Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift lose followers amid campaign to ‘block’ silent celebrities in Gaza

Social media users are mass blocking celebrities and influencers who have not publicly supported Palestine as the war in Gaza continues and approaches 35,000 Palestinian deaths.

Shortly after the Met Gala earlier this month, TikTok user @ladyfromtheoutside posted on May 9 that it was time for a “digital guillotine” to “block out all celebrities, influencers and rich socialites who do not use their resources to help those in dire need.” »

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

Surprise, surprise, #blockout2024.

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

And it seems to be working, if only to a minor extent: Some stars who only saw an increase in their daily followers started losing followers immediately.

According to Social Blade, a website that tracks tracking statistics for several social media sites, Kardashian lost 44,000 followers on Instagram 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 followers on Instagram on May 9, but she has been losing followers since the beginning of the month, long before the digital guillotine was announced.

After TikTok user @ladyfromtheoutside (right) posted a video saying it was time for a After TikTok user @ladyfromtheoutside (right) posted a video saying it was time for a

Yet the number of followers lost to triple-A celebrities like these pales in comparison to their total. Kardashian and Swift, for example, have 363 million and 283 million followers on Instagram, respectively.

By blocking celebrities and influencers, people hope to remove views, because without views, sponsored posts from celebrities and influencers won’t be as valuable. For celebrities, like Kardashian, who earns up to $1 million for a sponsored Instagram post, blocking her could have huge consequences. With fewer followers, businesses might not be willing to pay her as much for a sponsored post.

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

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

On Monday, Lizzo posted a TikTok thanking Palestinian activists. She also posted on GoFundMe pages for Palestinians hoping to flee, but people criticized Lizzo for not paying everything.

“Pay for it all or split it with three of your super rich friends,” one TikTok user said in a video.

Another TikTok account with the same name as the hashtag, @blockout2024, posts a new list of celebrities and influencers to block every day.

“How much attention we give them and how much engagement we give them is their direct currency,” the user said. “Take it from them.”