Is the internet’s cancel culture just censorship? (video story included)

The more that the internet evolves and we discover how to use it, the more frightening and violent it can become.

The New York Times said it best in an article entitled “So the Internet didn’t turn out the way we hoped.”

“When [people’s] common cause comes under threat – through … competition, cancellation or critique – they organize, often even resorting to using tools of politics.”

Despite the freedom that is given on the internet, users can sometimes feel the need to attack anyone who doesn’t share their same views.

Social media has the power to influence the way people see the world around them. Some trends only last a matter of days, but trends like cancel culture can go on for years and continue to gain momentum over time.

Cancel culture, as defined by social media users, is when a collective group of individuals on the internet “delete” someone for their views on social issues regarding sexuality, race and gender.

“Deleting” can come in forms such as online bullying, harassment and even causing the loss of one’s job.

In the beginning, celebrities were the only people to be cancelled, but then the movement began to look at small influencers.

Fans of cancel culture believe they are doing a service to the community by chasing away people who have strong negative views or opinions towards important issues.

But sometimes, the need to cancel someone emerges from disagreement. Cancel culture, for instance, affected the life of Alexandra Reid, a student journalist at FAU, after she began to speak out about journalistic integrity when it comes to reporting about serious issues, such as death.

Reid’s school publication was under fire after publishing an article about a student who had committed suicide in a garage.

Reid took to Twitter to stand up for her university’s newspaper, stating the newsroom had to work with what information was available.

When Reid voiced this on her twitter account, she received slanderous messages from unfamiliar students stating that she needed to be cancelled.

“I’m not going to jeopardize my integrity as a journalist to stop from being cancelled,” said Reid. “People just need to stop being so hypersensitive to everything.”

Is cancel culture temporary? It seems those who have been cancelled often make their way back into the world as if nothing ever happened.

Can cancel culture bring change to how people use the internet? Or is it just creating internet prisons for people who want to voice their opinions? Only time will answer this question.

Ana Lara-Cruz is a passionate photojournalist from West Palm Beach. She enjoys capturing moments as well as writing about them.