Social media users are collectively blocking celebrities and influencers who have been silent on Gaza (2024)

Hundreds of celebrities are on the “digital guillotine” as social media users campaign for a #blockout — urging one another to block the social media accounts of big names who have remained silent about the ongoing humanitarian atrocities in Gaza.

Selena Gomez, Zendaya, Drake, Justin Bieber and the Kardashian family are among the many targets. Even longtime fans of stars like Taylor Swift have announced their decisions to block the same celebrities they once followed and admired. (Some celebrities on the block lists expressed concern for both Israelis and Palestinians after Hamas militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7 but have not posted publicly about Gaza in recent months.)

Pro-Palestinian activists have been putting pressure on celebrities to show more support for civilians in Gaza for months, stirring a growing sense of disillusionment that reached a boiling point last week when the glitz and glamor of the Met Gala coincided with Israel’s announcement of a military offensive in Rafah.

Viewers of the Met Gala have long compared the event to “The Hunger Games,” the popular book franchise by Suzanne Collins that highlights the dystopian social divide between the wealthy Capitol elite and the impoverished district citizens living under state oppression. But criticism of what many online perceived as an excessive display of opulence grew even more pronounced this year as celebrities posed for photos while pro-Palestinian protesters marched outside.

The backlash bubbled into outrage after the popular social media creator Haley Kalil posted a now-removed TikTok video posing in her lavish Met Gala gown while lip-syncing to the TikTok sound “Let Them Eat Cake,” a quotation famously attributed to the last queen of France, Marie Antoinette, who was sent to the guillotine during the French Revolution. The phrase has come to symbolize the attitude of aristocrats who are out of touch with the realities of the less fortunate.

Social media users are collectively blocking celebrities and influencers who have been silent on Gaza (1)

“It’s time for the people to conduct what I want to call a ‘digital guillotine.’ A ‘digitine,’ if you will,” said TikTok creator @ladyfromtheoutside, who kicked off the movement with her viral video. “It’s time 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.”

Kalil later posted a video apology in which she said she was invited only as a pre-Met Gala E! News host and did not attend the event itself. She drew further backlash when she said she does not speak about Gaza because she is “not informed enough to talk about it in a meaningful and educational way.” Kalil did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some online pointed to rapper Macklemore as a celebrity who, despite having shared in October that he was “by no means” an expert in Israeli-Palestinian relations, has continued to learn about the conflict while voicing his support for a cease-fire. Last week, he released a song in support of Palestinians.

Kalil, who posted a now-removed video after the Met Gala sharing her excitement at reaching 10 million TikTok followers, has since dropped back to 9.9 million followers. Many of the celebrities on widely circulated block lists have also lost net averages of tens or hundreds of thousand followers per day since the “digitine” began, according to metrics from the social media analytics company Social Blade.

“Yalla, let’s all block the people who we made famous and rich.. who are living in a fantasy world.. destroying our environment, society, harmony and economy, and don’t even put some effort to educate themselves about us, the 99% of the world’s population who made them,” Palestinian journalist and activist Bisan Owda, known for her social media video reports from Gaza, posted on her Instagram story this weekend.

The “digitine” movement comes in the wake of weeks of protest encampments across college campuses nationwide as students pressure their administrations to divest from Israel, leading to mass arrests of students and some faculty members.

Social media users are collectively blocking celebrities and influencers who have been silent on Gaza (2)

But there’s some intra-campaign division over the effectiveness of block lists that center on those who attended Monday night’s Met Gala. Many online highlighted the misconception that celebrities spent $75,000 to attend, noting that invitees typically do not pay for their own Met Gala tickets. And some attendees, like actor Rachel Zegler, have been vocal about Gaza, as well.

Others said that celebrities should not be a focal point for pro-Palestinian activism and that social media users should prioritize talking about Gaza, instead. Still, some online pointed out the impact that an influencer can make with a single social media post: One GoFundMe campaign reached its $200,000 goal less than 24 hours after TikTok creator Yuval Ben-Hayun shared it in a video, asking viewers to donate to help get his friend’s family out of Gaza.

In the days since the “digitine” began, several stars on the block lists — such as rapper Lizzo and influencer Chris Olsen — have posted their first public videos encouraging their followers to donate in support of families in Gaza and aid organizations serving Palestinians.

Some viewers immediately criticized the videos, commenting that they came so late that they appear performative. Others commended them for using their platforms now, citing the videos as evidence the movement is working.

Angela Yang

Angela Yang is a culture and trends reporter for NBC News.

Social media users are collectively blocking celebrities and influencers who have been silent on Gaza (2024)


Social media users are collectively blocking celebrities and influencers who have been silent on Gaza? ›

Some social media users are calling out celebrities and influencers who have not spoken out publicly about the ongoing war and humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and have started blocking the stars in an attempt to undermine their revenue from brand partnerships.

What is the celebrity blockout over the war in Gaza? ›

Some social media users are calling out celebrities for what they say is inaction in the face of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza — and they've taken to a “blockout” to pressure the stars to take a stand.

Why are celebrities being blocked? ›

The number of people interacting with content brings in money, so the blocks are meant to affect views, engagement and — ultimately — paychecks. The blockout also is meant to target celebrities' brands by taking eyeballs and attention away from their content.

What is the blackout 2024 list? ›

Among the celebrities targeted in the movement include Gal Gadot, Selena Gomez, Drake, Justin Bieber, Hailey Bieber, Beyoncé, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Zendaya, Kim Kardashian, Harry Styles, Jojo Siwa, Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart, Shakira, Kylie Jenner and Taylor Swift.

What is the celebrity block? ›

For the blockout, users put a block on seeing any and all content from the accounts of certain celebrities on social media platforms including X, TikTok and Instagram.

Why is there a blockage in Gaza? ›

The blockade's current stated aim is to prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza; previously stated motivations have included exerting economic pressure on Hamas.

What started Gaza violence? ›

The Gaza–Israel conflict is a localized part of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict beginning in 1948, when 200,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes, settling in the Gaza Strip as refugees. Since then, Israel has fought 15 wars against the Gaza Strip.

How do you know if a celebrity blocked you on Instagram? ›

Top FAQs on How to Know if Someone Blocked You on Instagram

If you can no longer find the person's profile, see their posts, or view their stories, they may have blocked you. Searching for their username and finding no results typically indicates you are blocked.

What does it look like to be blocked? ›

One method you can use on any type of phone is by calling the person you suspect has blocked you. While typically you can expect to hear anywhere from three to 12 rings when you call someone before going to voicemail, a blocked number will only ring once and then go straight to voicemail, according to Tom'

Why is it so hard to contact celebrities? ›

Meeting or contacting a famous person can be difficult because of their busy schedules and their strong desire for personal privacy. But with a little work and some light research, getting in touch with celebrities is possible through online means, physical mail, and agents/publicists.

What is the most famous blackout in history? ›

The Great Northeast Blackout

The Great Northeast Blackout of 1965 caused one of the most significant power failures in history, impacting parts of eastern Canada, New York state, and some areas of seven other nearby states.

What is the longest blackout in the world? ›

Auckland, 1998: This is the longest blackout in history, lasting 66 days. Yes, you heard it right 66 days! The five-week blackout began on February 19. It left nearly 6,000 people without electricity.

Has the US ever had a blackout? ›

What Happened? August 14 and 15, 2003 - The northeastern U.S. and southern Canada suffered the worst power blackout in history. Areas affected extended from New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey west to Michigan, and from Ohio north to Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario.

Why are celebrities getting blocked? ›

The aim is to impact these celebrities' and influencers' earnings from digital advertisem*nts and overall post engagement. In a video posted on TikTok by the account called 'blockout2024', the user explained this movement's aim.

Where do The Block contestants live? ›

Where do the contestants stay while filming is taking place? In order to get a true feel for the place and to keep cracking on with renovations, all contestants actually stay on 'The Block' and there is no alternative accommodation.

Is The Block still popular? ›

In it's glory days, The Block brought in an audience of a million-plus. Although last year's finale episode clocked up 1.4 million viewers, its season premiere episodes haven't attracted more than one million metro viewers since season 14 in 2018.

Why did Israel give up Gaza? ›

The motivation behind the disengagement was described by Sharon's top aide as a means of isolating Gaza and avoiding international pressure on Israel to reach a political settlement with the Palestinians. The disengagement plan was implemented in August 2005 and completed in September 2005.

Who is at war with Gaza? ›

An armed conflict between Israel and Hamas-led Palestinian militant groups has been taking place chiefly in the Gaza Strip since 7 October 2023. Clashes have also occurred in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and with Hezbollah along the Israel–Lebanon–Golan Heights border.

What is the leading political party in the Gaza Strip? ›

The General Security Service, formally part of the Hamas political party, operates akin to a governmental body within Gaza. Under the direct oversight of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, it conducts extensive surveillance on Palestinians, compiling files on various individuals including journalists and government critics.

Who donated to Gaza? ›

The PA administration imposed its own sanctions against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Since 2014, with Israel's approval despite the blockade, Qatar has provided aid to the Gaza Strip that has partially relieved some of the economic pressure on the Gaza Strip.

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