Sacha Baron Cohen and his celebrity brothers have a bone to pick with Facebook Inc. over misinformation and hatred on its scattered digital platforms.
In a preview of the #StopHateForProfit protest scheduled against Facebook FB,
on Wednesday, Cohen, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Orlando Bloom, Kerry Washington and Kim Kardashian West speak out against the social networking giant and some of the content that runs across its digital properties to 2.7 billion active users each month.
“I love that I can connect directly with you via Instagram and Facebook, but I can not sit still and be silent while these platforms continue to allow the spread of hatred, propaganda and misinformation ̵
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In a blistering tweet to its 420,700 followers on Twitter Inc. TWTR,
, Cohen said, “Fantastic – every hour more people participate in tomorrow’s Instagram freeze to tell Facebook to #StopHateForProfit Advertisers, FB employees and users are tired. Facebook – stop spreading hatred, lies and conspiracies that ignite our society! ”
Cohen and Kardashian West are two of the more high-profile members of the protest, which is organized by a coalition of civil rights groups that in July called for an ad boycott of Facebook. Hundreds of companies, ranging from Microsoft Corp. MSFT,
to Starbucks Corp. SBUX,
, joined the boycott.
On Monday, the NAACP and Anti-Defamation League said they were urging celebrities and businesses to stop posting on Instagram, Facebook’s popular photo-sharing app, one day Wednesday. They are protesting Facebook’s handling of hateful content on its platform and are demanding that the company stop letting politicians lie in political ads. (Facebook has declared a moratorium on new ads in the week leading up to the November 3 election.)
Protest organizers are particularly concerned about what they call Facebook’s lack of closing page for a Kenosha, Wisc., Militia group. Last week, Facebook said it was removing misinformation on its platform that antifa activists were setting flames on the west coast.
A Facebook spokesman declined to comment on the celebrity protest. The company’s shares are flat in trading after opening hours on Tuesday.
It’s just the latest PR headache for Facebook, which for years has been the subject of criticism from members of both major political parties for content on its platform.
In a lengthy Facebook post in late June, official Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company was committed to removing content that “encourages violence” or suppresses voting, “no matter where it comes from” – including from politicians like President Donald Trump.