By CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Kim Kardashian West is among the handful of celebrities participating in an Instagram “freeze” Wednesday in protest of hate speech and disinformation on the platform and its parent company, Facebook.
The Stop Hate For Profit coalition, a group backed by the NAACP and other civil rights organizations that spearheaded the Facebook ad boycott in July, announced the freeze Wednesday in a statement, saying West was among the nearly two dozen celebrities participating.
Sacha Baron Cohen, Katy Perry, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence and Ashton Kutcher are some of the other celebrities lending their voices to the campaign, and the group is calling on more influencers to join in and participate in the 24-hour posting moratorium.
In addition to the posting moratorium Wednesday, the public figures will also be asked to post messages later in the week on their social media platforms that highlight steps that Facebook could take to address hate. Organizers estimate the celebrities’ messages will reach 524 million people and accounts in total.
“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,” West wrote in an Instagram post Tuesday announcing she was taking part in the Instagram freeze.
The reality TV mogul and criminal justice reform advocate called on her followers to join her in the one-day freeze.
The Stop Hate for Profit coalition outlined that the goal of the initiative is to demand that Facebook “take action to address hate, extremism and disinformation on its platforms.” The latest action comes on the heels of the Facebook ad boycott it organized in July which gained support from major U.S. companies including Coca-Cola and Starbucks.
The latest initiative has faced some backlash already on social media, with some critics slamming the moratorium as performative.
Derrick Johnson, the president and CEO of the NAACP and one of the organizers with the Stop Hate for Profit coalition, told ABC News in July that he views Facebook as a “threat to democracy,” saying the platform has especially failed to keep Black users safe from hateful content and misinformation.
In a statement Tuesday on the latest initiative, Johnson said 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,” Johnson added.
Facebook declined ABC News’ request for comment Wednesday. The social media giant has announced a series of updates over the summer in an attempt to combat hate on the platform, including labeling content such as speeches from politicians as “newsworthy” even if they aren’t removed, cracking down on hateful content in ads and announcing a one-week ban on new political ads just ahead of the election.
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