The Destructive Nature of Cancel Culture


A student browses their Instagram feed.

Nael Alzalde

Cancel culture, the online phenomenon of calling out a person of esteem or fame in hopes of taking away that status from them due to whatever act they are being accused of. Gaining popularity around the late 2010s and is especially present in the 2020s. It has gone from a positive way to bring awareness to those that have committed nefarious and atrocious acts despite being in a position of esteem or fame, being loved or adored by many to gaining notoriety for promoting sheep mentality and witch hunting innocent people. So how did it get like this?

As social media has skyrocketed in importance for most people’s daily lives it has led to a growth of power that social media has obtained. From people being able to monetize their art socially, to promoting their music, to creating videos for livelihoods, and so much more that has been able to be achieved through social media there is an eventual power that grows around it. People, especially Americans through their constitutional rights try to shoot down whatever they frame as terrible, and for the longest time it was okay because there was formidable evidence that could be used to deduce whether someone was bad or not. However, it eventually grew from a valid way to expose people for their terrible acts to accusing people just because people had the mentality of assuming those who were accused of something to be guilty before proven innocent.

It has destroyed countless lives and even strips people away of their basic human rights depending on what they are accused of. An example of this would be Overwatch streamer, SVB, was falsely accused of grooming a minor and soliciting inappropriate underaged photos to the accusser herself. This caused a herd to go after him and completely defame his name, dignity, and career. SVB stated in his break response video that, “I watched my career that I had spent four odd years working towards basically go down the drain in about 30 minutes.” It was later revealed by the accuser themselves that this was in fact fake and all of the accusations towards SVB were fabricated in order to prove how easy it is to cancel someone with the current state of cancel culture. This however, caused SVB a lot of turmoil and caused him at the time to go through an indefinite break from creating content or gaming. With SVB having spoken out about the situation from his perspective, “Within five, ten, fifteen minutes I’m watching person after person call me disgusting, a vile animal, a pig, someone that should be extricated from the Overwatch community, a pedophile, a groomer.”

Although SVB has now recovered from the situation, it goes to show how destructive cancel culture has become. Others aside from SVB have also been wrongly accused like Mr. Beast. With cancel culture being deemed as unproductive, not bringing real social change, causing intolerance, and promoting cyberbullying.