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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.