Why you shouldn’t black out your Instagram profile, according to Black Lives Matter activists

Joanna Taylor
Tuesday 02 June 2020 13:45
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( Scott Olson / Getty Images )

People are posting black squares on Instagram to express solitary with the Black Lives Matter movement, but there's a problem.

Because so many users are tagging their black squares with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, educational posts and donation links are being buried.

Teen activist Kendira Woods raised the issue on Twitter, saying: "we know that it's no intent to harm but to be frank, this essentially does harm the message".

People are posting the squares to take part in the Blackout Tuesday movement, which began in the music industry. Artists pledged not to release new music or post to social media for a day to commemorate George Floyd. TV stations and radio channels also got involved by holding on air silences.

Others then hopped on the trend by posting the black squares to Instagram and committing to not post again for the rest of the day. This appears to be an unintended offshoot from the original Blackout Tuesday campaign which was aimed at making space for an "honest, reflective and productive conversation" about the collective action needed to "support the Black community".

The issue with tagging these black squares with #BlackLivesMatter has also been pointed out by Lil Nas X.

The rapper also pointed to several more effective methods of activism.

The Instagram trend has been called out for being performative.

The intended purpose of Blackout Tuesday is having productive conversations about what we can all do to lift up black voices and support the Black Lives Matter movement in a meaningful way.

Flooding Instagram with empty images and sentiments only detracts from that conversation.

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