#StopHateforProfit: Kim Kardashian Joins Social Media Boycott
Kim Kardashian West joined dozens of other celebrities announcing they will freeze their social media accounts to protest against the spread of “hate, propaganda and misinformation” as part of the #StopHateforProfit campaign.
The reality star wrote in a statement on September 15: “Misinformation shared on social media has a serious impact.”
The celebrities will freeze their accounts for 24 hours on September 16.
Kim Kardashian said: “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.”
“Misinformation shared on social media has a serious impact on our elections and undermines our democracy,” she added.
Other celebrities that have agreed to take part in the boycott include Katy Perry, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sacha Baron Cohen and Jennifer Lawrence.
Katy Perry wrote on Instagram: “I can’t sit idly by while these platforms turn a blind eye to groups and posts spreading hateful disinformation.”
Ashton Kutcher, who has millions of followers and is also joining the boycott, said “these tools were not built to spread hate [and] violence”.
The organizers of the #StopHateforProfit campaign, which was launched in June, accuse Facebook and Instagram of not doing enough to stop hate speech and disinformation.
The group has focused on Facebook, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp and last year attracted advertising revenue of almost $70 billion.
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Thousands of businesses and major civil rights groups – including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Anti-Defamation League (AD) – have signed up to the campaign.
The group said in a statement: “We are quickly approaching one of the most consequential elections in American history.
“Facebook’s unchecked and vague ‘changes’ are falling dangerously short of what is necessary to protect our democracy.”
In June, Facebook said it would label potentially harmful or misleading posts left up for their news value.
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.
The Facebook founder said in a statement: “The 2020 elections were already shaping up to be heated.
“During this moment, Facebook will take extra precautions to help everyone stay safe [and] stay informed.”
However, the #StopHateforProfit campaign called for more to be done, and more than 90 companies subsequently paused advertising in support of its efforts.
As a result of the boycott, shares in Facebook fell dramatically and media reported that $7.2 billion had been knocked off Mark Zuckerberg’s personal net worth.
Regulators and policy-makers around the world are concerned about the growth of hate speech, not just on Facebook but on all social media platforms, with many countries launching enquiries into how the tech companies are dealing with the issue.