Celebrities to suspend their Facebook social media accounts for 24 hours as part of #StopHateforProfit campaign. This is to increase the prere to do more in the fight against misinformation and hatred. The criticism comes promptly: on those very platforms users complain that the action will hardly bring anything.
Kim Kardashian West has 188 million followers on Instagram. The reality TV star told them that she would not post anything on Thursday: "I can’t sit and be quiet while platforms allow hate, propaganda and misinformation to be shared – by groups that want to separate and divide America." Misinformation has an impact on elections and undermines democracy, she continues. Leonardo DiCaprio, Ashton Kutcher, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Perry, among others, also support the boycott.
Campaign to boycott
Initially, several civil rights organizations had launched the campaign and called for no more advertising to be booked on Facebook. This had been joined by more than 90 companies, including consumer goods giant Unilever, Coca Cola, VW and SAP. Facebook makes almost all of its revenue from advertising batches.
The celebrities who are now boycotting use the various social networks just as freely as anyone else. So by 24 hours without new content from them, Facebook has not robbed. It is also questionable whether this will result in fewer posts being shared overall. Nevertheless, both the announcement and the criticism of social media reach millions of people.
Election influence through social networks
Jim Steyer of Common Sense Media, an organization that helped call for the campaign, said in an interview with the New York Times that participants want to continue to educate on social media after the break. The hope is to reach young people and teach them the values of democracy. Comedian and actor Sacha Baron Cohen calls on Twitter for other users to rest their activities as well.
Boycott comes just before US presidential election. In addition to the general criticism of social networks, there is also the specific concern that the elections will be affected by the platforms. Even Mark Zuckerberg warns that this danger existed. Facebook has therefore commissioned a study to shed light on the influence on voting behavior. Also, no new political ads will be accepted by the company from seven days before the election.