Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 23 September 2020

Hollywood celebrities unite in 24-hour ‘Instagram freeze’ protest

A-List action against Facebook has been met with mixed response

Television personality Kim Kardashian attends a panel for the documentary 'Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project' during the Winter TCA (Television Critics Association) Press Tour in Pasadena, California, in January 2020. Reuters 
Television personality Kim Kardashian attends a panel for the documentary 'Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project' during the Winter TCA (Television Critics Association) Press Tour in Pasadena, California, in January 2020. Reuters 

Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry are just some of the Hollywood stars who have frozen their Instagram accounts today as a form of protest against Facebook, the social media behemoth that owns Instagram.

I do use Instagram and Facebook, but I want it to be a force for good

Leonardo DiCaprio

Taking a stand against “the spreading of hate, propaganda and misinformation”, Kardashian, who boasts 188 million followers on Instagram, joined a slew of other famous faces in posting a Stop Hate image.

The protest was started by the Stop Hate for Profit Campaign, a coalition of civil rights organisations – including the Anti-Defamation League and the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) – that previously called for an advertising boycott of Facebook back in July.

“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,” Kardashian wrote. “Misinformation shared on social media has a serious impact on our elections and undermines our democracy.”

‘This is an opportunity for Facebook’

Instagram’s parent company Facebook has come under fire in recent years over allegations it allowed hate speech, and false or misleading information to flourish.

“Advertisers, FB employees and users are fed up,” wrote Borat actor, Sacha Baron Cohen on Instagram. “Facebook – stop spreading the hate, lies and conspiracies that inflame our societies!”

While Oscar winner, DiCaprio posted, “I do use Instagram and Facebook, but I want it to be a force for good – not hate, violence, and disinformation. This should be an opportunity for Facebook to work with these organisations and the community at large to make it a better, safer platform for all.”

However, despite widespread support for the movement, there have been dissenting voices, with fans commenting on Kardashian’s post, “One day? Wow, the sacrifice” and, “But it’s not a permanent freeze of your account so they know you’ll be back selling your products in no time.”

Updated: September 16, 2020 12:22 PM

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