culture

How ‘cancel culture’ quickly became one of the buzziest and most controversial ideas on the internet

origins of cancel culture 2x1
origins of cancel culture 2×1

Samantha Lee/Insider

  • “Cancel culture,” or the idea that people too often pile onto others for bad behavior, emerged only in the past few years but has become a ubiquitous phrase among English speakers.

  • President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump have both criticized a culture of relentlessly calling people out for alleged wrongdoing. In an address at Mount Rushmore last month, Trump said it was “the very definition of totalitarianism.”

  • As social-media users decry cancel culture and poke fun at the criticism itself, the phrase has come to describe a wide variety of behaviors and their consequences.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In a congressional antitrust hearing on July 29, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio had a specific question for Apple CEO Tim Cook.

“Mr. Cook,” Jordan said, “is the ‘cancel culture’ mob dangerous?”

“Cancel culture,” which President Donald Trump last month called

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Is ‘cancel culture’ really a threat to free speech?

“The 360” shows you diverse perspectives on the day’s top stories and debates.

What’s happening

The phrase “Twitter, do your thing” can set off a potentially powerful series of events in what has become a repeated online phenomenon: A person or brand does something considered offensive or problematic, a social media user posts about it and the incident snowballs across the internet, allowing countless people to put pressure on a person or organization until that entity is “canceled.”

The idea of “cancel culture” — first coined by Black Twitter users — dates back to 2015 and began as a means of calling out friends or acquaintances. Since then it has evolved to targeting the powerful, sometimes with highly effective results (for example, the #MeToo movement and #OscarsSoWhite campaign). Public shaming is in no way new, but the internet has made the process of “canceling” even more potent and widespread.

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Has Twitter’s cancel culture gone too far?

The latest celebrity to enter the social discourse surrounding online cancellation: Nick Cannon.

The comedian’s name trended on Twitter Wednesday after he was fired by ViacomCBS over “hateful speech.” The news added fuel to the debate over whether holding celebrities accountable for their opinions has gone too far.

Some argued that the host of “Wild ‘n Out,” which airs on VH1 and MTV, should be “canceled,” which often entails boycotting a famous person’s work. Others questioned: “What happened to Freedom of Speech?

Twitter has become a powerful court of public opinion and “cancel culture” plays a role. The phenomenon occurs when people get upset about something that a company or person has done or something they have said. It also can be divisive with opposers saying threats of cancellation stifles free speech.

Getting “canceled” can mean being removed in many ways. In recent weeks, episodes of “Live PD”

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Examining the racist roots of fat phobia and diet culture

When it comes to diet culture, not all bodies — and races — are treated equally.

In fact, because of the racist origins of fat phobia, Black men and women have been at a disadvantage for centuries, Sabrina Strings, an associate professor of sociology at the University of California at Irvine and the author of “Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia,” explains to In The Know.

“By the middle of the 18th century, because of the fact that the main mechanism for separating ‘free’ from ‘slave’ — which had been skin color — was no longer an effective sorting mechanism, they started to identify new ‘traits’ of inferior and superior people,” says Strings. Their conclusion, she explains, was that “inferior races have no self-control … because of how interested they are in sex and food. This was really the beginning of linking what was considered an

Read More

Unpacking the racist roots of fat phobia and diet culture

When it comes to diet culture, not all bodies — and races — are treated equally.

In fact, because of the racist origins of fat phobia, Black men and women have been at a disadvantage for centuries, Sabrina Strings, an associate professor of sociology at the University of California at Irvine and the author of “Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia,” explains to In The Know.

“By the middle of the 18th century, because of the fact that the main mechanism for separating ‘free’ from ‘slave’ — which had been skin color — was no longer an effective sorting mechanism, they started to identify new ‘traits’ of inferior and superior people,” says Strings. Their conclusion, she explains, was that “inferior races have no self-control … because of how interested they are in sex and food. This was really the beginning of linking what was considered an

Read More