Editorial: Modern Day Stoning

The Buzz editorial board criticizes intents of cancel culture

Owen Baxter, Writer

Since the dawn of the internet, teenagers have developed a much more rapid way of communication. With this, the wider spread across platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and especially Twitter, has created an act called “canceling,” a way for teens to ostracize celebrities and peers. Canceling has become a breeding ground for all sorts of misinformation and malice, making it hard for us to form our own opinions and maintain nuance.
It creates a lot of bandwagoning. We as teenagers, who want to believe whatever drama we’re told, are pretty likely to dogpile onto someone accused of something deemed unacceptable. But if it turns out to be untrue, we can’t just get up and say “whoops” and move on. The damage is done.
Students often develop their thoughts based on what their celebrity idols believe. A perfect example of this is “Stan Twitter,” a phenomenon in which fans of a particular celebrity engage heavily in the content produced by or influenced by a said celebrity on Twitter. When “Stans” see an opinion of another person shared by their artist, they tend to jump on that train, regardless of if it is false or even malicious, which, again, goes back to the bandwagoning.
And besides, there’s a very blurry line as to what canceling means. Usually, it doesn’t even happen. As a student, there isn’t much you can do if another student says something you don’t like, no less a celebrity with ten-fold the following of the student body. And if someone says something that’s, say, racist, and gets in trouble for it, it’s not being canceled. Its being held accountable. Additionally, attempting to cancel someone for doing something illegal seems pointless. A crime is well beyond the opinion of the internet and is in the hands of the law.
It also seems as though canceling someone only matters when they’ve obtained some level of popularity. If a student who no one knows makes an offensive remark, we really aren’t all that likely to hold them to the same accountability level as a popular football player.
While it is important to recognize when someone has done something wrong, canceling doesn’t seem like it hits that mark. Instead, an open mind should be kept, and we should form our own thoughts instead of bandwagoning.