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How do we think about cancel culture?
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Cancel culture represents a crisis where free speech is silenced

Cancel culture targets people who express contrary opinions. This directly opposes the ideal that everyone is entitled to freedom of expression, and turns those with unpopular opinions into outcasts.

The Argument

Modern society relies on freedom of expression. The diversity of opinions informs our politics, culture, and society. Unfortunately, cancel culture threatens to stifle this freedom. The fear it creates stifles people's freedom to express themselves. The growth of cancel culture goes hand in hand with the shrinking of free expression. Where it once existed to shut down extremism or ideas that incited dangerous behaviors, it now exists in the mainstream. It has become a form of "viewpoint discrimination" in which those who really suffer at its hands are ordinary people. As a result, the general population fears to express themselves, and they stay silent in order to protect themselves. The research backs this up. A 2018 McLaughlin and Associates poll revealed that 54% of American undergraduates felt too intimidated to share their opinions, for fear of being cancelled. This was a 9% increase from the year before. It is transforming the way that the individual perceives and expresses agency within a society, and encouraging a monoculture of opinion.

Counter arguments

Do half of American undergraduates exhibit some kind of hatred toward minorities, or have buried histories of sexual offenses? Because that's the only reason they need to be afraid to speak their minds. If they don't, they ought to feel free to participate in society. But if they do, they need to be called out. They need to be held accountable for holding and propagating hateful views.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Thursday, 16 Jul 2020 at 20:28 UTC

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