Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift Lose Followers Amid Campaign To ‘Block’ Celebrities Silent On Gaza – HuffPost

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Social media users are blocking celebrities and influencers en masse who have not been publicly supportive of Palestine as the war in Gaza continues and nears 35,000 Palestinian deaths.

Shortly after the Met Gala earlier this month, TikTok user @ladyfromtheoutside posted on May 9 that it’s time for a “digital guillotine” to “block all the celebrities, influencers and wealthy socialites who are not using their resources to help those in dire need.”

“We gave them their platforms; it’s time to take it back, take our views away, our likes, our comments, our money by blocking them on all social media and digital platforms,” @ladyfromtheoutside said in a TikTok with 2.5 million views.

Surprise, surprise, #blockout2024.

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Although the hashtag campaign didn’t start with a definitive list with which celebrities to block, many started blocking today’s most popular celebrities, like Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift.

And it seems to be working, if only to a minor degree — some stars who only ever see boosts in their daily follower counts began to lose followers immediately.

According to Social Blade, a website that tracks follower and following statistics for several social media sites, Kardashian lost 44,000 Instagram followers the same day @ladyfromtheoutside posted her TikTok. The next day, Kardashian lost another 123,000. Swift lost 26,000 Instagram followers on May 9 and 103,000 on May 11. Selena Gomez lost 17,000 Instagram followers on May 9, but she’s been losing Instagram followers since the beginning of the month ― well before the digital guillotine was announced.

After TikTok user @ladyfromtheoutside (right) posted a video saying it was time for a “digital guillotine” and “block all the celebrities, influencers and wealthy socialites who are not using their resources to help those in dire need,” celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift began to lose followers.
Associated Press/ TikTok screenshot

Still, the lost follower counts for triple A celebrities like these are paltry compared to their totals. Kardashian and Swift, for example, boast 363 million and 283 million followers on Instagram, respectively.

By blocking celebrities and influencers, people are hoping to take away views, because without views, celebrities and influencers’ sponsored posts won’t be worth as much. For celebrities, like Kardashian, who earns up to $1 million for a sponsored Instagram post, blocking her could have huge consequences. With less followers, companies might not be willing to pay her as much for a sponsored post.

Eddy Borges-Rey, an associate professor in residence at Northwestern University in Qatar, told Al Jazeera that “social media celebrities heavily rely on high visibility and engagement to attract and maintain advertising deals.”

Brooke Erin Duffy, a communications professor at Cornell University, told Time that this kind of boycott can “weaponize platforms’ metric systems.”

On Monday, Lizzo posted a TikTok thanking Palestinian activists. She also posted about GoFundMe pages for Palestinian people hoping to flee, but people criticized Lizzo for not paying the whole thing.

“Pay the whole thing or split it with three of your very rich friends,” one TikTok user said in a video.

Another TikTok account under the same name as the hashtag, @blockout2024, has been posting every day a new list of celebrities and influencers to block.

“The amount of attention we give them and the amount of engagement we give them is their direct currency,” the user said. “Take it from them.”

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