As much as we love Facebook and Instagram for connecting us with our favourite actors and influencers, we cannot ignore the fact that the social media has been giving a platform to hate speech and misinformation also. To urge Facebook to reform its policies against hate speech, celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lawrence and others are going to quit social media for a day under the #StopHateForProfit campaign.
Facebook ignores hate & disinformation on their site. This is not an “operational mistake.” It is a deliberate decision to put profits over people and democracy. Tell Facebook to #StopHateForProfit. https://t.co/7TSovLMug2 pic.twitter.com/lJts6Ampgp— Jennifer Lawrence - Represent.Us (@JLawrence_RepUs) September 14, 2020
Actors like Sacha Baron Cohen have joined forces with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to launch the campaign calling on Facebook to crack down on hate speech, violence, and misinformation on its platforms. In one of its recent tweets, ADL said, “Facebook does not protect its users from hate or disinformation. Facebook has shown us time & time again that profits come before people. That’s why we are “freezing” our Instagram account for 24 hours.”
The only thing more terrifying than Mark Zuckerberg surfing in whiteface...Is the white supremacy and lies Facebook spreads every day. This Weds Sept 16 I’m freezing my Instagram to tell Mark to #StopHateForProfit. Who’s in?! pic.twitter.com/nM5VB9YVZd— Sacha Baron Cohen (@SachaBaronCohen) September 14, 2020
Facebook does not protect its users from hate or disinformation. Facebook has shown us time & time again that profits come before people. That’s why we are “freezing” our Instagram account for 24 hours.Join us & send a message to Facebook to #StopHateForProfit. pic.twitter.com/84n9dAx9WB— ADL (@ADL) September 16, 2020
The "freeze" is part of the campaign’s "week of action”, which kicked off Monday. Members plan to continue to share information on "how Facebook’s failures lead to real-life violence and sow division" and call for change through the end of the week.
Businesswoman and social media influencer Kim Kardashian also urged Facebook to stop providing platform to hate speech which is dividing America. She tweeted, “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.”
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 pic.twitter.com/XkxzABn7qw— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) September 15, 2020
Actor Mark Ruffalo has also called on Facebook to take substantial steps to stop hate speech, misinformation on its platform and has frozen his accounts this Wednesday.
Facebook claims they address hate, yet they continue to look the other way as racist, violent groups and posts sow division and split America apart – only taking steps after people are killed. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/AfO70nEEo8— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) September 14, 2020
Thank you to @michaelb4jordan @iamjamiefoxx @LeoDiCaprio @kerrywashington @KimKardashian @NaomiCampbell for calling out Facebook for ignoring hate & disinformation on their site. This is not an “operational mistake.” It is a deliberate decision to divide.#StopHateForProfit pic.twitter.com/lI1P5kQus6— NAACP (@NAACP) September 16, 2020
With the US Presidential elections just a month away, social media platforms have become an essential platform for politicians and other interest groups to target its voters and influence the election results. The political scene in the United States has been polarised since President Donald Trump took office with some help from Facebook as explained by Netflix documentary The Great Hack. The recent Black Lives Matter protests and President Trump’s ways of curbing it have only raised questions on social media companies' responsibility in tackling fake news which can endanger marginalised people’s lives.