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YKA, Trends

Cancel Culture in Singapore: Fad or New Norm?

Cancel culture is a hot topic in global media and appears to divide generations. Here in Singapore, social influencer Xiaxue angered many recently by calling out WP candidate Raeesah Khan on racial issues during GE2020. Not only did she get scorched online, she subsequently lost a key sponsor.

Just last month, Youtuber Dee Kosh was under the spotlight for allegations of sexual harassment with a minor. Multiple police reports were lodged against him, which resulted in brands like Lenovo and Huawei distancing themselves from him.

In 2019, YKA looked into doxxing behaviours after the Ministry of Law announced new legislation with regards to online harassment.

What is “cancel culture”? According to CNA, it is a concerted effort to withdraw support for a public figure or business that has said or done something objectionable until they either apologise or disappear from view. It can also result in the target losing their job, status and income and support.

Our findings show that nearly half of all Singaporeans over the age of 15 (47%) believe online shaming is justified at least some of the time and one in five claim to have shamed someone online. Shaming appears to be more of a practice amongst Millennials (31%) than Gen Zs (0nly 10%) which may suggest this is a passing trend in Singapore.

Just under a third of Singaporeans (32%) say they like aspects of cancel culture because it allows ordinary people to take on the powerful. However, only 39% think it is a positive trend
in society. Again, Millennials are the most likely segment (43%) to support the idea as a positive social force.