Years ago, one voice may not have gained too much traction – it may have moved forward for a bit, or, floundered before reaching too many ears. Even armed with a bullhorn or a bully pulpit, it could be difficult to amplify a message to the masses. Yet, today a voice can carry. Social media has transformed the impact of a single voice – it has allowed stories to grow, opinions to become trending topics and movements to solidify into hashtags. Social media has created power. Suddenly, one voice has become many. And these voices can no longer be ignored.
Now, collective voices spreading like digital wildfire can sway public opinion. One misstep or wrong word from a person, a celebrity or brand can put that entity in a social media maelstrom – when mutual disapproval puts that entity on the outs. It’s a phenomenon that has come to be known as “cancel culture.” This research aims to show the mechanics of this phenomenon.
Introducing the 2021 Porter Novelli Business of Cancel Culture Study.