Encouraging speaking up is important in many contexts, but more vocal people online means more opportunity for conflict. Credit: Shutterstock

“Outrage culture” is pervasive in the digital age. It refers to our collective tendency to react, often with intense negativity, to developments around us.

Usually, this ire is directed at perceived transgressions. The internet wasted no time in raging at Taylor Swift when she received Album of The Year at the Grammys, seemingly frustrated by her lack of acknowledgment of Celine Dion, who presented the award.

Whether or not Swift’s behavior could be considered rude isn’t the point. The point is the backlash arguably wasn’t proportionate to the crime. This so-called “snub” incident is, therefore, a good example of how quickly and easily people will jump on the online hate train.

Modern outrage culture, which is also known as call-out culture and is linked to cancel culture, often devolves into a toxic spiral. People wanting clout compete to produce the meanest and most over-the-top commentary, stifling open dialogue and demonizing those who make mistakes.

A tale as old as time

Collective outrage isn’t a new […]

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