Guilt by association

This will be the start of a few articles commenting primarily on Twitter and social media in general.

It has come to my attention that people are being overly aggressive/targeting swathes of people based not on their actions, but on the idea that they may be associated in some loose form with someone who has bad actions.

On Twitter, it follows this typical structure:

  1. User with many followers does something bad.
  2. That user receives backlash for doing something bad and usually ‘cancelling’ begins of that user.
  3. Tweets go out informing people that if they follow that user, they too will be unfollowed, blocked and cancelled.
  4. Tweets go out informing people to start cancelling people who still follow that user.
  5. People who criticize the legitimacy of criticizing cancelling people by weak association are also then targets for cancelling.
  6. Cancelling continues in a chain, people associated with people newly cancelled for previously being associated with someone who was cancelled become new targets for cancelling.

This has become ridiculous. It’s simply not acceptable to go about throwing your weight onto people who likely do not know better just because they’re associated with someone who did something bad.

A lot of people actually miss the announcement tweets telling people to unfollow the user who has done a bad thing and thus many people end up getting hit by this even though they are completely unknowing of the situation.

I also don’t know of any situation in which bossing people around based on who they follow (which is in itself not the same as supporting someone) that resulted in mass unfollowings or containment of the person doing the shitty things. That leaves me to believe that the intention isn’t really to accomplish any impact, but to extend the period in which cancelling is taking place.

And I don’t feel like that’s really honest.

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