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BA Comm, D&D wrap up series of virtual workshops with talk on cancel culture

May 21, 2021

Amid the emergence of social media as a platform that spreads both hate and social justice, Holy Angel University’s Bachelor of Arts in Communication program (BA Comm) in partnership with the Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation (D&D) holds its third and final virtual workshop, Call It Out: Cancelling Cancel Culture last May 21, Friday.

The said event was graced by a lineup of professionals whose expertise lies on the fields of journalism and digital content creation. YouTuber, podcast host and content creator Nate Punzalan opened the discussion with a primer on what cancel culture is all about, while CLTV36 journalist and Pampanga 360 co-founder Justine Dizon shared the interrelationship of echo chambers and filter bubbles with cancel culture and disinformation.

“Cancel culture has spun out of control,” said Punzalan as he reflects on the pervasiveness of the said practice. “[It] has become a senseless form of social mob rule.”

Punzalan in his talk further accentuated on the moral good of cancel culture, lauding its initial role and intention as an important tool in “combatting through collective action” the power imbalance seen in society. At the same time did he denounce the general message it sends to the youth, leaving no grounds for people to show signs of growth and willingness to change.

“At its worst, it’s [cancel culture] about people successfully applying pressure to pronounce justice on someone... to punish them for wrong opinions that might not even actually be wrong — they are just perceived to be — because that’s what everybody else thinks,” Punzalan added.

Dizon, on the other hand, stressed the importance of addressing one’s biases and going out of their own echo chambers and filter bubbles online in order to dissect every spectrum of truth there is to an issue.

“Napakalaki ng dimensyon ng katotohanan,” said Dizon as he elaborates on what fuels cancel culture — one’s little knowledge about it, rooted from the chambers people gravitate toward and consume.

Dizon further emphasized the need for everyone, not only journalists in the newsroom, to provide context first to any issue or problem that may arise.

When asked by a participant if government officials should be permanently ‘cancelled’, both Punzalan and Dizon agreed that doing so will not solve the problem.

“They should not be cancelled… they should be held accountable,” exclaimed Dizon, giving pointers on how to call them ‘on’ instead of calling them ‘out.’

The said event, held via Zoom Meeting and simultaneously live-streamed in the official Facebook pages of HAU Communicators’ League and HAU, is the final leg of a three-part workshop series hosted by the BA Comm program and the D&D, a nationwide network of journalists, academics, bloggers and civic groups in the country. It started in January with Spot the Difference succeeded by True Ba? Real Tea Ba? in April — both were fact-checking workshops.

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