Blackout 2024: Why are social media users blocking celebrities?

NEW YORK (AP) — Some social media users are criticizing celebrities for what they say is inaction in a confrontation Humanitarian crisis In Gaza – they took the “ban” to pressure the stars to take a stand.

As for the ban, users were blocked from seeing any and all content from the accounts of some celebrities on social media platforms including X, TikTok and Instagram. Some posted about the celebrities they blocked, using a hashtag like #blockout, #blockout2024, or #celebrityblockout, while others shared posts from users criticizing attendees at high-glamour events like Met Gala And compare it to the situation in Gaza.

Those involved in the ban say it is a protest because celebrities have either not spoken out or said enough against Israel’s actions in Gaza during its war. War with Hamas. Since the outbreak of war on October 7 with deadly attacks launched by Hamas, the Israeli army has killed more than 35 thousand people in GazaAccording to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants.

How does blocking work?

On social media platforms, users see content from people they follow, as well as from those selected for them by algorithms. In either case, users can select options to mute or block a person or account.

Blocking celebrities or influencers’ accounts means you won’t see any of the content they produce on social media – no posts, no photos or videos, and no collaborations with sponsors. The number of people interacting with content brings in money, so bans are intended to impact views, engagement and – ultimately – salaries.

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The ban also aims to target celebrity brands by taking attention away from their content.

Who has been blocked?

There is no single organized list of banned celebrities. Some users make suggestions to celebrities, while others make the decision themselves. Celebrities in the United States and abroad were named in the ban.

Blocking is up to each social media user. Each celebrity, influencer, or content creator must be banned individually on each platform.

How did the ban start?

Protests about the war between Israel and Hamas increased, and camps increased On campuses across the country. Amid these movements, interest in what celebrities and influential people say, or don’t say, has received a boost Met Gala last week.

The annual ceremony attracts a group of famous faces from the worlds of fashion, film, music, sports and more. It is known for its luxurious carpets and elaborate costumes worn by celebrities. This year, protesters surrounded the party for most of the evening.

Social media was filled with photos of the party attended by the stars. At approximately the same time, pictures spread of Israel launching a military operation in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. This led to some users expressing the contrast between the luxury of celebrities at the party and the situation in Gaza – using images from both – and condemning celebrities for not using their platforms to speak out for those suffering.

Will the ban be effective?

The effectiveness and staying power of the ban has yet to be seen, said Beth Vossen, an assistant professor of marketing at Indiana University. She added that it may depend on the celebrity and what they are known for – a famous person whose “brand” is linked to humanitarian issues may be influenced more than someone who is primarily known for talent.

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“If your identity is really tied to promoting something that is essential to the county, that could potentially have serious consequences for you,” Vossen said. “There may be some influencers who gain their fame by promoting peace and then remain silent on the issue – and followers may not forgive them.”

Is there a backlash to the ban?

There has been criticism of the blocking, with some saying that the focus on celebrities distracts from what is happening on the ground in Gaza. Others question the criteria used to judge whether someone should be banned, and what would constitute a well-known person speaking out or doing enough.

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