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The Selective Canceling: Why Should We Need To Worry?

The cancellation culture is the constant act of "cancel" people - judge and validate by an error. Undoubtedly, the cancellation effect is more present in the digital space, but this can also occur during face-to-face events.

Due to the political polarization that we currently live in, the words and actions we do are more judged by the public and, if our attitude or opinion runs away from "politically correct", several people will criticize and limit by their point of view. Therefore, your "mark and stamp" will be this mistake and no one else will hear you because anything you say will be invalidated.

There are several examples of people who have suffered the cancellation culture here in Brazil, such as Anitta, who, while defending and supporting the LGBTQ+ carnival blocks in 2019, was accused of taking advantage of the project to be more famous.

We also have Bianca Andrade, a.k.a "Boca Rosa" because of her Youtube channel, who experience cancellation after not having been part of a sorority group and being supportive to the men of the house, in Brazil's Big Brother reality show.

It is not just about women: the actor Arthur Aguiar suffered numerous virtual lynchings for betraying his wife Mayra Cardi several times.

However, the cancellation culture does not only involve the artists present in the media. Because they are exposed all the time, they are obviously more judged, but these cultural boundaries are also close to us: we can be canceled by friends, family or loving partners due to our comments or actions.

But when did this "cancellation culture" start?

The cancellation culture began with a foreign feminist movement in 2017, called #Metoo. It consisted of Hollywood harassment cases on internet exposure, more specifically sexual violence, which was not properly investigated by justice. The film director Harvey Weinstein, for example, received five charges, of which two were tried as guilty, and was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault.

According to what most studies indicate, it was from this event that other mass internet cancellation movements began to emerge.

The selective canceling

Also, we should beware of selective cancellation: why do some people suffer such strong lynchings and others not? The examples above received many hate attacks, while the "Porta dos Fundos", a YouTube channel, which held a sexist humor video against a candidate for mayor, did not. The culprits apologized, but the repercussions on the Internet were not so high. The cancellation culture itself is dangerous, but being selective is even worse.

Culture consequences

According to Renata Busch, psychologist, "the cancellation culture impacts both canceled and canceler. The canceled is put in an isolated place, deprived of any credibility and opinion, directly impacting self-esteem. And the canceler feels empowered and strengthened to be able to annul a people". Still, according to her, the cancellation has been one of the most terrible current situations today.

About the cancellation on the internet, Renata says "in social networks they are more present because of the exhibition. The more exposed, the more available you are to the judgment of right and wrong"

To avoid any measure of cancellation, the psychologist indicates the reflection: “We are all going to make mistakes someday. There are issues that do not need to be so polarized, and we are always changing. The cancellation is nefarious, it does not give you a second chance and for the emotional it is devastating"

Cancellation during the pandemic age

Owing to the COVID-19 quarantine, social detachment is - or at least should be - a reality. Isolated at home, with trade-in restrictions and Lockdown periods, the internet has been a refuge and distraction place for many.

However, the current periods are extremely stressful, therefore these canceling acts are even greater during the pandemic. People are without patience and more intolerant of the errors exposed in social media: one example was the actress Emma Watson during Black Out Tuesday. Many celebrities posted pictures honoring the blackout with a black image, and she was not left out. But many fans did not like the white border that the actress put as an aesthetic staff, and was much criticized for this attitude.

Such an aggressive thing, huh?


The article above was edited by Isabella Gomes. Liked this type of content?

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Amanda Paulilo

Casper Libero '24

Journalism student who seeks to improve her knowledge and write skills
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