Jesse Singal in The Spectator:
What usually happens is this: some academic or other thinker or creative type is cheerfully chugging along in their career, living and working in progressive spaces. Maybe he is a professor, maybe he is a TV writer. Then, he commits some offence, or is perceived as having done so, and suddenly faces an onslaught of censure. Sometimes the opprobrium is wildly disproportionate to the offence. And there’s a very real walls-closing-in feeling, because the hate is coming from people he viewed as members of his ‘tribe,’ sometimes friends or close colleagues.
These campaigns, I know from first- and second-hand experience, almost always involve sociopathic backchannel efforts to cut the victims off from their social and professional networks; anyone who is seen as ‘defending’ them (by questioning the charges or the punishment at all) risks getting subsequently un-personed themselves. So, many people denounce or ignore their friends, rather than sticking up for them.