Only a third of people first heard of the term ‘cancel culture’ in the past year

Only a third of people first heard of the term ‘cancel culture’ in the past year

SEMrush

The experts found that cancel culture had exploded in the last year — with 82 per cent of people having first encountered it in the past 12 months.

An article in the Sun, published on 29 June, claims that experts found “cancel culture had exploded in the last year—with 82% of people having first encountered it within the past 12 months.” 

The claim is sourced to research carried out by King’s College London’s Policy Institute and Ipsos MORI, which examined public awareness of “culture wars” in the UK.

But this report actually states that only 51% of those surveyed had heard of the term “cancel culture” at all. 

Of the different “culture wars terms” (including “being woke”, “white privilege” and “the metropolitan elite”), the report noted that “cancel culture is the newest term as far as the public are concerned”, but still only 65% of the people who had heard of the term said they first heard or read about it in the last year.

Taking both figures into account, around a third of people, not 82%, first encountered the term in the past year.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, cancel culture is defined as “a way of behaving in a society or group, especially on social media, in which it is common to completely reject and stop supporting someone because they have said or done something that offends you”. 

It is possible that the figure of 82% instead relates to the percentage of people who said they’d heard “at least a little” about the term white privilege. This is not linked to a specific time frame, though the research later states that of this 82%, 16% had first heard or read it in the past year.

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