Call-out culture (also known as outrage culture) is a form of public shaming that aims to hold individuals and groups accountable for their actions, by calling attention to behavior that is perceived to be problematic, usually on social media. A variant of the term, cancel culture, describes a form of boycott in which someone (usually a celebrity) who has shared a questionable or unpopular opinion, or has had behavior that is perceived to be offensive called out on social media is "canceled": they are completely boycotted by many fans, often leading to massive declines in celebrities' (almost always social media personalities) careers and fanbase.
Michael Bérubé, a professor of Literature at Pennsylvania State University, states, "in social media, what is known as 'callout culture' and 'ally theater' (in which people demonstrate their bona fides as allies of a vulnerable population) often produces a swell of online outrage that demands that a post or a tweet be taken down or deleted".
Lisa Nakamura, a professor at the University of Michigan, described cancel culture as a "cultural boycott" adding that "when you deprive someone of your attention, you're depriving them of a livelihood."
- "Social media shaming and forgiveness: why nobody's beyond the pale". The Next Web.
Even the etymology of public shaming is inherently dehumanizing. In 2019, we talk of people being “cancelled,” as though they’re unpopular TV shows, and not human beings.
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- Munro, Ealasaid (1 September 2013). "Feminism: A Fourth Wave?". Political Insight. 4 (2): 22–25. doi:10.1111/2041-9066.12021. ISSN 2041-9058.
- Bérubé, Michael (January 2018). "The Way We Review Now". Publications of the Modern Language Association of America. 133 (1): 132–138. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- Bromwich, Jonah Engel (28 June 2018). "Everyone Is Canceled". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
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