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Cringe, generally speaking, is anything that induces second-hand embarrassment. This phenomenon is usually caused by a lack of self-awareness. Many internet communities have dedicated themselves to sharing cringe for their own enjoyment, creating a 'cringe culture' simply around laughing at people. If you see someone calling something cringe there's a large chance it's politically motivated and not funny at all. The opposite of cringe is based.
On Reconstruction Era, cringe is shared on the #cringe channel.