By Angel Rivera ’22
Cancel Culture is used as an excuse to terrorize and bully people on the internet. In a survey conducted in September of 2020 by The Guardian, people were asked to describe their thoughts on cancel culture and what it meant. One Republican representative answered, “destroying a person’s career or reputation based on past events in which that person participated or past statements that person has made, even if their beliefs or opinions have changed.” Many examples of this have circulated throughout the TikTok community. Social media influencers and entrepreneurs like Jeffree Star, owner of a well-known beauty brand, have been canceled because of a slur he had said over 10 years prior. This resulted in him losing many of his followers and sales of his cosmetics slowing.
Charli D’amelio, a well known TikToker, was canceled after a YouTube video was posted of her eating dinner prepared by a chef with her family and other influencers such as James Charles. During this video she was asked about her follower count and she said, “I wish I had more time because imagine if I hit 100 mil after hitting 1 mil.” James asked, “Was the 95 million not enough?” After this, fans were heated. She received hateful threats and messages encouraging her to hurt herself. Other influencers such as Trisha Paytas began their reign of terror on Charli, all for her comment about followers.
A popular Twitch streamer named Sweet Anita, who is well known for having Tourette’s Syndrome and playing games, was canceled after a video of her was leaked out of context. Anita was pre-recording a stream when she had a tic and out came an offensive slur. This video was then trimmed and edited so it seemed like she had said this regularly. She was then trolled all over the internet and turned into a meme. She lost a lot of her usual pay from her video streams and she received threats of harm to her loved ones, along with threats of leaking her home address. She posted a video explaining what happened, and people slowly calmed down. She now has the fear of being recorded while she has tics on this server and usually mutes her microphone on stream to avoid this incident from happening again.
Some may argue that these people should be held accountable and punished for what they did. They have possibly offended a large group of people. And as influencers who have platforms, they are role models for many people. Influencers should be held accountable no matter how severe the incident. But does this mean we, their followers, get an easy pass to terrorize and ruin someone’s life? We can take away people’s platforms and their voices on the internet, but telling people to hurt themselves isn’t the way to solve these issues. Reforming the way culture is executed should be the solution. Instead of bullying, insulting, and terrorizing, we should silence the videos and output of these people by boycotting their videos and simply blocking them. We all make mistakes, but these people shouldn’t have to go through hell and back to pay for them.