As popular culture mob rule rapidly replaces civility, our language is literally changing.
One term is likely to become increasingly common as efforts to silence Conservative voices intensifies.
Now cancel-culture is “dictionary official” and the definition of this one term could have Donald Trump’s face by it.
The Merriam-Webster added 455 new words to the dictionary in October.
It’s pretty obvious these days you’re likely to be “deplatformed” from social media if you have much to say at all.
Now you can also look that word up in the dictionary.
(Think we’ll find a picture of Donald Trump?)
The Merriam-Webster is clearly trailing the times since Wikipedia already has an extensive article about “deplatforming” which traces the practice back to a 2015 Reddit dustup.
There’s also an entire company dedicated to the topic and selling some sort of product to digital creators.
The company’s sales pitch encourages businesses to take a proactive approach saying, “Even if you don’t think you’re in danger of being deplatformed right now, it’s best to be prepared and secure your life’s work. Brace yourself against deplatforming right now.”
The new official Merriam-Webster definition is “to remove and ban (a registered user) from a mass communication medium (such as a social networking or blogging website).”
In other words, this is Trump’s word.
The entry includes a secondary broad definition, “to prevent from having or providing a platform to communicate.”
The dictionary cites Amy Lai’s work surrounding the deplatforming movement.
Lai is a lawyer and author who is worried about the effects this aspect of cancel culture has on society.
She’s especially concerned about the effects it has on free speech and the “pursuit of truth” in higher education.
She writes that, “Those who are pro-deplatforming frequently express outrage at how freedom of speech is “co-opted” to express ideas contrary to the orthodoxies, often by what they call right-wingers or “neo-Nazis” (the latter in many cases may be borderline defamatory). In the classroom, one is encouraged to play the devil’s advocate to enrich and enliven debates. Likewise, should an environment be dominated by a single or limited range of narratives, introducing diverse, alternate perspectives is healthy. People with different beliefs seeking to ‘de-marginalize’ their views and making their voices heard whenever opportunities arise is also understandable. Arguably, in an open forum, the content and substance of the ideas, and their potential to contribute to debates on important issues, matter far more than the speakers’ political affiliations or the affiliations of those inviting them.”
In an opinion piece in The Globe and Mail, Lai also calls out self-appointed cancel culture police who will do almost anything from letting someone they disagree with speak, including illegal stunts like pulling fire alarms to prevent a debate from taking place.
“In other words, diverting resources from real emergencies would be acceptable in order to shut down offensive expressions that are not hate speech and that can present valuable educational opportunities. This is only one step from advocating for illegal behaviour.” Lai writes, adding that, “this view – both intellectually vacuous and morally reprehensible – is embraced even among the educated is unfortunate and a testimony to how misguided some members of our society are.”
We can only hope Lai’s view wins the day as more people begin to realize the true price of living in a world where free speech and rational debate is replaced with violent demands for absolute compliance.
Stay tuned to Unmuzzled News for any updates to this ongoing story.