Several Celebrities froze their Facebook and Instagram accounts for a period of 24-hours. This was a step against Facebook’s role in the spread of misinformation and hate speech. The campaign later known as #StopHateForProfit.
The global standing of social media seems to be crumbling at the present stage. A little time after Netflix released its exacting and eye-opening documentary Social Dilemma, noted celebrities across the world chose to speak up against social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram (both owned by Mark Zuckerberg).
However, #StopHateForProfit does not have much to do with the documentary. It is mostly related to Facebook’s aversion to confronting its multiple interpretations in addition to spreading misinformation and (more controversially) hate speech.
Global celebs chose to freeze their accounts which included the refrain from posting and sharing others posts. Big names like Kim Kardashian West, Katy Perry, Leonardo DiCaprio backed the #StopHateforProfit campaign.
How Did #StopHateforProfit begin?
Anti-Defamation League, Color Of Change, and the NAACP, civil rights groups and the organisers behind #StopHateforProfit, previously led a campaign that attained multiple brands and non-profits to join a Facebook promoting boycott.
The Cut wrote an article where Facebook’s chief operating officer Cheryl Sandberg, along with Zuckerberg, launched a counter-initiative to placate these brands by finally agreeing to one of their listed demands, that of hiring “an executive with a background in civil rights work.”
The 24 hour-freeze campaign is a pressure tactic that’s used by the non-profit Common Sense Media, which helped organise the campaign.
What did the celebrities post about the campaign?
The campaign asked people to refrain from posting on Zuckerberg-owned social platform to put up a message that they called the damage Facebook does.
Kim Kardashian West took the issue to her twitter feed on Tuesday and posted the following.
I love that I can connect directly with you through Instagram and Facebook, but I can’t sit by and stay silent while these platforms continue to allow the spreading of hate, propaganda and misinformation – created by groups to sow division and split America apart pic.twitter.com/XkxzABn7qw
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) September 15, 2020
At the start of #StopHateForProfit, the companies requested to help send a message. Facebook must stop valuing profits over hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism, and disinformation. Read through their official website.
Similarly, others that joined the campaign are namely, Mark Ruffalo, Katy Perry, Rosario Dawson, Jamie Foxx and Sacha Baron Cohen.
Facebook makes billions in advertising dollars while allowing hate to thrive on its platform. It’s time to hold them accountable for its inaction. Today, I am “freezing” my Instagram account for 24 hours. Join me and tell Facebook to #StopHateForProfit https://t.co/T2x3foDRWV pic.twitter.com/1PlxsBTgTO
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) September 16, 2020
View this post on Instagram
“In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell I love sharing my music and my life with you on Instagram and Facebook, but TBH I can’t sit idly by while these platforms turn a blind eye to groups and posts spreading hateful disinformation and intentional confusion. I’m standing with @naacp, @colorofchange, and @adl_national and will be freezing my Instagram and Facebook accounts on Wednesday, September 16th to tell Facebook to #StopHateForProfit. Will you join me?! Link in bio for more info on how to preserve the truth ♥️
The Effect and Facebook’s reaction
In conclusion Facebook has declined to comment, however, pointed to recent announcements about what it’s doing to limit the reach on its platform of groups that support violence and its efforts to protect the US election in November.
With 188 million followers, Kardashian-West is one of the most influential people on Instagram. Similarly Katy Perry is influential with 106 million followers. Her support and other big names for the boycott saw Facebook shares slide in aftermarket trading late Tuesday. They were down 1.7 per cent ahead of the market open on Wednesday.
Above all general terms, this social media boycott being hailed by many, while some see it as a futile gesture that might slide off people’s memories quickly.