Whether among a family, in the workplace, or on the web, gossip operates as cancel culture and at scale is easily monetized by tabloid media.

The production of pariahs is one genre of media culture, that in a family is the production of runts, scapegoats, or black sheep. You may have observed this in your Thanksgiving family events.

In-group and out-group speech can be identical with social media as what seems like a single interpersonal exchange on Twitter becomes a mass exercise in ostracism.

With a bit of media framing, what seems to be a small-scale indiscretion or eccentric quirk can become repeated into a social trend and with political manipulation, acceptable public policy.

For example, the Peter Stzrok and Lisa Page workplace affair was more important than their irrelevance to the Mueller Report, but they remain a RWNJ meme.

For the nearly two years since her name first made the papers, she’s been publicly silent (she did have a closed-door interview with House members in July 2018). I asked her why she was willing to talk now. “Honestly, his demeaning fake orgasm was really the straw that broke the camel’s back,” she says. The president called out her name as he acted out an orgasm in front of thousands of people at a Minneapolis rally on Oct. 11, 2019.


She is also about to be back in the news cycle in a big way. On Dec. 9, the Justice Department Inspector General report into Trump’s charges that the FBI spied on his 2016 campaign will come out. Leaked press accounts indicate that the report will exonerate Page of the allegation that she acted unprofessionally or showed bias against Trump.



Troll-bots are the agents multiplying such gossip memes, in this case bear emojis.

  • The bear thing seems to have originated with right-wing comedian , who calls his fans “bears” or #Unbearables. By exploring @OwenComedy‘s followers and those of several “bear” accounts we ran into on our own, we found 1517 accounts with “bear” or 🐻 in their profiles.

  • The 🐻 accounts by and large link right-wing conspiracy-oriented websites (Breitbart, Infowars, etc), although the most frequently-linked site is satire site babylonbee(dot)com. Voice Of Europe, Reddit, and Russia Today also turn up.
  • Who do the 🐻 accounts retweet? Mostly major right-wing accounts, with Trump, , and as the most popular. Self-proclaimed Twitter philanthropist is an interesting inclusion.
  • What do the 🐻 accounts tweet about? “Trump”, “right”, “white”, and “people” are among the most common words in their tweets. Frequent hashtags include #MAGA, various #QAnon hashtags, #Unbearables, and gaming/comics hashtags.
  • Speaking of “white”, many of the 🐻 accounts have the habit of claiming (often without even an attempt at evidence) that various people and organizations are “anti-white”. #AltWankers
  • The 🐻 accounts dig conspiracy theories in a big way, especially of the “X event was a hoax/#FalseFlag” variety. Examples:
  • – 9/11 #FalseFlag (“building 7 didn’t kill itself!” tweets)
  • – moon landing was a hoax
  • – Holocaust denial

And beyond the contradictions of the FLOTUS campaign against cyberbullying excluding POTUS*,

Cancel Culture is when a large mob of people come together to relentlessly attack a certain person over an accusation of some kind, which later on is usually proven false Generally the accusation starts on Twitter, the original gets questioned then deleted but the mob has already started attacking and the person who made the accusation can enjoy a boost in followers.


Call-out culture (also known as outrage culture) is a form of public shaming wherein people identify offenses committed by members of their community and publicly “call out” the offenders, thereby shaming or punishing them.[1] Its proponents aim to hold individuals and groups accountable for their actions by calling attention to behavior that is perceived to be problematic, usually on social media.[2][3]

A variant of the term, cancel culture, describes a form of boycott in which the called-out person is also thrust out of social or professional circles — either on social media or in the real world or both. They are said to be “canceled”.[4]

The expression “cancelling”, in reference to cancel culture, has been used since 2015, with its widespread usage beginning in 2018.[5]

Michael Bérubé, a professor of literature at Pennsylvania State University, states, “in social media, what is known as ‘callout culture’ and ‘ally theater’ (in which people demonstrate their bona fides as allies of a vulnerable population) often produces a swell of online outrage that demands that a post or a tweet be taken down or deleted”.[8]


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