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Celebs join Instagram 'freeze' to protest Facebook inaction

Kim Kardashian West on Wednesday joined several celebrities

Kim Kardashian West on Wednesday joined several celebrities on Instagram in a 24-hour protest against the social media platform's parent company, Facebook, failing to aggressively tackle misinformation and hateful content posts. Facebook declined to comment on the protest. Credit: Invision / AP / Willy Sanjuan

Kim Kardashian West, Katy Perry, Leonardo DiCaprio and other celebrities took part in a 24-hour Instagram "freeze" on Wednesday to protest against what they say is parent company Facebook's failure to tackle violent and hateful content and election misinformation.

Hollywood stars and influencers are lending their backing to the "#StopHateforProfit" movement's latest campaign. The movement asks people to put up a message highlighting what they called the damage Facebook does but otherwise refrain from posting on Instagram for a day.

"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," Kardashian West posted on her Instagram account on Tuesday.

Facebook declined to comment but pointed to recent announcements about what it's doing to limit the reach on its platform of groups that support violence and its efforts to protect the U.S. elections in November.

With 188 million followers, Kardashian West is one of the most influential people on Instagram and support from her and other big names for the boycott saw Facebook shares slide in aftermarket trading late Tuesday. They stock's shares closed down 3.27% Wednesday.

The organizers behind "#StopHateforProfit," including civil rights groups such as the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP and Color Of Change, had previously led a campaign that got hundreds of brands and nonprofits to join a Facebook advertising boycott in July.

Ashton Kutcher, Mark Ruffalo, Kerry Washington, Rosario Dawson, Jamie Foxx and Sacha Baron Cohen were among about two dozen Hollywood stars and celebrity influencers supporting the campaign, the organizers said.

DiCaprio said he was standing with the civil rights groups to call "on all users of Instagram and Facebook to protest the amplification of hate, racism, and the undermining of democracy on those platforms."

Facebook, which earned nearly $70 billion in advertising revenue last year, is facing a reckoning over what critics call indefensible excuses for amplifying divisions, hate and misinformation on their platforms.

"We are quickly approaching one of the most consequential elections in American history," organizers said. "Facebook’s unchecked and vague ‘changes’ are falling dangerously short of what is necessary to protect our democracy."

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