Today will no doubt be a very confusing day for the Facetune app on Kim Kardashian’s phone. For the first time since it was downloaded from the app store, it won’t be opened every sixteen seconds to play fast and loose with reality, like it usually is. But it doesn’t have to worry, because there’s a very important reason for why Kim won’t be posting any selfies today. Kim and several other celebrities have vowed to stay off Facebook and Instagram for 24 hours today, to protest Facebook’s failure to address their hate speech problem.
CNBC reports that today’s 24-hour social media freeze was launched by the Stop Hate For Profit movement. You may remember them from Prince Harry’s Fast Company editorial on social media hate. The Stop Hate For Profit movement aims to hold Mark Zuckerberg accountable for all the hate groups that use Facebook as a platform to spread hateful memes and comments. Mark has been accused by many people of turning a blind eye to the hate speech and blatant misinformation that floats around Facebook. Even Elon Musk has called for the government to get involved and start regulating Facebook.
And so far, Mark Zuckerberg has put more effort into applying sunscreen than combating hate. Recently, Facebook reportedly declined to take down a page for a Kenosha, Wisconsin militia organization, despite hundreds of reports from users that the page included a call to arms and encouraged violence against BLM protesters. CNBC says that Facebook finally removed the militia’s page after two protesters were shot and killed. Mark Zuckerberg claimed it was an “operational mistake” that the militia’s page was allowed to exist on Facebook.
So that would be why a whole bunch of famous names are boycotting his social media platforms today. The list includes Kim, as well as Sacha Baron Cohen, Naomi Campbell, Judd Apatow, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, Kate Hudson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Rosario Dawson, Isla Fisher, Scooter Braun, and Mark Ruffalo. Several famous names posted yesterday about why they were going silent for 24 hours. Some, like January Jones, straight-up ccused Mark Zuckerberg of being complicit in murder.
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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. 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.
CNBC says that Facebook declined to talk about Stop Hate For Profit’s 24-hour freeze. Facebook owns Instagram, which would be why everyone is selfie-silent today.
I’m not sure how effective this celebrity-lead campaign will be. I get the feeling Mark Zuckerberg wakes up every morning and stuffs his ears with earplugs made from rolled-up $100 bills, so that he can pretend he doesn’t hear people screaming at him to evict the racists from Facebook. But maybe I’m just cynical, and this #stophateforprofit campaign will get the attention of someone important. And I’m glad Kim is so invested in the truth about obvious misinformation and right-wing propaganda. If she wants to take her activism one step further, she can combat the spread of made-up facts and politically-motivated bullshit by going to Wyoming to say to her husband, “Hashtag stop doing literally everything you’re doing, ok?”