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Cancel Culture refers to the phenomena surrounding the use of the internet slang term "cancel" to describe the widespread public denouncement of a person on social media, typically used in light of actions that have been deemed problematic.
On January 5th, 2016, MTV included "cancel(led)" in a list of slang terms to keep an eye on in the coming year, using the example:
The New York Times pointed to a video by Joanne the Scammer posted in 2016 as an early example of "canceled" taking on its modern definition, referring to a scene where the title character struggles to use an espresso machine and declares it is "canceled" (shown below, the scene mentioned starts at 0:25).
Over the following several years, the term grew to be disliked both as a standalone term and for the culture it represented. Pop Sugar wrote that people should stop using the term in 2017. Readers Digest did the same at the end of 2018. In 2018, after many controversial moments, Kanye West bemoaned that he had been "canceled" in an interview with The New York Times. The New York Times later decried the term as well as "cancel culture," which it argued was too quick to turn on a celebrity when they did something their fans didn't agree with. Some examples pointed to include Twitter user @aangelsimms tweeting about Kanye West (shown below, left) and Twitter user @thekingofleos tweeting about Erykah Badu (shown below, right).
Writer Jonah Engel Bromwich interviewed Lisa Nakamura, a professor at the University of Michigan, who argued cancel culture was borne from fans wishing to take matters into their own hands by deplatforming problematic celebrities, citing fans working to deplatform Logan Paul after his infamous Suicide Forest video. The article also cited a video made by the For Harriet channel which argued that campaigning for someone's "indefinite social death" did not constitute the justice "cancel culture" seeks (shown below).
 Readers Digest – 20 Trendy Slang Words That Seriously Need to End in 2019