Kim Kardashian West joins Facebook and Instagram boycott
Kim Kardashian West and dozens of other celebrities have announced that they will freeze their social media accounts to protest the spread of “hate, propaganda and disinformation”.
“Disinformation shared on social media has a serious impact,” Kardashian West wrote in a statement Tuesday.
The move is part of the #StopHateforProfit campaign organized by civil rights activists.
Celebs will block their accounts for 24 hours on Wednesday.
“I cannot stand by and remain silent as these platforms continue to allow the spread of hate, propaganda and disinformation – created by groups to sow division and divide America,” Kardashian West said.
“Disinformation shared on social media has a serious impact on our elections and undermines our democracy,” he added.
Other celebrities who have agreed to take part in the boycott include actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Sacha Baron Cohen and Jennifer Lawrence, as well as singer Katy Perry.
“I can’t stand by as these platforms turn a blind eye to groups and posts spreading hateful misinformation,” Perry wrote on Instagram.
Actor Ashton Kutcher, who has millions of followers and also joins the boycott, said “these tools weren’t built to spread hate. [and] violence”.
Organizers of the #StopHateforProfit campaign, launched in June, accuse Facebook and Instagram of not doing enough to stop hate speech and disinformation.
The group focused on Facebook, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, and last year attracted nearly $ 70 billion (£ 56.7 billion) ad revenue.
Thousands of companies and prominent civil rights groups, including the National Association for the Advancement of People of Color (NAACP) and the Anti-Defamation League (AD), have joined the campaign.
“We are fast approaching one of the most important elections in American history,” the group said in a statement. “Facebook’s vague and uncontrolled” changes “are falling dangerously below what is necessary to protect our democracy.”
In June, Facebook said it would tag potentially harmful or misleading posts left for their news value.
Founder Mark Zuckerberg also said the social media company would ban advertising containing claims “that people of a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity, or immigration status” are a threat to others.
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“The 2020 elections were already preparing to be heated,” he wrote in a statement. “During this time, Facebook will be taking extra precautions to help everyone stay safe [and] stay informed. “
But the #StopHateforProfit campaign required more and more than 90 companies subsequently suspended advertising in support of its efforts.
As a result of the boycott, Facebook’s stock dropped dramatically, and the US media reported that $ 7.2 billion had been wiped out of Zuckerberg’s personal net worth.
Regulators and policymakers around the world are concerned about the rise of hate speech, not just on Facebook but across all social media platforms, with many countries launching investigations into how tech companies are addressing the problem.