A Harvard Caps-Harris Poll has revealed that over two thirds of Americans believe a “growing cancel culture” is a direct threat to their freedom.
While 36% said they don’t believe there is a threat, a whopping 64% said that the phenomenon is having a detrimental effect on society.
Over half of those surveyed, 54%, also noted that they fear they could be fired from their jobs if they express their real opinions on matters.
Mark Penn, the director of the survey, told The Hill “It is a chilling finding that most people in the country now are afraid they would be fired if they expressed their real views on social media.”
“The public generally gives negative ratings to social media companies and sees the movement as more about censorship rather than trying to correct wrongs. It is growing as a national issue,” Penn added.
Getting into specifics, the poll found that 36% believe cancel culture is a “big problem,” while 32% said it is a “moderate problem”, and a further 20% said it’s a “small problem.”
Only 13% said there is no problem with cancel culture.
Cancel culture is having a real world impact beyond social media.
A recent study by leading education focused think tank Civitas found that free speech at the world’s leading universities is being eroded at an alarming rate owing to the phenomenon.
The study found that within the past three years, more than 68% of universities in the UK have seen free speech severely restricted, with academics unable to meaningfully discuss the nuances of issues such as race and gender.
It is now an everyday occurrence, even at distinguished universities such as Cambridge, to see ridiculous one sided ‘discussions’ led by panels of activists who all agree on one subject, such as Winston Churchill being worse than Hitler, while speakers who disagree, or just have an opinion that isn’t robustly ‘woke’ are prevented from appearing.
In response, a pair of new UK government initiatives will see universities in the UK fined if colleges or student bodies attempt to shut down free speech on campuses.
A recent national poll found that half of Britons agree that freedom of speech is under direct threat from cancel culture, with only 12% feeling that they can speak more freely than five years ago.