Being “cancelled” is a fear that many influencers have at the back of their minds whenever they post their content. They may not face the same risk as A-list celebrities who could lose millions of dollars for posting an offensive tweet. But in this world of cancel culture, any influencer could get major backlash for offending people, which can effect financial opportunities in a negative way. Many times it’s hard for an influencer to know when they’re actually in the wrong, versus when people are being too sensitive. Even if you’re not being cancelled, seeing that a few people are offended by what you posted is a sucky feeling. So, here’s a quick list of steps you can take if this ever happens to you.
Don’t Get Defensive
At least not in the comments. Getting defensive when accused of posting offensive content is very understandable. Especially if you’re being accused of something serious like racism, sexism, and/or homophobia. But fighting with people in the comment section is a lose-lose situation for the influencer.
The reason it’s a lose-lose is because it’s possible that the influencer is in the wrong, but doesn’t realize. If this is the case, they’ve just dug a deeper hole for themselves by defending themselves over and over. But even if they’re in the right, the influencer still loses. Because as every influencer eventually learns, arguing with internet trolls is never worth it. So don’t go with this knee-jerk reaction to defend yourself from being cancelled. Take a deep breath and think carefully about what you want to do or say next.
Ask Yourself: Could They Be Right?
This much easier said than done, but influencers shouldn’t beat themselves up for being in the wrong sometimes. They are human after all. Even if the influencer has pure intentions, sometimes things can come across in the wrong way to their viewers. But then again, many viewers choose to intentionally misunderstand influencers’ content, and then make unfair character assassinations. Not to mention that trying to cancel an influencer is a great way to gain social media clout in this day and age. So do your best to be objective, and try figure out if there could be any truth to what the commenter is offended by.
Does the commenter have a perspective that you never had the chance to consider before? If yes, are they attacking you as a person, or are they reacting to your content? If they’re reacting to your content, are there other people who are reacting in the same way? Other people reacting the same way doesn’t necessarily mean that you did anything wrong, but it could be an opportunity to educate yourself on their perspective through conversation and research.
Apologize if You’re Sorry, Don’t Apologize if You’re Not
After following the steps above, there can be 1 of 3 possibilities:
- The commenters are being a trolls and the influencer has nothing to apologize for.
- The influencer’s intentions were pure, but research and conversation has allowed them to see things from a different perspective.
- There was something unintentionally ignorant about the influencer’s post, and the commenters are right to feel offended.
If you decide that your situation lands in the number 2 category, it would be good for you to inform the offended commenters about how you now understand their perspective, and you will keep it in mind when creating future content. This will help keep the peace, and possibly even turn those offended commenters into fans. If you realize that you’re in number the 3 category, then you should consider apologizing.
With that being said, there’s nothing worse than a fake apology. And the internet is very good at seeing right through one. So if you’re not in the place to give a genuine apology, the best thing to do is delete the post so that everyone, including you, can move on.
We at Creator.co hope that this was helpful advice! And we also hope that you never have to deal with getting “cancelled.”