A group of celebrities including Kim Kardashian West, Katy Perry, Michael B. Jordan and Ashton Kutcher have said they will participate in a 24-hour Instagram “freeze” on Wednesday as part of the Stop Hate For Profit movement to protest what the organization calls “Facebook’s repeated failures to address hate speech and election disinformation on their platforms.”
A slew of big-name advertisers including Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Verizon paused to their social media budgets this summer after “Stop Hate For Profit” called on advertisers to boycott Facebook for the month of July. The goal, the group said, was to pressure the company into taking more stringent steps to stop the spread of hate speech and misinformation on its platform.
Specifically, the organization wants Facebook to remove Facebook Groups that promote white supremacy, hate and violent conspiracies; forbid any event page with a call to arms and eliminate a politician exemption for political and voting content, among other requests.
For instance, in one recent incident, Facebook reportedly declined to take down a page for a militia organization based in Kenosha, Wisconsin, despite hundreds of notifications from users that the page included a call to arms and comments advocating violence against protesters, who were demonstrating over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man. Facebook removed the page only after a gunman at the protest killed two people, an error which CEO Mark Zuckerberg later called an “operational mistake.”
Now, the organization is turning its attention to Facebook subsidiary Instagram, asking users to conduct a 24-hour “freeze” in which they’ll make one post criticizing the company and no further posts for the day.
Among the participants are Sacha Baron Cohen, Naomi Campbell, Judd Apatow, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, Kate Hudson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Rosario Dawson, Isla Fisher, Scooter Braun and Mark Ruffalo.
Facebook declined to comment.
Kardashian West has one of Instagram’s most-followed accounts, with more than 188 million followers.
“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 – only to take steps after people are killed,” she wrote in her post. “Misinformation shared on social media has a serious impact on our elections and undermines our democracy. Please join me tomorrow when I will be ‘freezing’ my Instagram and FB account to tell Facebook to #StopHateForProfit. Link in bio for more info on how to preserve truth.”
Though the temporary boycott of a portion of Facebook’s advertisers drew widespread attention, the impact to the company’s bottom line was minimal.
Facebook shares are up about 32% for the year, well ahead of the S&P 500’s gain of about 5%.