Digital rights group puts celebrities and tech companies on blast for staying silent on the non-partisan issue of voting in 2020

Posted October 27, 2020, 1:08 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27th, 2020

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Digital rights group Fight for the Future has launched a new Hall of Fame and Hall of Shame on SaveDemocracy.Online to showcase influential people are flexing their online presence to get the vote out in 2020 and which ones are sidelining democracy. Visitors to SaveDemocracy.Online can use the Hall of Shame to tweet at people like Jeff Bezos and Khloé Kardashian, urging them to use their social media accounts to encourage others to head to the polls this November.

"Social pressure is a major factor in getting people to vote," said Dayton Young (he/him), Product Director at Fight for the Future. "Some of the biggest artists, athletes, and influencers in the world are using social media to get out the vote in 2020, but others are staying silent. We need everyone on the Internet to tell these people that silence is not an option, plain and simple. This is a real strategy to help increase voter turnout and fight back against voter suppression in the days before the election. Let’s do everything we can to ensure a record-breaking turnout at the polls this November."

This strategy is already having a big impact on the election. A recent Instagram post from Kylie Jenner urging her followers to vote boosted online voter registrations on by 80%. Shaq made headlines on CNN, CBS, and NBC Sports by announcing that 2020 marked the first time he’s voted. Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D–NY) took time out of her busy Congressional schedule to play video games on Twitch, encouraging millions of viewers on the popular livestreaming platform to vote.

"The Internet is a fundamental part of our society today, and its biggest voices and forces can change the course of history with a tweet," said Shuo Peskoe-Yang (he/him), Campaigner at Fight for the Future. "When you have that kind of influence but do nothing with it, you’re not only neglecting your basic civic duty to your followers, you’re complicit in enabling voter suppression. Whether you’re a billionaire, pop star, or Hollywood celebrity, there’s no excuse for not using your platform to help people vote during a pandemic."

But other big names in business and entertainment have stayed curiously silent on the completely non-partisan issue of voting. For example, Bruno Mars could nudge  43 million people to vote with a tweet, but he hasn’t even mentioned the word "vote" or "voting" in any tweets he’s sent this year. Blake Shelton regularly encourages his 20 million fans on Twitter to vote for him on Country Music Television, but hasn’t mentioned the 2020 elections at all. And perhaps most outrageous, Amazon has outright refused requests to allow its 1.3 million workers paid time off to vote and has neglected to promote voting or voter information on its website. 

To learn about other noteworthy get-out-the-vote campaigns and to see which celebrities have been shirking their civic duty on social media, please visit SaveDemocracy.Online.