Cancel Culture - Mo Fanning Author
Cancel Culture

Cancel culture – a new word for feeding trolls?

Cancel CultureTwo perfectly innocent words when combined have become toxic: Cancel culture.

The easiest way to become ‘cancelled’ is to post something sexist, racist, or trans/homophobic online. In the olden days, we called this ‘trolling’ and implored everyone: Don’t feed the trolls. These days, because online life is the only life we have, no dodgy stone must go unturned.

But how effective is the practice of cancelling someone who you don’t agree with or whose views you find offensive? Most trolls thrive on being cancelled. If there’s no audience, there’s no point in their being online. Each time you bite back at Katie Hopkins, you justify the Uber Troll calling her a respected British journalist (as opposed to a self-publicising waste of skin cells).

Rebuilding Alexandra Small by Mo FanningIn 2019 Barack Obama noted: “If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get that far.

Another argument against online cancellation is that it simply sends the trolls underground. Free speech sites like Parler provide ready homes to hate. Poke the trolls enough and you get insurrection.

In Rebuilding Alexandra Small, I explore cancel culture. When a TV couple split, it’s Megan Macmillan who finds herself out of favour, while Clive hosts their popular weekend show solo. Like Alexandra Small, Megan finds ways to rebuild her life.

What do you think? Should we cancel those whose views we find abhorrent online, or fight their words in other ways?

My next book ‘Rebuilding Alexandra Small‘ set in Brighton, city comes out in June. If you’d like to read early chapters and enter the draw for free signed copies, please join my mailing list.
By Mo Fanning

Mo Fanning is a British author of dark romantic comedies including the Book of the Year nominated bestseller 'The Armchair Bride', 'Rebuilding Alexandra Small' and 2022's hit holiday romcom 'Ghosted'.

Comments (2)

  1. Roland Denning February 22, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    Although I broadly agree with you, Mo, I think the whole notion of ‘cancel culture’ has been blown out of proportion by the right – it’s nowhere near as prevalent as they like to make out. And if, for instance, I was at a university where they invited Katie Hopkins I would be outraged and insist on her cancellation.
    What is much more worrying, to me, is the government talk of ‘free speech champions’ being put in place at universities to “defend our culture and history from the noisy minority of activists constantly trying to do Britain down”.

    • Mo Fanning February 22, 2021 at 2:08 pm

      That worries me too – along with the railroading of our one supposedly neutral source of news, the BBC, being handed over to yet another Tory toady.

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