“Cancel Culture” is not Censorship

I once knew a libertarian who believed individual companies should be able to decide who they serve. If, for example, a wedding cake company didn’t want to make a cake for a same-sex couple, his opinion was that they shouldn’t have to. So why is it, then, that these same people go all to pieces if a company such as Twitter chooses to de-platform somebody for being racist or inciting a riot? Is that not just a company acting as an autonomous entity in the free market?

We consider it perfectly ok for a store, for example, to ban an individual for stealing, causing a ruckus or screaming hate speech. Why can’t a media platform ban an individual for going against the rules? Besides, it would be far worse if they were banning someone for being part of a specific culture or sexuality. Banning a whole community of innocent people due to a culture would be wrong, but banning a problematic individual is justified. 

Another point: If someone was working at a company that mistreated them, a libertarian would say, “Find a new job,” Likewise, those who have been “cancelled” can find a new platform.

But most importantly, cancelling is not the same thing as censorship. In fact, some companies choose to cancel their own media if they later decide it is problematic. Take the Dr. Seuss books for example. There were a few books that were problematic and Dr. Suess’s estate decided on their own to take the books off the shelves. No outside entity censored Dr. Seuss. But even if the publishing company had been the one to make the decision to stop printing the books, that is not the same thing as censorship. It is one company making a decision that they have a right to make. Censorship, rather, would be if Dr. Suess’s books were outlawed and I’m pretty sure that has not happened. 

Published by Hildaodinsbjorn

I am a universalist heathen and devotee of Odin. My interests include music, politics, magical studies, fiction, and nonfiction.

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