Feedback on my GCSE oral Speech?(Earned a distinction grading)

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D3niz3n
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Let me ask you this: How would you feel if the things you did as a pre-teen, things you said, were brought up against you 20 years into the future to ruin your career, or invalidate your opinion?

Well, that’s what I’m here to talk about.

The question provided is, of course, rhetorical, and I doubt you personally have done anything horrendous, but it relates a particular online phenomenon today, known as ‘cancel culture.’ Some of you may have heard the term in passing, but others might not have a clue. By the end of my speech, I hope to have provided some clarity toward the subject.

‘Cancel culture’, a concept which is rising within media platforms, such as twitter, Instagram, and reddit. It is a form of boycott, where normally false accusations can result in the social exile of all varieties of people; ranging from an up and coming popular user being slandered for a badly-phrased rant, or a celebrity being scorned for something they did as a teen. More often than not, it is the stars who are targeted, and dragged down from their pedestals at the behest of unverified claims.

An example of such an occurrence can be seen in the case of James Gunn, the director of the first two ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movies, ‘Suicide Squad’, and other Disney-Marvel productions.

In July of 2018, he was fired. Statements he had made nearly 10 years prior were pulled from the grave, causing outcry and bringing the subject to the attention of his higher ups. Before he knew it, he had lost his job, due to some admittedly taboo jokes he made as a different man, during a period of dark humour and edgy comedy, where such subjects were viewed as easy laugh material, and accepted as simply edgy jokes. Fortunately, due to a contrasting outcry from the cast of his films and fans, he was re-hired, and is expected to help direct Guardians of the Galaxy volume 3.

Yet, the victims of those who jump onto this metaphorical bandwagon aren’t always so lucky.

Another case is that of “young” beauty youtuber James Charles, who earlier this year was involved in what can only be referred to as a scandal. The Internet personality, who gained fame through tutorial videos, attempts at singing and creating his own makeup brand, was accused of predatory tendencies and coercing a fan into sleeping with him. Not long after a cancellation spree, with millions of subscribers (and thus, income) lost, it was revealed that the accusations were false, started by an ex friend, another beauty youtuber named Tati Westbrook. James had supported a rival brand, and so she came out with blatant accusations and little proof. Even now, his reputation has been skewed, and his success slowed.

These are just a few examples of occasions where this ‘guilty until proven innocent’ mentality that inhabits the internet and current culture has taken charge, and fortunately, no serious career based damage was caused in these cases. Still, it tarnishes a person's life, their persona, how they are viewed, and unfortunately, that form of damage is practically irreparable.

That isn’t to say that cancel culture is completely negative: in genuine cases of misconduct and activity that deserve cancellation, it can be a swift and effective way of getting justice, and drawing attention to a bad person. Cancelling them. Yet again, though, a genuinely “deserved” cancellation is rarely fair, as the process often means misinformation is spread, and the apparently ‘guilty’ party has hardly a chance to defend.

The negatives outweigh the positives in this case of internet culture.

Any questions?
—-
“why is cancel culture an issue? Why does it exist to begin with?”

Simply put, with growing access to the largest database of information in history (that being the internet), it is easy for false information to spread. Accusations are shared as truths, while truths are deemed to be lies. Careers, lives even, can be ruined without any repercussions for those who accuse, and without a fair trial or even certification that the reason for an accusation is true.
—-

I bring this up now, in this speech, as a warning of sorts. A record, an informational talk on a growing phenomenon that could easily occur to anyone in this room. It’s important to be wary of what is put online now, as who knows, maybe when you finally reach a stable career, someone will bring your blunders up and tear your hard work down.

So, be cautious of the new, harsh online world, and what you post. I hope you’ve learned something new through this speech.
Thank you.
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parii_xd
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Hi! So I've decided to also pick cancel culture as a topic and I want to know what the title of your speech is. I haven't read through your speech as I don't want to accidentally pick up any ideas but I'm struggling to get a title so maybe some inspiration? Lmk...
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laurawatt
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(Original post by parii_xd)
Hi! So I've decided to also pick cancel culture as a topic and I want to know what the title of your speech is. I haven't read through your speech as I don't want to accidentally pick up any ideas but I'm struggling to get a title so maybe some inspiration? Lmk...
maybe "could cancel culture ever be a good thing?" or "is cancel culture morally acceptable?"
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parii_xd
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Ooooh. That's cool. I think I might use the 'is cancel culture morally acceptable?'. I think I'd be able to talk about it.
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TabithaFord99
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(Original post by parii_xd)
Hi! So I've decided to also pick cancel culture as a topic and I want to know what the title of your speech is. I haven't read through your speech as I don't want to accidentally pick up any ideas but I'm struggling to get a title so maybe some inspiration? Lmk...
I think there are plenty of other points that you can make (not contained in the above example). Firstly, we are increasingly (and worryingly) seeing examples of individuals losing their jobs/being "cancelled" who are private individuals. ie not actors or Youtubers, or people who have sought the spotlight. Ordinary people who may have said something in the past which - at that time - was acceptable, but which is now deemed to be unacceptable. (there is a question here about who gets to be judge, jury and executioner in determining what is "acceptable".)

There was a recent news item about a man who flew a "white lives matter" banner over Burnley football ground (as the players had been wearing "Black lives matter" shirts) and both he- but, significantly ALSO his girlfriend - lost their jobs. People are tearing down statues on the basis that the statues are RELATED to someone who once performed a historical "misdeed". So, we have examples here of "guilt by association" - where a person is being punished for what their boyfriend did, or their father did.

There are some fundamental questions about cancel culture stifling freedom of speech, preventing debate, suffocating ideas. Surely, as a free society, people should be free to express different opinions, rather than to be cancelled for expressing their views?

If the internet means we can no longer forget anything - that everything you do and say will be held against you forever, then are we not all in some way serving of cancellation? We've all said or done stupid things in our lives (human beings are fallible, after all) but it is very often how other people deal with our mistakes, that enable us to grow from these. Should there not be an opportunity for contrition and forgiveness here? Or do we just want to be the type of society that is constantly putting people in the stocks and pelting them with old fruit?

In many other countries - which are not democracies, and are even more intolerant than ours - we see political dissidents being imprisoned for their views. Being harmed for not agreeing with whatever doctrine is being enforced on them. Should we not be looking after the dissidents in our own culture too? Isn't this the very root of liberty being threatened, that we are afraid to say anything, lest someone disagree, claim offence, and 'cancel' us? Incidentally, silence is no longer an option here for many people. Megan Markle has told us recently that the worst thing to do is to remain silent. (isn't that a legal right, though? "you have the right to remain silent") On this very subject, I saw a YouTube video - I'm afraid I don't know the name of the woman - the title was something to the effect of "white tears". The woman who made the video was naming and shaming (I think her expression was "calling out") other YouTubers who had not made any content about Black Lives matter. She had harangued a number of YouTubers to the point that one of them had made a video, in tears, saying that she didn't want to make any political statements as she didn't feel she knew enough to take a position. But this was considered to be 'unacceptable'.

I hope these random thoughts help - cancelling people is a very anodyne way of saying we are shutting down people's freedom of speech. This is frequently happening to people regardless of whether they have actually "done" anything.
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parii_xd
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(Original post by TabithaFord99)
I think there are plenty of other points that you can make (not contained in the above example). Firstly, we are increasingly (and worryingly) seeing examples of individuals losing their jobs/being "cancelled" who are private individuals. ie not actors or Youtubers, or people who have sought the spotlight. Ordinary people who may have said something in the past which - at that time - was acceptable, but which is now deemed to be unacceptable. (there is a question here about who gets to be judge, jury and executioner in determining what is "acceptable".)

There was a recent news item about a man who flew a "white lives matter" banner over Burnley football ground (as the players had been wearing "Black lives matter" shirts) and both he- but, significantly ALSO his girlfriend - lost their jobs. People are tearing down statues on the basis that the statues are RELATED to someone who once performed a historical "misdeed". So, we have examples here of "guilt by association" - where a person is being punished for what their boyfriend did, or their father did.

There are some fundamental questions about cancel culture stifling freedom of speech, preventing debate, suffocating ideas. Surely, as a free society, people should be free to express different opinions, rather than to be cancelled for expressing their views?

If the internet means we can no longer forget anything - that everything you do and say will be held against you forever, then are we not all in some way serving of cancellation? We've all said or done stupid things in our lives (human beings are fallible, after all) but it is very often how other people deal with our mistakes, that enable us to grow from these. Should there not be an opportunity for contrition and forgiveness here? Or do we just want to be the type of society that is constantly putting people in the stocks and pelting them with old fruit?

In many other countries - which are not democracies, and are even more intolerant than ours - we see political dissidents being imprisoned for their views. Being harmed for not agreeing with whatever doctrine is being enforced on them. Should we not be looking after the dissidents in our own culture too? Isn't this the very root of liberty being threatened, that we are afraid to say anything, lest someone disagree, claim offence, and 'cancel' us? Incidentally, silence is no longer an option here for many people. Megan Markle has told us recently that the worst thing to do is to remain silent. (isn't that a legal right, though? "you have the right to remain silent") On this very subject, I saw a YouTube video - I'm afraid I don't know the name of the woman - the title was something to the effect of "white tears". The woman who made the video was naming and shaming (I think her expression was "calling out") other YouTubers who had not made any content about Black Lives matter. She had harangued a number of YouTubers to the point that one of them had made a video, in tears, saying that she didn't want to make any political statements as she didn't feel she knew enough to take a position. But this was considered to be 'unacceptable'.

I hope these random thoughts help - cancelling people is a very anodyne way of saying we are shutting down people's freedom of speech. This is frequently happening to people regardless of whether they have actually "done" anything.
Yes. I agree with various points and this is so helpful. I have a general idea of what I want to talk about and write about and this thread is really useful in terms of that. I will definitely implement some of these points and I want your permission to do that first. (I say implement because they're just going to be small points weaved into my speech). Thank you for your help. 🙏🏽
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TabithaFord99
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(Original post by parii_xd)
Yes. I agree with various points and this is so helpful. I have a general idea of what I want to talk about and write about and this thread is really useful in terms of that. I will definitely implement some of these points and I want your permission to do that first. (I say implement because they're just going to be small points weaved into my speech). Thank you for your help. 🙏🏽
You're very welcome, please use whatever you need
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