Call-out culture: Why the conversation is far from over

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The COVID-19 pandemic has given way to shifts in digital content and has given space for creators to further explore.

This is what sociologist Nicole Curato, content creator Jako De Leon, and Fund the Forest founder and artist Issa Barte discussed as panelists in a webinar by CNN Philippines and San Mig Light entitled "The good, the bad & the ugly: A mahaba-habang usapan on the truth about call-out and cancel culture on social media."

The webinar was facilitated by former CNN Digital International Vice President Andrew Demaria.

In a space where information is in the fingertips of the users and where social media platforms have never been more democratized, social media has become a platform where everyone can give their opinion and create content.

According to Barte, the difference between the voice of the youth and the older generations can be polarizing in these platforms.

This is why she makes sure to base her artwork on facts.

“My political art is based on facts and articles," Barte said. "I make sure they know that all of the things I say or paint are based on what’s really happening.”

De Leon also shared that there is a certain level of responsibility for creators to own up to.

“Whenever you have a platform, when it’s needed, we do have to use that to create social good," he said. "We have that responsibility to be a voice to a lot of people who may not have that opportunity.”

He also said that creators have the responsibility to research and to educate themselves about pressing issues.

"Because of this, creators have to be more careful in putting out content, especially those that will reflect the present times," he added. "This is where we commonly see the proliferation of the “call-out and cancel culture.”

According to Curato, nothing is wrong with the call-out culture if it broadens the conversation and if humility is a present virtue in the process.

“I have nothing against call-out culture if the intention is for us to learn together,” she stressed.

The sociologist quickly differentiated the call-out and cancel culture.

“Now I have a problem with cancel culture, when people just say conversation over,” she pointed out.

De Leon added that social media is supposedly a platform where people can effectively discuss and communicate to deepen the understanding of everyone regarding a certain issue.

Moreover, the cancel culture has a lot of negative implications like hindering people from posting online due to the fear of making a mistake and being bullied.

In a world that seems to be getting smaller and smaller because of digital media and the pandemic humanity is in right now, there is a bigger opportunity to open up more conversations instead of shutting them down.