The digitine is the new cancelled

The digitine is the new cancelled
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Screenshot TikTok / @ladyfromtheoutside / @HaleyyBaylee

There’s an analogy activists often use called “dollar voting.” Sustainable food advocate and author Anna Lappé described it as, “every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” Basically, we have a choice with how we spend our money and where that money goes — and that choice has consequences.

In the digital world, and its partnered attention economy, we spend a lot of time online where we aren’t necessarily spending our own money, but other people are still profiting off of us. Each view on a TikTok video, follow on Instagram, or like on X can increase someone’s net worth. We are effectively paying creators and influencers with our views, and there’s a growing movement to pull our views, likes, and follows when content creators don’t stand up for what we want to see. It’s called the digitine.

A TikTok creator with more than 56,000 followers, @ladyfromtheoutside, posted a video on May 8 coining the term.

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“It’s time for the people to conduct what I want to call a ‘digital guillotine.’ A digitine if you will,” @ladyfromtheoutside said. “It’s time to block all of the celebrities, influencers, and wealthy socialites who are not using their resources to help those in dire need. We gave them their platforms. It’s time to take it back, take our views away, our likes, our comments, our money, by blocking them on all social media and digital platforms.”

She decided the first creator who should be digitined is @HaleyyBaylee, or Haley Kalil, a creator who used the audio of Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette saying “let them eat cake” while she was in her gown for the MET Gala. The infamous “let them eat cake” line refers to a (maybe real? Maybe fake?) response from the 1700s French queen when she heard her starving peasant subjects had no bread to eat. Kalil has since deleted the video and apologized.

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In the TikTok video calling for a guillotine, @ladyfromtheoutside reads off a pretend scroll: “@HaleyyBaylee, for your ignorant decision to attend the $75,000 ticket MET Gala and recite ‘let them eat cake’ while you have done nothing with your 10 million follower platform as people are starving and dying, we sentence you to the digitine.”

She shows a video of her blocking Kalil and says, “vive la révolution.”

The comments on @ladyfromtheoutside’s video are turned off and she hasn’t uploaded any videos since that one, but there have been a fair share of manual reposts and stitches. Many are supporting the decision to take steps to actively protest creators who aren’t aligned with their political opinions or morals, in the same way some people don’t buy Chick-Fil-A because of its anti-LGBTQ campaigns. Others, like many of the commenters on this TikTok post, argue that we shouldn’t expect online creators to be moral compasses or guides.

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