What the Cancel Culture Implies for Online Information

July 1, 2020

I flipped through the “cancel” notices. These ranged from the bizarre like the Amazon Twitch Deep Sixing of Dr Disrespect (I know I had to look up this fellow as well) to Reddit’s decision to terminate The_Donald. I assume that India’s blocking of Chinese apps falls into the cancel category. Why not throw in the wacky Mixer Microsoft thing as well?

Several observations:

  1. When a person cannot locate information, for that person the payload of the information does not exist. Need to find Cuba Libre Restaurant in Washington? Not on the Google Map? Restaurant does not exist for some. The problem? Two of the DarkCyber research team were sitting in the Cuba Libre Restaurant.
  2. An uninformed person (any person for that matter)  has a magical human mind. The mind, even when equipped with accurate, reasoned information, will fill in the blanks. Remove information, and the mind will kick into overdrive. Witches in Salem? No problem. Bigfoot in the woods? No problem. Ghosts in a run down B&B in Dorset? No problem. Fantasies can have interesting consequences.
  3. Online information — as I pointed out in my Eagleton Lecture more than 25 years ago — operates like chips of silicon in a sandstorm. One particle of sand is no big deal most of the time. When tons of sand carried forward by a wind with a weird nickname gets rolling, one thinks about sand in a different way. Plus that sand is inherently destructive: Force, small items, light occlusion, etc. Yep, that’s online information blasting along.

Cancelling is easy now. What about termination of information in other contexts? Hopefully some enthusiastic Gen Xer or Millennial will apply some digitally shaped brain cells to this question:

“Once cancelled, can the information be brought back?”

Let me know about the uncancellation thing, please.

Stephen E Arnold, July 1, 2020

Comments

One Response to “What the Cancel Culture Implies for Online Information”

  1. Ezekiel Shifflett on July 1st, 2020 8:38 am

    EROTICA becomes REALITY!!!
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    Men, put your feet in James Pope’s shoes, women put your feet in the women’s shoes I encounter, as I traveled the road from farm-to-MATTRESONAME!
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    https://bit.ly/www-popejim-com “CLICK & VIEW videos. Search: amazon.com, title – author

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