Kim Kardashian and other celebrities are boycotting Facebook and Instagram in protest over the company’s response to incendiary misinformation and hate speech spreading freely on the platform.
Ms Kardashian announced the boycott on Twitter.
The move is part of the Stop Hate For Profit campaign, which previously convinced more than 1,000 brands to withhold advertising from Facebook and the Instagram platform it owns for the month of July to try and get the company to act.
The organisers met with founder and boss Mark Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and reported being disappointed by the meeting and the pair’s seeming unwillingness to fix its platform.
In leaked details after the meeting, Mr Zuckerberg told staff the advertising boycott would have no impact on its policies.
“We’re not going to change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small per cent of our revenue, or to any per cent of our revenue,” Mr Zuckerberg reportedly said at a meeting in late June.
It’s unlikely a few accounts, even ones as big as Kim Kardashian who has more than 188 million Instagram followers, not posting for a day will do much either.
Financial news publication Bloomberg has nevertheless highlighted that Facebook’s stock fell sharply on the news of Ms Kardashian’s action.
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Ms Kardashian highlighted the platform’s exploited use as a platform for misinformation and propaganda “created by groups to sow division and split America apart”.
As a former Facebook staffer alleged in a leaked internal memo, these misinformation campaigns (which Facebook refers to as “co-ordinated inauthentic behaviour”) aren’t just being used to sow division and deceit in America.
Mark Zuckerberg recently blamed an “operational mistake” for the fact that a militia group that hundreds of users reported for inciting violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin wasn’t removed until after violence unfolded and a 17-year-old teen allegedly murdered two people with an assault rifle.
Mr Zuckerberg said Facebook’s investigation didn’t find a link between the alleged shooter and the militia group Kenosha Guard.
Earlier this year, Facebook also had to announce it would take action against the QAnon conspiracy movement that crossed over from internet oddity to mainstream phenomenon thanks in part to the platform.
The company is now hoping to avoid a repeat of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and prevent its platform being used to derail the US election in November.
The company’s plan includes not accepting political ads in the week before the election, removing posts trying to use COVID-19 to discourage people from voting, and attaching labels to content that “seeks to delegitimise the outcome of the election or discuss the legitimacy of voting methods for example, by claiming that lawful methods of voting will lead to fraud”.
It’s also sworn to add a label to posts from any candidate or campaign that tries to declare victory before the final results are in.