Blackout Tuesday: Here's why Instagram users are sharing black squares today
Today is #BlackoutTuesday.
Instagram users across the globe are sharing black squares to their profiles today in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The solidarity initiative, dubbed Blackout Tuesday, is a response to police brutality in the US and the systematic racism that still exists in America and around the world.
Users are opting to post a simple black tile on their feed and are committing to not posting anything else for the rest of the day, unless directly related to the BLM movement.
This comes just one week after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer knelt on his neck causing him to become unresponsive. He passed away later in police custody.
Floyd's death triggered mass protests across the US and around the world, as demonstrations in support of the BLM movement dominated the streets of many cities over the weekend.
Dublin's own solidarity protest garnered the attention of thousands of attendees, who marched the streets in protest of racism and the continued discrimination of non-white people.
Blackout Tuesday began as a movement specifically within the music industry, as many artists decided to opt out of releasing new content or promoting their work in a bid to draw more attention to the BLM protests.
Instead, contributors wanted June 2 to be a day to "disconnect from work and reconnect with our community. #THESHOWMUSTBEPAUSED."
What started as a few hundred black squares quickly became thousands, as countless Instagram users took to the image sharing platform to show their solidarity with people of colour in the States and elsewhere.
Those engaging are hopeful that the sheer number of black squares will shift the world's focus to what is happening in the States, and encourage those staying silent to speak up.
To get involved in the movement, all you need to do is share a simple black square to your Instagram feed and commit to not posting anything that's not relevant to the Black Lives Matter cause for the rest of the day.
The resharing of fundraisers, relevant information, and news stories concerning the BLM movement are still encouraged.
The use of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag alongside the black squares, however, is not. This will dilute the hashtag and will stop necessary information and resources from being spread. Users are encouraged to only use the #BlackoutTuesday hashtag instead.