cancel culture is genuinely….so toxic. it has come so far beyond “this person has made an irreparable mistake” to become “cancelling” people for anything the audience deems appropriate.
people will pull up tweets from 10+ years ago, when times and society and what was politically correct was completely and utterly different, when the person in question was young and ill informed, and will start “exposing” them for it, tearing down their platforms and crying out for them to be taken off of social media.
it’s…incredibly sick, and toxic, and horrible. it creates a narrative where people are not allowed to learn, and grow, and change, and mature. and that’s a giant part of being human. getting older and learning and educating yourself on how to be better and handle yourself with more grace. people should be allowed the chance to apologize and genuinely grow and move on, not just be torn down.
cancel culture needs to stop being such an accepted part of social media. allow people to grow and change.
**small disclaimer that this does not include Sh*ne D*wson or people of that nature, who have made the same mistakes for decades despite being educated gently multiple times and growing up and having a full understanding of the current climate and continue to do the same toxic, not okay things. different category**
“cancel culture isnt real and doesnt hurt people”
cancel culture doesnt hurt cis, straight, white, neurotypical, RICH people due to their privileges shielding them
we experience less empathy for marginalized people. we don’t trust them, accept them, or forgive them as easily.
cancel/callout culture IS used against minorities ALL THE TIME to strip them of their livelihoods and reputation, which they find harder to regain. we always forget whatever fiasco a famous actor had a year ago, but once an ugly rumor circulates about a marginalized small-time content creator, it can literally cost them their projects/commissions/gigs/customers, whether it was correct or not, BECAUSE we are subconsciously more distrusting of minorities
this is an issue of class and privilege, and it IS being actively, intentionally utilized by the far-right to make left-leaning communities kick out their most vulnerable members
So as I’m apparently in A Mood Today, let’s talk about callout culture and fucking drama a little. Via a story.
So once upon a time I followed a person on here. They posted about stuff I had an interest in. And every once in a while they would go all manic about something that pissed them off. Something someone said on the internet that was Wrong about their favorite topic. And sometimes I read these rants, amused, and decided to avoid the person they were talking about. And sometimes I just ignored them. Sometimes they got annoying when it was post after post about the same damn thing.. You know how it goes, the Tumblr posts of “…and ANoTHeR ThInG…”
And then one day, the rant of the day was about….me.
Someone on the internet, they wrote, had recommended at Thing That They Liked and in so doing had compared it to a Thing That They Didn’t Like. And it was like 1-2K about how idiotic the comparison was and how inexperienced you had to be in the genre to even make that comparison, and how it was borderline homophobic and emblematic of everything that was wrong with….fuck I don’t know.
So I read this, bemused, going…is this about me? It has to be about me, right? I did that. Could someone else have made that same comparison? Maybe…but no, pretty sure this is About Me.
So I commented. Yeah, that was me, I said. I wrote that in a post three years ago. I was trying to get my followers, who are fans of That Thing You Hate, since that’s the fandom I was in and the main topic of my blog, to consume this Piece Of Media You Like by making comparisons between them. I was trying to encourage people to support this indie creator and expose them to new art. Uh, sorry?
And I got a private apology and they took down the post, which, you know, good. I just sorta went okay and kept following them. But then I couldn’t react the same to their one-sided rants about How Wrong Other People Were anymore. Because I’d seen the people reflexively agreeing on their post about me, without any of the context that made the central OMG Wrong Thing make sense.
And finally this person went on a multi-day rant about someone else, a creator who I happen to know from a fandom. They were complaining about how terrible their work was, how offensive because of this one small aspect of it. An aspect that they found horribly objectionable because it reminded them of their own past abuser.
And you know, I didn’t have that reaction to the work. I didn’t see the horribly offensive flaw. I mean, I saw a character who did bad things, but I didn’t see that it completely morally compromised the whole work, the creator, and everything they would ever produce ever.
So I stopped following this person, because it wasn’t contributing to my enjoyment of the internet anymore.
But I was thinking about them today. Not only the way they took my own post out of context and made it a Whole Moral Deal, but the way they were personally triggered by a work of art due to their specific life history and then used that to label the work and the author Objectionable.
When a mun out and says “I support callout culture” in their rules, no matter how they excuse or qualify it, that’s a good sign to run in the other direction.
So you wanna hear a funny story?
I signed up for something called Banned Together Bingo, which was a Bingo-card style collection of fic prompts. The whole point of the thing was to write things that are challenging, potentially offensive/triggering, dark, etc. I got my prompts and was ready to write some prompt-ficlets to add to the AO3 collection (it was open to all fandoms).
Well, didn’t I get an email within two weeks of the thing starting that said the moderators were going to cancel it because they were called out by people for creating offensive prompts. In a collection designed to challenge boundaries. In a collection that was very upfront from Jump Street about its focus on writing outre works.
I laughed. It’s such a tumblr thing to happen.
Just wish I’d copied out my prompts before they deleted them from existence; I can always use a little goose to get the creativity flowing.
Adults on social media have created a sphere in which it’s become perfectly justifiable, in their minds, to insult and attack a child because that child got involved in heavy topics that they do not fully understand, or has weird, skewed ideas on a topic, or has said offensive things. And yes! Kids and teens need to be taught when they’ve said or done something wrong! But holy fucking shit, there’s a wrong and a right way to dish out those consequences, and the fact so many grown adults on social media struggle to get this through their heads is really, really fucking disturbing.
You can say all you like that you care about children, cool, the vast majority of the world cares about children. They care about the ‘good’ children. What judges whether or not you really, truly care about children is how you react to them when they make mistakes or make mistakes or hurt others. Public verbal and emotional abuse, or gentle education and a firm but fair way of saying ‘you’ve done something wrong, here’s some suggestions on how you can apologize’. It’s your call as the adult, and I can’t stop you from having a go at a kid on the internet if you’ve convinced yourself they deserve it, but how you react will make me judge whether or not you can be trusted around any child in the future.
There are many adults on social media who have convinced themselves that they’re good, that they’re in the right, that they are just so caring to children! When it actuality they’re just serial child abusers, and getting away with it because they’re yelling at a random kid through a screen rather on the street. It’s still child abuse even if you’ve convinced yourself the child deserved it.
This will probably make some people mad but whenever you guys see a call out post on someone, I am BEGGING you to do your own research as well. Especially if anything in the call out post you first saw looked suspicious at all
The thing about those who are so completely and utterly dyed-in-the-wool about anything is that they will never hesitate to just drag your ass without even bothering to read between the lines first.
I don’t care how much you wail. If you side with or defend serial bullies who are yet again in the process of driving someone out of the RPC with callouts and hatemail, I want nothing to do with you. Not sorry.
I mean I think the main issue I run into with most people is they develop this… Jiminy Cricket complex where they need to police the level of problematicity (as if I haven’t the capacity to have observed the issues they’re bringing up on my own, just because, what, I didn’t mention Everything about the subject Right at the time I started talking about it?) And it’s like, You do realize you’re taking All of the reins For me, right? Idk what it is about me that gives off the impression that I must be guided like a child around my micro-errors. Taking the wind out of someone’s sails might not be worth the Social Justice Points you’re shooting for as much as you think it is, m8. Was I getting too passionate about The Thing? Should I stop opening my mouth about my interests? Seems a little unhealthy but I might give it a go… Living on Tumblr will really Do Things to you if you’re not careful, huh?
if someone says something problematic or makes a mistake (eg mistagging something/missing out an important content warning), a private conversation is far more productive than targeted harassment or a callout. it’s more likely to make someone realise that what they said wasn’t great and make them retract the statement rather than getting defensive when someone calls them a terrible person over it.
I see, and agree with, your “you don’t have to defend your faves all the time you can acknowledge when they mess up” and raise you a “one fuck up does not an irredeemable monster make”
callout culture is like hand sanitizer. it works 99.9% of the time.
Public posts about someone’s behavior are for bystanders, not the subject. A post warning members of group Y that they should probably block user X because X has a pattern of harassing Ys helps them stay safe, even though it is very unlikely to result in X changing their behavior. A post about X making a joke about Ys that is based on negative stereotypes exposes Ys to potentially triggering content without reducing the likelihood that X will do something similar in the future. This is especially true if the post encourages bystanders to isolate X with the threat that those who don’t will be labeled as Y-haters.
If I think that someone is likely to respond well to constructive criticism about a post , I message them directly so that they have the opportunity to understand my perspective and change their behavior without being publicly shamed. The only “callout” posts I reblog without commentary are those that are aimed to help the reader stay safe.
The history of moral philosophy and ethics has been dated back to ancient greece and you people on here really want to say that they know who is a Good Person and who is a Bad Person based off a text post about someone they have never met?
But go off