More than half of Americans said they consider “cancel culture” a threat to their freedom, according to the results of a new poll.
A total of 1,945 registered voters were polled between March 24 and 25, and the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey released showed that 64% percent of respondents believe a rising cancel culture is a threat to their independence, while 36% percent do not think it is a threat.
Furthermore, 36% of Americans said cancel culture is a major issue, while 32% said it is a moderate issue.
According to the survey, 54% percent of respondents were concerned that sharing their views online could result in them being suspended from social media or fired from their work. 46% percent said they were unconcerned.
Another 20% said it was a minor concern, while 13% said it was not an issue.
For the uninitiated, cancel culture is the act of withdrawing someone from their job or social status as a way of voicing dissatisfaction or exerting social pressure.
Celebrities like Gina Carano have lost their jobs and had their reputations slammed in recent weeks, bringing cancel culture to the forefront of internet debate.
The decision to stop printing some Dr. Seuss classics and Scholastic’s decision to unpublish a Captain Underpants spin-off due to concerns of passive racism illustrate the volatile social environment.
In recent weeks, many high-profile firings have occurred, most notably the dismissal of television host Piers Morgan for his criticism of Meghan Markle and his disbelief about an allegation she made against the British royal family, in which Markle said that members of the British royal family were racist towards her.
According to Mark Penn, the survey’s director, the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll, “It is a chilling finding that most people in the country now are afraid they would be fired if they expressed their real views on social media.”
He went on to say that it is becoming a national problem. The public has a negative opinion of social media platforms and perceives the campaign as more about censorship than correcting wrongs.
Merriam-Webster defines the phenomenon or tendency of mass canceling as a means of voicing disapproval and exerting social pressure and is referred to as “cancel culture.”