Another boycott of Facebook? Hell yes. Today, dozens of well-known (American) celebrities will not use Facebook and Instagram. According to them, Facebook is still doing far too little to stop the spread of fake news, racism and hateful messages. With the boycott they want to encourage the platform to take action. And that is not the first time this year. It has been restless for Facebook for months. And not (enough) seems to change, so a group of famous people feels called to take action again.
The boycott is still part of the StopHateForProfit campaign, which in July caused advertisers to withdraw from the platform en masse. In doing so, they wanted to more or less force Facebook to commit more to and speak out against the spread of fake news , racism and hateful messages. Because unfortunately that still happens on a large scale. Just take a look at your own timeline. “Fake news shared on social media has a huge impact on our elections and undermines our democracy,” writes Kim Kardashian West. So it’s true that you didn’t see anything from her and the other Kardashians on Instagram today.
With the hashtags #stophateforprofit and #instafreeze, the American stars announced their temporary boycott.
Response from Facebook
Well, Facebook keeps saying that it takes very strict action to prevent the spread of fake news and propaganda. Unfortunately, the practice is slightly different. Although it is of course very difficult for social media to intercept anything that is not real, advertisers and algorithms have priority for the platform. Finding a middle ground that also prevents the spread of hateful messages and racism, turns out to be very difficult. Either Facebook has not yet found a good way for it, or it is still too lax about it. Again: take a look at your own timeline. I see plenty of fake news passing by. And quite racist statements, in which fake information is also shared or referred to questionable sources.
Actor Ashton Kutcher also supports the boycott and aptly describes it: “Social media is not built to spread hate, violence and fake news, but when companies and people take advantage of this behavior, financially or otherwise, it becomes their responsibility to inadvertently behavior. “
Do advertisers really stay away?
We don’t have numbers to back this up yet, but it doesn’t seem like all major advertisers have pulled out of the platform for good. Although these kinds of actions certainly have an impact, if only for the attention it attracts, the question is whether it really has major financial consequences for Facebook. Above all, let’s hope the platform takes action. A good solution seems to be a long way off. Moreover, American elections are getting closer . This story is far from over.