clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

These celebrities are ‘freezing’ their Instagram accounts today to protest hate speech on Facebook. Here’s what that means

The social media boycott is part of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign

This Friday, Aug. 23, 2019 file photo shows the Instagram app icon on the screen of a mobile device in New York. Celebrities including Kim Kardashian West, Katy Perry and Leonardo DiCaprio are taking part in a 24-hour “freeze” Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 on Instagram to protest against the failure of the social media platform’s parent company, Facebook, to tackle misinformation and hateful content.
This Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, file photo shows the Instagram app icon on the screen of a mobile device in New York. Celebrities including Kim Kardashian West, Katy Perry and Leonardo DiCaprio are taking part in a 24-hour “freeze” Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 on Instagram to protest against the failure of the social media platform’s parent company, Facebook, to tackle misinformation and hateful content.
Jenny Kane, Associated Press

Celebrities like Kim Kardashian West, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry are “freezing” their Instagram accounts Wednesday to protest Facebook as part of the Stop Hate For Profit campaign, according to USA Today.

The group of stars — which also includes Jennifer Lawrence, Mark Ruffalo and Jamie Foxx, among others — have pledged not to post on the social media platform for the day in order to pressure Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, to address hate speech and misinformation on the site, USA Today reported.

“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,” Kardashian West wrote on Instagram on Tuesday.

Kardashian West has 188 million followers on Instagram, according to The Hill.

The Stop Hate for Profit campaign is a coalition of civil rights groups, which includes the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP, according to The New York Times. The campaign also organized a Facebook ad boycott in July, resulting in over one thousand advertisers pausing their spending on Facebook ads.

However, the celebrity boycott has caused some backlash, with some people questioning whether the short-term action will have much influence, according to the Times.

“These stunts are worthless if temporary and short-lived (which they always are),” one social media user tweeted. “If anything, they shine a light on the fact that we cannot live without these platforms since everyone always comes back (brands included.)”

But one social media influencer manager, Keith Dorsey, told USA Today he believes the boycott could have an impact, given the number of followers that many of the celebrities have.

“(Young people) sometimes don’t trust the companies, but they love their influencers, they love their celebrities,” Dorsey said, according to USA Today. “It’s a big deal when influencers like the Kardashians say something because now their fans are starting to say, ‘OK, this is something serious, let me follow what they’re doing and let me research.’”

Among other things, the Stop Hate for Profit campaign is calling on Facebook to remove any Facebook Groups that promote white supremacy and violence, as well as event pages that feature a “call to arms,” according to CNBC.