Cancel culture has never been as aggressive as it is in 2020. It seems like every other post on twitter is another celebrity, influencer, or company getting #canceled over one issue or another. If celebrities like Nick Cannon, Kanye, and Vanessa Hudgens are vulnerable to cancel culture, you may be asking yourself “how the hell is my brand going to survive this?”
— Vanessa Hudgens (@VanessaHudgens) March 17, 2020
Getting canceled usually involves boycotting, loss of contracts, harassment online, and hashtags dedicated to ending careers after being exposed online for past or present issues. The reason that there is so much of this happening today is that
1) the social movements happening in our world are bringing to light just how harmful certain behaviors and microaggressions can be
2) people have a LOT of time on their hands for some deep internet sleuthing (even pulling up old posts from the Myspace days).
Avoid getting canceled
Right now the world is so crazy that there are more issues than normal for your brand to take a stance on; therefore, more opportunities to get it wrong. This does not mean you should avoid taking a brand position. In fact, we saw brands face public backlash for not responding to the BLM movement in a timely manner, because it makes it look like they don’t care.
The most important thing is to look beyond what you mean to say, and consider how people will interpret your content. We have seen people get canceled over lack of sensitivity in the imagery used in advertisements, travel destinations, song lyrics, friends, have all gotten individuals canceled over the past few months. It can be overwhelming to consider everything, which is why it’s so important to have a diverse team. Getting perspectives that are different from your own will keep you from making mistakes.
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Maybe you’re mad… maybe you’re REALLY MAD. But does that mean you’re right? You could be. It certainly doesn’t mean you’re wrong. But let’s get clear… Posts and comments on social media and cable news often give us reasons to be angry. Sometimes anger seems to be the whole point. Anger draws Internet clicks, which is to say that many people now have a motive or even a business model for getting you mad. In trying to understand what motivates outrage it seems that concerns about injustice, social appearance and personal guilt all play a modest role. An individual’s outrage may in part be about their own needs rather than about the issue per se. Does that mean that outrage is illegitimate or merely for show? Absolutely not. But the evolving science on outrage highlights motives and functions that competing groups share. Recognizing this psychological common ground may help to defuse some of today’s more intractable social and political conflicts. So before you get triggered by something, think about why you’re mad, and when you decide to say something, be careful with your words . . . . . . #beyondtheinterview #outrageculture #cancelled #cancelculture #markmanson #socialjustice #politics #election2020 #trump2020 #biden2020 #socialjusticewarrior #outrage #calloutculture
What if you do get canceled
Getting canceled and facing this extreme backlash does not automatically mean the end for you. Many people come back from cancellations and even deal with them regularly while remaining successful. Even though the hype around cancelling a person or brand never lasts long, losing subscribers or customers can have a lasting affect. You will have a big job to do to fix your reputation after negative public responses online. Make sure to listen to the people’s complaints, apologize publicly, and make a plan to fix the issue people brought up.
If your brand is struggling to respond to backlash online, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how our crisis management services can help you get un-canceled.