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What is Cancel Culture?

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

Cancel culture-- or call-out culture-- may sound familiar, especially as of late. You may have heard it on Twitter, Tiktok, Youtube, etc., but what does “cancelling” mean?

Why did we start doing it to other people?

according to, cancel culture is: “the popular practice of

withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures and companies after

they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive.”

To “cancel”, at its core, is to get rid of something that is no longer wanted or needed. Think of a subscription to a newsletter you never read, or satellite television (because, really, who needs that when you have Netflix?). If it’s not working, bad, or you just don’t need it: it’s time to cancel.

Lately, it’s become slang to relate more to a person than something inanimate.

Most cancel culture centers around people in positions of power or celebrity status. A rogue tweet, an offhand comment on a talk show or during a debate could cause public backlash and, ultimately, the downfall of a career. And with the age of social media, it doesn’t take long for a mob mentality to begin.

But is it all bad? Are we charging a harmless monster with our pitchforks sharpened, yelling and screaming? Or are we tired of people getting away with certain nasty things over and over again? Are we just finally ready to start holding people accountable for their actions? What about holding yourself accountable for the way to handle yourself when someone says something you don't like or don't agree with?

Cancelling someone walks a fine line between those sides. Are people bothered by too many things? Or have we begun to notice injustices we were once blind to? The controversy around it begins when those lines blur.

Some people see cancel culture as a key piece in fighting for social justice. To be able to boycott someone over their actions, especially when those actions are judged to be detrimental to another group of people, is equated to giving the average joe some power back. It shows that yes, just like we learned as children, your actions do have consequences. But who is implementing those consequences and why are we so quick to judge people? Why do we think that our way is the "right" way?

What about those at the receiving end of the “cancelling”?

Based on the current societal forces and actual events, it is fair to argue that cancel culture is simply mob mentality at play-- ruining their right to freedom of speech. So, what if someone said something years ago that upset someone or some group of people? Does it matter if that person has changed? Apologized? Should we even expect and apology?

The lines become blurry and messy. There is no explanation, no grace and no compromise. Extremists take it to the next level on both sides and you’re left wondering if anyone even comes out for the better. Even worse, there is so much time focused on what someone said or even "implied" that important issues are left behind.

Sadly, Z Form has joined the cancelled. A couple of weeks ago, our ad campaign was "restricted from advertising because of inauthentic behavior or violations of our Advertising Policies or Community Standards." At least that is what Facebook said. The even more frustrating part is that after requesting a review and explanation for their restriction, they never gave it to us. Help Z Form affirm its main focus: true human connection by fostering self-awareness, accountability and open communication. Just like Jack, Z Form will not let the mobs define its meaning or purpose...

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