Screams a child, I WON’T TALK WITH YOU!! What’s the reason? Something as trivial as his mother saying chocolates are bad for teeth. This childishness and infantilism is seen by everywhere. But, what happens when a person doesn’t grow up and acts exactly the same way an infant acts, screaming at the top of his lungs, MY TRUTH IS THE ONLY TRUTH AND I WON’T TOLERATE ANYONE CRITICISING IT!!

Well, look around. It’s happening. And with the mainstreaming of social media, this has gone to epic proportions – what we call Cancel Culture. Cancel an opinion which you don’t like. Nah!! Not just cancel an opinion. Let’s cancel out the person. It’s not as if this didn’t exist before. Damnatio Memoriae is as old as history. But, what makes the current round of damnation different? Two fundamental aspects – authority and veracity. Is the claim true or false, it doesn’t matter. It can be anybody and everybody who can launch this campaign. In a world where everything is just a Google Search away, it becomes even more disastrous to the concept of individual freedom.

Ian Buruma, the Editor of New York Review of Books had to resign because one of the articles was written by Jian Ghomeshi, a #MeToo accused. Says Buruma,

I think nobody has quite figured out what should happen in cases like his, where you have been legally acquitted but you are still judged as undesirable in public opinion, and how far that should go, how long that should last.

Fred Bauer tries to define Cancel Culture –

Because “cancel culture” is an emergent phenomenon, it is hard to create a comprehensive taxonomy of it, but its distinctive elements seem to involve some combination of the following: the destruction of art that either is problematic or whose creators have believed or said something problematic; rendering unemployable those who have believed or said something problematic, especially on social media; the de-platforming of problematic individuals; and participating in a crusade to “cancel” either problematic art or individuals (that is, calling for “cancellation” as cultural participation).

“Cancel culture” is in part about enforcing a set of cultural values (an enterprise not unique to that movement), and it often does so through social-media pressure, which is sometimes aided and abetted by major media institutions. 

In no mean words, Bauer puts that it’s not cancelling the piece of offending art but the artist himself – cancelling the author not because his views are offending, but his views are offending to a certain section. American President Donald Trump himself says,

Twitter is sending out totally false “Trends” that have absolutely nothing to do with what is really trending in the world. They make it up, and only negative “stuff”. Same thing will happen to Twitter as is happening to @FoxNews daytime. Also, big Conservative discrimination!

The below set of tweets clearly explain the problem. Twitter can be an authority and can impose it’s own bias on it’s audience.

But, the same can be done by any two penny nobody like the one below and it still works. A quick look at the profile of the person tweeting the stuff below clearly tells he is a nobody. And he is equally capable to launch a shame storm. And we don’t know how those hundreds who were hounded during those days are faring now.

Back to Cancel Culture. How do you enforce it? By cancelling out the person himself. You build a case, marshal recruits and launch a shame storm. It’s nothing but exhibition of raw power and forcing your target to cower in fear.

Everyone comes up with a principled-sounding pretext that serves as a barrier against admitting to themselves that, in fact, all they have really done is joined a mob. Once that barrier is erected, all rules of decency go out the window, but the pretext is almost always a lie.

Now, what’s the rationale behind this? It makes a nobody a celebrity, it can be used to destroy enemies, strengthens social bonds and gives instant returns and it rejects the Right to Privacy of your target.

Censoring and public dressing is good, if your views are abhorrent. But, if those views result in destruction of lives? This immediately reminds one of the case of Atul Kochhar, a respected chef who was sacked because someone sitting in a different country was offended of his views and complained to his employer. Why is this still relevant?

For two reasons – It’s nearing three years the tweet was made and the tweet still exists. His unconditional apology wasn’t enough to satiate the baying crowd.

Another case is that of a certain Geoffrey Weglarz whose career was destroyed and died almost destitute years after he was forced to change his name and flee the place. His crime? Throwing a wrong order at a Burger joint on the waiter, who, incidentally turned out to be pregnant. He was acquitted from charges of misconduct but the reality? The incident and his arrest was the first hit whenever you search his name. That criminal record effectively destroyed his already flagging career.

In a polarized world where the words of People with Female Gender Identities take precedence over that of women on a topic concerning women, and in a world where victimhood is a virtue and not a shame, this ultimately leads one to question the concept of Cancel Culture, now that it has become an epidemic – infantile shutting down on one side and accusing a person and a trivial complaint unconcerned about the consequences makes one wonder how exactly this should be fixed, especially when we are seeing a continued weaponization of this. Remember what Communist Manifesto says “Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels”. We don’t want to be in a situation where every individual should have a Stasi-eque fear of not knowing who is a spy and what act of him will lead to the guillotine.


  1. Shame Storm – Helen Andrews
  2. Cancel Culture Impoverishes Both The Heart and The Intellect – Fred Bauer

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