Activists and celebrities draped social media in black Tuesday to show support for protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd.
Users flooded Instagram and Twitter with simple black squares for “Blackout Tuesday,” an online show of solidarity with the nationwide demonstrations against police brutality.
Big-name actors such as Idris Elba and Mahershala Ali participated in the movement, whose associated hashtags had racked up millions of Instagram posts.
The social-media phenomenon grew out of a pledge by music and entertainment companies to halt their businesses and “reconnect” with their communities as sometimes violent protests over Floyd’s death roiled major US cities.
Interscope Records delayed music releases scheduled for this week, while TV networks such as MTV and Comedy Central suspended programming Monday afternoon for eight minutes and 46 seconds. That’s how long Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin allegedly kept his knee on Floyd’s neck.
But some activists raised concerns about “Blackout Tuesday” posts blocking out important protest updates under the “#BlackLivesMatter” hashtag, which was filled with black squares.
“We know that’s it no intent to harm but to be frank, this essentially does harm the message,” activist Kenidra Woods said on Twitter.
Celebrities amplified those concerns and encouraged supporters of the movement to use the designated #BlackoutTuesday hashtag instead.
“If you are participating in this, don’t use the tag #BlackLivesMatter,” actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani tweeted. “It’s pushing down important and relevant content.”
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