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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

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The Declaration

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Is cancel culture beneficial or problematic?

Photo+credit%3A+Photo+via+Marcus+Winkler+via+Flickr+under+creative+commons+license.%0ACancel+culture+is+a+term+that+has+been+used+over+the+past+decade+on+social+media.+Some+say+people+are+getting+cancelled+for+no+reason+other+than+being+human.+%0A
Photo Credit: Markus_Winkler
Photo credit: Photo via Marcus Winkler via Flickr under creative commons license. “Cancel culture” is a term that has been used over the past decade on social media. Some say people are getting “cancelled” for no reason other than being human.

Cancel culture has become a term used globally on social media. Lots of influencers have to be very cautious about the things they do and say whether it’s on the internet or not due to cancel culture.

What is Cancel Culture?

Cancel culture is a term that refers to mass withdrawal of support and followers from celebrities/influencers due to something they’ve done that isn’t socially accepted. In most cases, this usually lasts for about a week or two before the person who is “cancelled” makes an apology speech/video. In the videos they usually cry and go on and on about how they are human too and make mistakes just like everybody else. And this is true, they are human and humans do make mistakes. But once you go into the business that is social media, you’re pretty much signing up to be constantly monitored. This is because you are an influencer and just like your title says, you influence people to do and say certain things.

Now of course people may cancel someone for something that is simply a human mistake. But there are also times where someone will do something unethical and people will pretend it never happened.

January 2021-James Charles Cancelled

A big moment in cancel culture happened in January 2021 when makeup artist and influencer James Charles got cancelled. He had predatory behavior and sexual assault allegations towards straight men. A 17-year-old boy named Isaiyah made a Tiktok sharing screenshots of James Charles flirting with him even after learning how old he was. This news spread like crazy and soon after, James Charles lost over 30 million followers on Tiktok. James denied all of these allegations and said that the boy told him he was 18. years old. But the damage was still done and he lost many brand collaborations and supporters.

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James decided to admit to what he did by making a YouTube video on how he messed up. In the video he does say that he has messaged boys who were minors, but people to this day act like nothing happened.

The problem with cancel culture is that people tend to forgive and forget rather than forgive and never forget. A couple months later, James gained many of his lost followers back and brand deals. Now everyone pretends that nothing ever happened or they forgot. Every now and then someone will bring it up in his comments and he will address the situation again and deny.

July 2023-Colleen Ballinger Cancelled

A time where there was proof of an influencer grooming children was the Colleen Ballinger case. In March of 2009 to July of 2023, Colleen Ballinger played a character online suited for children named Miranda Sings. Miranda Sings’ character was based on a young girl with an interesting personality Ballinger knew in college. But in July of 2023, her whole career went downhill after fans resurfaced grooming allegations.

What lots of people forget about the internet is that nothing ever really goes away. In 2016, Ballinger was caught having inappropriate relationships with fans who were minors. Even though this happened eight years prior, it still speaks to character. She then made a YouTube video called “hi.” where she plays a ukulele and sings about how she isn’t a groomer. In the song she does admit that she has made mistakes but she has changed since then.

Junior Daisy Amaya said, “I feel Colleen was rightfully canceled as she was doing legitimate crimes by sending inappropriate messages to minors that were a part of her fan base. No one should idolize someone who should be in jail.”

A couple days after the apology video was published, a video was resurfaced of Miranda Sings (Colleen Ballinger) dancing. The problem with the video was that she was doing blackface. Ballinger has not spoken on this subject and people don’t think she plans on it.

Pros v.s Cons of Cancel Culture

Cancel culture is definitely something that lots can agree is useful yet dramatic. At times influencers will get cancelled for something that is simply a human mistake. But there are also times where someone will do something unethical and deserves to be “punished”. But junior Daisy Amaya disagrees. She believes, “..influencers should be given a second chance on unethical mistakes not crimes. Cancel culture is very messed up and people make mistakes when they are young. Even if they apologize people still tend to hold it against them which I feel is wrong because people aren’t perfect.”

But there are some people who feel differently about cancel culture. Makenzie Kranzke said, “I believe cancel culture is useful. It helps keep the right people famous and the pedophiles and other bad people not famous.”

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About the Contributor
Lily Borek
Lily Borek, Editor
Lily Borek is a junior at Colonia High School. She enjoys spending time with friends, watching horror movies and listening to music. Borek plans on going to John Jay College of Criminal Justice to pursue her dream of becoming a forensic psychologist. Borek loves reptiles and even has a leopard gecko herself named Nenos. 

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