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The upcoming national social media boycott: Everything you need to know

Give up social media for the sake of a good cause. That’s the rallying point behind the upcoming nationwide boycott of Facebook and Instagram. Starting Nov. 10, activists will log out of their social media accounts to protest what they see as Facebook’s destructive role in American life.

Many activists point to the Jan. 6 march on the capital as an example. Others cite misinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic. Tap or click here to spot some popular vaccine hoaxes.

The Facebook Logout Project claims the social media giant puts forth more effort into fixing its public image than actually fixing the problems it causes. That’s why it wants you to sign the pledge and log out next month. If you want to learn more about the boycott, here’s the full story.

Follow the money

The coalition of advocacy groups hopes the logout will cause a massive loss of engagement. This would hurt Facebook’s revenue, thus forcing it to recognize the complaints many Americans have.

“Every bad decision Facebook makes affects our lives — because the online world doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and there are real-world consequences to Facebook’s irresponsibility,” activists say.

This movement was first announced on Sept. 22. It’s been a busy month for Facebook: First, it officially paused Instagram Kids after activists said the app would be harmful to children. Then, a recent report from The Wall Street Journal shone a harsh light on Instagram’s impact on teens.

Next, we heard about a massive data breach of Clubhouse and Facebook users. Allegedly, a hacker wants to sell a database of 3.8 billion phone numbers from both sites for $100,000.

Even if you don’t have a Facebook or Clubhouse account, your private information could be in danger. Tap or click here to see the implications of this enormous data leak.

It looks like this will be Facebook’s day of reckoning

A racial justice group called Kairos is organizing the boycott. Executive Director Mariana Ruiz Firmat told USA Today that people make platforms powerful. The Facebook Logout boycott has a series of demands, as well:

  • Make Mark Zuckerberg step down as CEO: Activists allege he cares more about making users engage with Facebook than keeping people safe online and offline.
  • Prioritize data privacy: They say the privacy of every Facebook and Instagram user should be protected by default.
  • Change the algorithm: Currently, fringe and sensational content drive engagement, activists say. They want Facebook to use a content review system that stops false information from spreading.

Activists also want Facebook to be transparent about its content moderation rules. If you agree with these terms, you can sign up to join the movement here. In the meantime, here are a few ways to protect your privacy on Facebook and Instagram.

Keep reading

Change these 10 Facebook security settings to improve privacy

Pro trick to keep what you look at on social media private

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