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Photo: Marc Piasecki/GC Images

Kim Kardashian West announced that she will join two dozen celebrities in temporarily freezing their Instagram and Facebook accounts on Wednesday because the platforms "continue to allow the spreading of hate, propaganda and misinformation — created by groups to sow division and split America apart."

Why it matters: The announcement from such a high-profile user is likely to be a PR disaster for Instagram and Facebook, as well as a boost to the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Kardashian West is the seventh-most followed account on Instagram with 188 million followers. She currently has 30 million followers on Facebook.

What she's saying: "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," Kardashian West wrote.

  • "Misinformation shared on social media has a serious impact on our elections and undermines our democracy.  Please join me tomorrow when I will be 'freezing' my Instagram and FB account to tell Facebook to #StopHateForProfit."
  • Facebook declined to comment.

The big picture: Sacha Baron Cohen, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lawrence, Judd Apatow, Ashton Kutcher, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael B. Jordan are among the other celebrities who the #StopHateForProfit campaign says are joining the 24-hour freeze. More are expected to sign on.

  • The group is calling for Facebook to ban pages that promote hate, forbid any event page with a call to arms, and remove election misinformation, among other reforms.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva: Kardashian West is huge on Instagram and Facebook, so she's bound to get noticed for this on the internet. But the impact on her own benefits from Facebook's apps will be trivial, since it's only a one-day moratorium.

Background: Facebook in particular has come under fire recently for their handling of pages that advocated violence at protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin. BuzzFeed News also reported recently that an internal whistleblower said the company was slow to act on misinformation efforts that undermined elections around the globe.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Go deeper

Nov 19, 2020 - Technology

Facebook says very few people actually see hate speech on its platform

Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook said it took action on 22.1 million pieces of hate speech content to its platform globally last quarter and about 6.5 million pieces of hate speech content on Instagram. On both platforms, it says about 95% of that hate speech was proactively identified and stopped by artificial intelligence.

Details: In total, the company says that there are 10–11 views of hate speech for every 10,000 views of content uploaded to the site globally — or .1%. It calls this metric — how much problematic content it doesn't catch compared to how much is reported and removed — "prevalence."

Nov 20, 2020 - Technology

Biden's Day 1 challenges: Misinformation flood control

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden will enter office with no fast fixes at hand to stem a tide of online misinformation that has shaped election-year politics and, unchecked, could undermine his presidency.

Where it stands: Election and coronavirus misinformation spreading widely on digital platforms has already done serious damage to the U.S., and it's bound to go into overdrive as the Biden administration starts enacting its agenda.

Cold December as safety nets expire

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Safety nets are likely to be yanked from underneath millions of vulnerable Americans in December, as the coronavirus surges.

Why it matters: Those most at risk are depending on one or more relief programs that are set to expire, right as the economic recovery becomes more fragile than it's been in months.