Entertainment

Blackout 2024: Why are social media users blocking celebrities?

NEW YORK (AP) — Some social media users are calling out celebrities for what they see as inaction over a humanitarian crisis in Gaza – and they carried out a “blockade” to pressure the stars to take a stand.

For blocking, users block viewing all content from certain celebrities’ accounts on social media platforms, including X, TikTok, and Instagram. Some posted about the celebrities they blocked, using a hashtag such as #blockout, #blockout2024 or #celebrityblockout, while others shared posts from users lambasting attendees at glamorous events like the Met Gala and comparing it to the situation in Gaza.

Blockout participants say it is a protest because celebrities have not spoken out or said enough against Israel’s actions in Gaza during its campaign. war with Hamas. Since the war broke out on October 7 with deadly Hamas attacks, the Israeli army has killed more than 35,000 people in Gazaaccording to the Gaza Ministry of Health, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants.

HOW DOES THE BLOCKING WORK?

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

Blocking celebrity or influencer accounts means not seeing any content they produce on social networks: no publications, no photos or videos, no collaboration with sponsors. The number of people interacting with content makes money, so blocks are supposed to affect views, engagement, and ultimately salaries.

Blocking also aims to target celebrity brands by diverting eyes and attention away from their content.

WHO IS BLOCKED?

There is no single curated list of blocked celebrities. Some users offer celebrity suggestions, while others decide for themselves. Celebrities in the United States and beyond have been named in the blockade.

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

HOW DID THE BLOCKOUT START?

Protests over the Israel-Hamas war have intensified, with encampments on college campuses across the country. Amid these movements, attention to what celebrities and influencers were saying or not saying was boosted after the Met Gala last week.

The annual party attracts a host of famous faces from the world of fashion, film, music, sports and more. It is known for its exaggerated arrival carpet and the elaborate outfits that celebrities wear. This year, the gala was surrounded by protesters for much of the evening.

Social networks were flooded with images of this prestigious event. Around the same time, images circulated of Israel launching a military operation in the southern Gaza town of Rafah. This led some users to denounce the contrast between the opulence of the celebrities at the gala and the situation in Gaza – using images of both – and to condemn the celebrities for not using their platforms to speak on behalf of those suffering.

IS BLOCKING EFFECTIVE?

The effectiveness and sustainability of the blockade remains to be demonstrated, said Beth Fossen, assistant professor of marketing at Indiana University. It may depend on the celebrity and what they are known for: a famous person whose “brand” is linked to humanitarian causes may be more affected than someone known primarily for their talent, she added.

“If your identity is actually tied to promoting something that is key to the boycott, then that could potentially have very serious consequences for you,” Fossen said. “Some influencers may gain fame by promoting peace and then remain silent on the issue – their followers may not forgive them.”

IS THERE A BLOCKING COUNTERPLAY?

The blockade has been criticized, with some saying the focus on celebrities distracts from what is happening on the ground in Gaza. Others wonder what the parameters are for judging whether someone should be blocked — and what would constitute a well-known person speaking out or doing enough.

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News Source : apnews.com

Eleon

With a penchant for words, Eleon Smith began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, Smith landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, Eleon also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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