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Photo from Marga Villanueva

CANCELLEDT: A symposium on call-out culture and its effect on the youth

The elective class on Media Law and Ethics organized an event titled “CANCELLEDT: A symposium on call-out culture and its effect on the youth,” through which they initiated a conversation on the pervading reality of call-out and cancel culture.

The talk aimed to widen the law school community’s understanding of the culture through the lens of a victim, a mental health advocate, and a journalist. During the talk the speakers discussed the ramifications of this specie of cyber-bullying, both to the recipient and spectators, which ultimately affect an individual’s social media behavior and mental health.

Photo from Marga Villanueva

Paula Salvosa: Being one of the first notable victims of call-out culture, even way before the term was coined, Ms. Salvosa refused to remain a victim. Rather, she found strength in her faith. She turned her unpleasant experience of cyber-bullying into a learning experience by looking inward and finding what in her life needed change. Her talk centered on the idea that the culture should be used to call-out out of love, and not out of anger.

Kana Takahashi: As a known mental health and women’s rights advocate, Ms. Takahashi suggests calling-in rather than calling-out. She posits that the culture is better exercised when done by people who are closest to the person to be called-out. She emphasizes that propriety and common courtesy dictate that criticism of one’s actions should be handled privately in order to be supplemented by constructive conversation.

Danilo Arao: Danilo Arao, an Associate Professor of the Department of Journalism at the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Mass Communication and an esteemed journalist, acknowledged the value of call-out culture especially when used against powerful entities like big corporations and the government. He set forth guidelines when one resorts to call-out speech, which he refers to as public-shaming “ethics”.
1) Criticize the action, not the person.
2) Analyze the institution, system, culture and tradition as you call-out the action.
3) Make sure your criticism is constructive, not destructive.
4) Focus on the rich and powerful.

Yen Rase: Our Law School Student Council President reminded the audience that as law school students, we are mindful of the respect we afford the freedom of speech and expression. Proceeding from such awareness, the law school community can help foster a better and more productive environment for discourse on social media by using our learnings from the three speakers. She summarized her take-aways into three points:
1) stick with the facts;
2) be responsible for your own words and actions, which meant considering how your conduct can be perceived by the other; and
3) know who and what matters.

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