Kim Kardashian, Naomi Campbell and Ashton Kutcher are among the growing list of celebrities who have announced on their social media channels that they will be “freezing” their Instagram and Facebook accounts on Wednesday, Sept. 16, in an effort to protest Internet hate speech.
The initiative is part of a group effort, which spun out of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, to raise awareness of Facebook’s purported mishandling of hate speech on its platforms. On Monday, the civil rights group that aims to hold social media companies accountable for hate speech called on celebrities to stop using Instagram on Wednesday to protest. Stars with big followings, such as Kim Kardashian, who has 188 million followers on Instagram alone, has announced they are up for the challenge.
“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,” wrote Kardashian on a statement that was posted to her Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts.
She continued, “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.”
The Stop Hate for Profit campaign was launched by nine civil rights groups, including the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, earlier this summer in response to Facebook’s purported inadequacies in policing hate speech on its platforms. The coalition hosted a Facebook ad boycott in July and has specifically called out the tech company’s widely-reported failure to shut down a page ran by a Kenosha militia group.
Wednesday’s freeze is expected to reach 524 million people and accounts, according to PR Newswire.
“It speaks volumes that there is now widespread concern about Facebook’s complacency. The calls for Facebook to make meaningful changes to prevent the proliferation of hate and extremism on the platform are growing louder. It’s time for Facebook to act,” said Derrick Johnson, the president and CEO of the NAACP in a press release for the campaign.