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

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

2024-05-15 13:06 Last Updated At:13:11

NEW YORK (AP) — 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.

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. Some have posted about the celebrities they've blocked, using a hashtag such as #blockout, #blockout2024, or #celebrityblockout, while others have shared posts from users lambasting attendees of high-glamour events like the Met Gala and contrasting it with the situation in Gaza.

Blockout participants say it's a protest because the celebrities either haven’t spoken up or haven't said enough against Israel’s actions in Gaza during its war with Hamas. Since the war erupted Oct. 7 with Hamas' deadly attacks, Israel’s military has killed more than 35,000 people in Gaza, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which doesn’t distinguish between civilians and combatants.

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

Blocking the accounts of celebrities or influencers means not seeing any of the content they produce on social media — no posts, no photos or videos, no collaborations with sponsors. 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.

There is no single organized list of celebrities being blocked. Some users are offering celebrity suggestions, while others are deciding on their own. Celebrities in the U.S. and beyond have been named in the blockout.

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

Protests around the Israel-Hamas war have grown, with encampments on college campuses around the country. Amid those movements, attention to what celebrities and influencers were, or weren't, saying got a boost after the Met Gala last week.

The annual party draws a host of famous faces from the worlds of fashion, movies, music, sports and more. It's known for its over-the-top arrivals carpet and the elaborate outfits celebrities wear. This year, the gala was circled by protesters for much of the evening.

Social media was flooded with images from the star-studded event. Around the same time, images circulated as Israel launched a military operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. That led to some users calling out the contrast between the gala's celebrity opulence and the situation in Gaza — using images from both - and condemning celebrities for not using their platforms to speak up for those who are suffering.

The effectiveness and staying power of the blockade are yet to be seen, said Beth Fossen, assistant professor of marketing at Indiana University. It might depend on the celebrity and what they’re known for — a famous person whose “brand” is tied to humanitarian causes may be more affected than one known primarily for talent, she added.

“If your identity is really tied to promoting something that is key to the boycotting, then this could potentially have really serious consequences for you,” Fossen said. “There might be some influencers that gain their fame by sort of promoting peace and then they’re being silent on this issue — followers may not forgive them.”

There has been criticism of the blockout, with some saying the focus on celebrities takes attention away from what's happening on the ground in Gaza. Others question what the parameters are for judging whether someone should be blocked — and what would constitute a well-known person speaking out or doing enough.

FILE - Pro-Palestinian protesters march in between traffic near the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the Met Gala takes place, Monday, May 6, 2024, in New York. 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. Some have posted about the celebrities they've blocked, with others have shared posts from users lambasting attendees of high-glamour events like the Met Gala and contrasting it with the situation in Gaza. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File)

FILE - Pro-Palestinian protesters march in between traffic near the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the Met Gala takes place, Monday, May 6, 2024, in New York. 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. Some have posted about the celebrities they've blocked, with others have shared posts from users lambasting attendees of high-glamour events like the Met Gala and contrasting it with the situation in Gaza. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File)

FILE - A man uses a cell phone in New Orleans on Aug. 11, 2019. 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. 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. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

FILE - A man uses a cell phone in New Orleans on Aug. 11, 2019. 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. 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. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

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Shaqiri scores stunning goal in Switzerland's 1-1 draw with Scotland at Euro 2024

2024-06-20 09:28 Last Updated At:09:30

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — “Shaq” did it again.

At the age of 32 and having left top-flight European soccer behind to play in MLS, Xherdan Shaqiri is back on the international stage and back scoring again.

His stunning first-half strike secured a 1-1 draw for Switzerland against Scotland at Euro 2024 on Wednesday.

It is the sixth-straight major international tournament in which Shaqiri has scored, dating to the World Cup in 2014.

That’s three World Cups in a row and now three European Championships for the Chicago Fire forward. According to UEFA he is the first player to achieve that feat.

“He proved tonight that he lives and breathes for moments like these,” Switzerland coach Murat Yakin said.

Shaqiri rolled back the years with a first-time curling effort from about 20 meters out at Cologne Stadium.

Scotland led from the 13th minute when Scott McTominay’s shot took a wicked deflection off Fabian Schar to beat Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer.

But Shaqiri pounced on Anthony Ralston’s loose pass in the 26th to even the match with a left-footed shot into the top corner and past Scotland keeper Angus Gunn.

“If that chance falls to any other player in the Swiss team, it’s not a goal,” Scotland manager Steve Clarke said. “You knew when it was rolling towards Shaqiri it was destined for the back of the net. He’s a top, top player, so you don’t give top, top players that kind of chance.”

Shaqiri’s career has seen him play for some of Europe’s most iconic teams, including Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Liverpool. He joined the Fire two years ago, but in that time has continued to produce for his country on the biggest stage.

“Shaq always gives everything in training,” Switzerland defender Manuel Akanji said. “I don’t know how many other players are able to score that goal.”

The draw leaves Switzerland on four points, second in Group A behind Germany and likely to advance to the round of 16.

Germany became the first nation to advance after a 2-0 win over Hungary earlier in the day.

Scotland’s hopes of making the knockout round depend on its final game against Hungary on Sunday and results elsewhere. No team has failed to advance from the group stage with four points.

Both teams had chances to win the game.

The Swiss should have taken the lead just before the hour mark when Dan Ndoye turned Kieran Tierney on the edge of the box. With just goalkeeper Angus Gunn to beat, Ndoye fired wide of goal.

Grant Hanley then headed against the post from a Scotland free kick and Switzerland’s Zeki Amdouni headed wide at the far post late on.

Scotland has never advanced beyond the group stage of a World Cup or Euros on 11 previous attempts.

But repeated disappointment doesn’t seem to dampen optimism among its fans, who filled Cologne’s square before the game.

Swiss supporters were out in numbers, too, creating a raucous atmosphere in the stadium.

It was certainly a more enjoyable evening for Scotland’s fans than the opening game of the Euros — a 5-1 loss to Germany.

“It was what we expected. It was a good reaction to a disappointing night. We’re still alive in the tournament,” Clarke said.

Goals from Jamal Musiala and İlkay Gündoğan made it two wins from two for host Germany after victory against Hungary and ensured there would be no repeat of its group stage exit from the 2022 World Cup.

Albania substitute Klaus Gjasula scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time to hold World Cup semifinalist Croatia to a 2-2 draw in Group B. Gjasula’s own goal, just four minutes after entering the game in the second half, had looked like handing Croatia the win until his late strike.

James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson

AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

Scotland's Scott McTominay celebrates after Switzerland's Fabian Schar scored an own goal during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Scotland's Scott McTominay celebrates after Switzerland's Fabian Schar scored an own goal during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez, right, fouls Scotland's Billy Gilmour during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez, right, fouls Scotland's Billy Gilmour during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Scotland's Che Adams reacts during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Scotland's Che Adams reacts during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri, left, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri, left, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri and team mates celebrate their side's equalising goal during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri and team mates celebrate their side's equalising goal during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Scotland's goalkeeper Angus Gunn fails to save a shot by Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Scotland's goalkeeper Angus Gunn fails to save a shot by Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri scores his side's opening goal during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri scores his side's opening goal during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri, left, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri, left, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Scotland's Scott McTominay celebrates after Switzerland's Fabian Schar scored an own goal during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Scotland's Scott McTominay celebrates after Switzerland's Fabian Schar scored an own goal during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Scotland's goalkeeper Angus Gunn is unable to stop a shot for a goal by Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Peter Klaunzer/Keystone via AP)

Scotland's goalkeeper Angus Gunn is unable to stop a shot for a goal by Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Peter Klaunzer/Keystone via AP)

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates his side's equalising goal during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates his side's equalising goal during a Group A match between Scotland and Switzerland at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

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