I first heard the term "Cancel Culture" when I got an account on instagram to post memes. (NB: Ask me about my IG meme acct). At the time, it already seemed to be a joke: it seemed to be one of the many semi-ironic jokes that was richocheting in slow-motion around the memeosphere. I put it out of my mind as one of the many little thing that percolates out of tumblr. It was only last year, when it became a rallying cry, that there was an actual (???) fear of "cancelling" among certain social segments, that I had to take stock.
Because I had never witnessed "cancelling" in real life. Or even online real life. What seems to be the case, which is often the case, is that people are reacting to a phenomenon that "everyone knows about", while no one has actually seen it. I mean, at least it isn't a part of my actual life. I don't get up in the morning and think "I hope no one on the intarwebs cancels me today!". Basically, "Canceling" was a joke about the worst parts of tumblr, five years ago, that was already being used in as self-deprecatory irony three years ago, and that got resuscitated by certain sociopolitical actors to make up for the emptiness of their own existence last year.
The only truth to it is, is that society is, indeed, more likely to restrict abusive behaviors than it used to, especially for celebrities. If you are a famous person making millions of dollars and you decide to engage in domestic violence or anti-Semitism, you will probably face consequences for it. But then, celebrities needing to uphold an image is not something that tumblr invented within the past half-decade.
In other words, nothing to see here, move along.