Cancel culture or call-out culture is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – whether it be online, on social media, or in person. Those subject to this ostracism are said to have been "cancelled". The expression "cancel culture" has mostly negative connotations and is commonly used in debates on free speech and censorship.
The notion of cancel culture is a variant on the term call-out culture and constitutes a form of boycotting or shunning involving an individual (often a celebrity) who is deemed to have acted or spoken in a questionable or controversial manner.
Notably, many people claiming to have been "cancelled" often remain in power and continue their careers as before. Moreover, some cancellations have also been defended as exercising free speech and promoting accountability. Others criticize cancel culture as creating a chilling effect.