Kim Kardashian to freeze Facebook, Instagram accounts to protest hate speech
By: Katie Paul | 15 September 2020
(Reuters) – Kim Kardashian West is joining other celebrities to freeze her Facebook and Instagram accounts on Wednesday, in a campaign urging the world’s biggest social media company to curb the spread of hate and propaganda.
“Misinformation shared on social media has a serious impact on our elections and undermines our democracy,” Kardashian West wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday expressing support for the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign against Facebook Inc <FB.O>.
Actors including Kerry Washington, Jennifer Lawrence and Sacha Baron Cohen also tweeted on Tuesday, calling on Facebook to do more.
The campaign, launched by civil rights groups this summer, won the support of hundreds of major companies in an advertising boycott of the social media giant in July, although it had little impact on Facebook‘s bottom line. (https://bit.ly/2Rwh9CO)
This week, organizers encouraged users to post about the harm Facebook is causing and “freeze” their use of Facebook-owned Instagram for 24 hours on Wednesday. (https://bit.ly/33uPR5f)
The embrace of that call by Kardashian West, a businesswoman and reality TV star with one of the top 10 biggest Instagram followings worldwide, threatens a fresh blow to Facebook‘s image and careful management of its relationships with celebrities.
The company devotes substantial resources to celebrity “partnerships,” with dedicated teams handling special requests and giving stars early access to new products, according to two former employees familiar with the operation.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company has said it would team up with civil rights groups to develop more tools to fight hate speech, although the groups say executives have shown little commitment to action.
Kardashian West has become an influential powerhouse of social change, raising the issue of climate change to her 188 million followers and lobbying the White House for criminal justice reform.
(Reporting by Katie Paul in San Francisco; additional reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru and Jill Serjeant in Los Angeles; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Richard Chang)