If you’ve been on Instagram in the last couple of hours, you’ll have noticed that your feed is flooded with black tiles – many of which are accompanied by the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag.
It’s a sign of solidarity in the wake of the brutal police killing of Minneapolis man George Floyd, which has sparked widespread riots in the US and anger at systemic racism worldwide, including here in our own backyard.
While the tile and hashtag are undoubtedly being shared with the best intentions, many are now trying to dissuade people from using #BlackLivesMatter as the sea of posts is having an unintended side effect: it’s censoring important (and timely) protest information, as well as making educational resources much harder to discover because they’re quite literally being blacked out.
Here’s a visual of the top posts to the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag on Instagram within the last hour:
Spread this as much as you can! If you are participating in #BlackOutTuesday PLEASE don’t post that black photo with the ‘BLM’ hashtag as it is censoring important information.— Irene ???? (@lillyosmenttt) June 2, 2020
Lizzo, Lil’ Nas X, Kumail Nanjiani and Drag Race‘s Tatianna are just some of the big names to voice their concerns about the grassroots social media movement, urging their massive fan bases to instead use #BlackOutTuesday to post – if they choose to post at all.
Posting black boxes on Instagram and hashtagging black lives matter is rendering the the hashtag usless. Remove the hashtag so actual BLM posts can be seen. #blackouttuesday #BlackLivesMatter— TATIANNA (@TATIANNANOW) June 2, 2020
this is not helping us. bro who the hell thought of this?? ppl need to see what’s going on https://t.co/fN492qsxaa— nope (@LilNasX) June 2, 2020
If you are participating in this, don’t use the tag #BlackLivesMatter. It’s pushing down important and relevant content. Use #BlackOutTuesday. https://t.co/OPMNeEB15n— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) June 2, 2020
So if you do decide to post a black tile on Instagram to express your support of the Black Lives Matter movement, please consider either using no hashtag or using the #BlackOutTuesday hashtag instead.
If you want a different outlet for your anger and frustration at the fucked state of the world, there are dozens of planned protests being held in support of George Floyd and Indigenous deaths in custody in cities around Australia over the coming days and weeks.
We’ve put together a list of the major ones we’re aware of over on our Instagram:
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