Politics

POLL: 69% of voters believe “cancel culture” unfairly punishes people for past actions

A new poll by Hill-HarrisX found that a majority of voters think “cancel culture” is unfairly punishing people over things they have done in the past. The survey was conducted from November 2 to 3. 

The poll used the Merriam-Webster definition to define “cancel culture” as “the practice or tendency of engaging in mass canceling as a way of expressing disapproval and exert social pressure.

69% of the respondents, all of whom are registered voters, said that cancel culture does unfairly punish people for past actions. 31% said it does not. Majorities across three major political ideologies, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, said cancel culture is an unfair punishment, but Republicans were most likely of the three to respond in that way. 71% of registered voters also said they strongly or somewhat believe that cancel culture has gone too far. 

Conservative commentator Matt Walsh spoke to the downsides of cancel culture in a tweet on Saturday. He wrote, “One of the underrated consequences of cancel culture is that it makes for a boring society. People are afraid to experiment with ideas, think outside the box. They look for intellectual cover in a crowd, so you end up with echo chambers and nobody is saying anything interesting.”

A poll conducted by Pew Research in September 2020 helped identify what “cancel culture” means to people of differing political views. Forty-nine respondents out of 101 said that the concept means “actions taken to hold others accountable;” fifty-nine percent of those were liberal Democrats whereas 36 percent were conservative Republicans. Fourteen respondents said that “cancel culture” is “censorship of speech or history;” twenty-six percent of those were conservative Republicans while six percent were liberal Democrats.

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NEWSWEEK

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