1st Edition

Corporate Cancel Culture and Brand Boycotts The Dark Side of Social Media for Brands

Edited By Angeline Close Scheinbaum Copyright 2025
    288 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    288 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This topical book examines and tests the complexities of unintended consequences of social media that often impact brands and companies from both an economic and a reputational lens. The book introduces the term “corporate cancel culture”, highlighting the growing trend amongst customers to leverage social media to communicate their grievances with companies.

    The book reports challenges of social media platforms to brands and companies. The challenges addressed entail including social media trolls, the power of influencers, the dark web, cancel culture in sports due to political constraints, social media influencer livestreams, and misinformation. Written by a team of experts from North America, Europe, South America and Asia, the book showcases real-world expertise in marketing, branding, consumer psychology, economics, and communication. The book also considers solutions for brands and companies who need to address the dark side of social media by offering insights on fostering accountability among brands and business leaders and providing a roadmap to mitigate consumer resistance.

    Corporate Cancel Culture and Brand Boycotts: The Dark Side of Social Media for Brands is a must read for students of psychology, marketing, public relations, management, and social media. It will also be of interest to users of social media—both consumers and business/organizations. It is especially valuable for marketing/advertising professionals, social media professionals/influencers, and business executives. Its designed to be read alongside The Dark Side of Social Media: A Consumer Psychology Perspective.

    About the Editor

    About the Contrubutors

    Foreword “Tik Tiking Away”
    Gavin Leach

    Foreword “Brands Can’t Wake Up and “Be Woke”
    Adam Stone

    Preface “Introduction to Corporate Cancel Culture”
    Angeline Close Scheinbaum

    PART 1: Cancelling Cancel Culture: How it Can Hurt People, Brands, and Sport Organizations

    1. Corporate Cancel Culture: A Framework of Dimensions of Moral Cognition in Cancel Culture and a Catalog of Corporate Cancellation Events
    Angeline Close Scheinbaum & T. Andrew Poehlman

    2. Cancel Culture for Human Brands and Firms: Punishment versus Accountability
    Janna M. Parker, Kevin W. James, & Debra Zahay

    3. Dark Side of Social Media: Cancel Culture in Sports Organizations
    Felipe Tobar, Renan Petersen-Wagner & Jonathan R. Oliveira

    PART 2: Misinformation and Social Media: How Coordinated Influence Operations Use Social Media to Spread Threats and Fear with Misinformation

    4. Paths to Influence: How Coordinated Influence Operations Affect the Prominence of Ideas
    Darren Linvill & Patrick Warren

    5. The Spread of Misinformation and Its Potential Threats: A Motivational Theory Approach
    Hyeong-Gyu Choi

    PART 3: Influencers and Memes: How Even the Fun Aspect of Social Media has Downsides for Brands and Societal-Well Being

    6. The Dark Side of Social Media Influencers for Brands
    Sayan Gupta & Medha Reddy Edunuri

    7. The Dark Side of Social Media Livestream for Brands and Profits
    Jingyun Hu & Kevin Flynn

    8. The Dark Side of Memes for Brands and Society
    Kat Williams & Scott R. Stroud


    Angeline Close Scheinbaum (PhD, University of Georgia) is a scholar of consumer behavior and integrated brand promotion with a focus in contexts of sport and e-commerce/social media. Within branding, she measures event sponsorships and their economic impact, fanbase psychographics and behavior, consumer brand perception, and experiential marketing effects. She has worked with global brand sponsors such as Ford, Dodge, Volkswagen, Suzuki, Mazda, and Lexus. Dr. Scheinbaum is co-author or editor of: “Advertising & Integrated Brand Promotion”, “Consumer Behavior Knowledge for Effective Sports and Event Marketing”, “Online Consumer Behavior: Theory and Research in Advertising, Social Media, and E-Tail”, “The Dark Side of Social Media: A Consumer Psychology Perspective”, and “The Darker Side of Social Media: Consumer Psychology and Mental Health”.

    With the increasing relevance of social media in the business world today, understanding ‘corporate cancel culture’ is extremely important to maintaining relevancy. As social media continues to evolve, considering consumer perceptions of companies through the lens of social media is critical for upholding and protecting reputation, managing public relations and guiding leadership decisions. Companies and social media users who wish to preserve their brands would be wise to read this book.

    - Wendy York, Dean, Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business, Clemson University 

    This research-based book examines ‘corporate cancel culture’ and how it affects brands and business. Chapters on misinformation, cancel culture, the dark side of memes, and issues with livestream social media shopping provide a modern take for marketers and social media users alike.

    - Jonah Berger, Wharton School Professor and bestselling author of The Catalyst and Contagious