Nathan Fulgado -
Social media has churned out a variety of trends, each as dynamic and game-changing as the previous ones. From the Arab Spring, where social media played a pivotal role in the organisations of protests and demonstrations in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain, which led to the deposition of rulers like Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi, to the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements. These prove that social media is beyond selfies and ‘TikTok’ dances, but has played a crucial role in changing social norms, and broadening peoples’ thought processes. It forces people to be open-minded and be accepting of the unconventional. The most recent trend-turned-social movement is the phenomenon of #CancelCulture. This term was prompted by conversations pertaining to the #MeToo movement, which encouraged women to speak out about sexual harassment or abuse at the workplace. From female celebrities and female athletes, to common housewives, women from all backgrounds were speaking out about their experiences as a victim of sexual harassment. While the prior movement encouraged women to speak up, the latter encouraged people to sever their relationship with the person or celebrity accused, to put it in simple words- cancel them. From American rapper R Kelly (on accounts of sexual misconduct) and the King of Pop, Michael Jackson (child molestation), to Bollywood celebrities like Karan Johar and Salman Khan, no one has been able to escape the effects of #CancelCulture. But what is this phenomenon supposed to be in the first place? #CancelCulture is the newest and most effective technique of a concept known as ‘online shaming’.