or transphobia has any place in our society today, the nature of cancel culture completely goes against any notion that humans deserve second chances, and forgiveness for previous mistakes. 

Why do we want to end cancel culture? 

We don’t think cancel culture is a healthy way to react to the most basic of human actions; making a mistake. It has proven to have a devastating effect on the careers, lives and mental health on those that are subjected to a constant aggressive tirade of online abuse every single day. Some more of the consequences can and have included;

  • Serious mental health issues such as self-harm and suicide
  • Anxiety, depression and PTSD
  • Physical illnesses related to stress and anxiety
  • Perpetrator regret – this can be severe in the wake of a serious mental health issue in a victim of cancel culture 
  • Perpetrator prosecution, or social media ban. 

So, we don’t want this to continue. But what can we do to end it when it is such a prevalent part of life online? 

What can be done to stop it? 

  1. Don’t be too quick to judge 
  2. Don’t take part in the abuse
  3. Report online abuse to the social media platform
  4. You can also report abuse to us, and we will get it removed 
  5. If it is a friend going through it, be there for them 
  6. If it is you, make sure you talk to someone

Now we aren’t saying there are some circumstances where ending support for someone isn’t justified. Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Eptstein, Michael Jackson, Kevin Spacey. All are examples of people where mistakes are so severe and repeated that supporting them is no longer morally justifiable. So, perhaps one of the most important lessons we can all learn from cancel culture is to use our common sense. Ask yourself these things; 

Does someone deserve your support? 

  • Have they significantly physically, mentally or emotionally hurt someone, or a group of people? 
  • Was this over a sustained period of time? 
  • Are they not visibly or openly sorry for what they have done? 
  • Have they been convicted in a court of law of a crime or several crimes as a result? 

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then support online or otherwise is probably not something that you or anyone else is likely to offer. 

So what does all this mean for you?

The thing is, you probably won’t have to deal with being cancelled in the way that people in the public eye have to. But just because it’s an issue that might not affect you directly, it doesn’t mean that you should still take part in online abuse. Speaking up about online abuse you are on the receiving end of, or witnessing online, is the only way it can come to and end.

If you want to know more, check out our dedicated bullying hub.

If you feel at any time you need support, go to our community now.

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