You may have noticed your Instagram feed turned to black yesterday. Individuals, artists, small shops and corporations posting black squares as part of a social media initiative to support the Black Lives Matter movement. We've received questions about Blackout Tuesday so we'll do our best to explain how social media came together to speak out against racism.
First of all, if you noticed the black squares and came out with questions, then they worked! The power of social media is increasingly being used for good and the blackout was no exception. The task was simple and here's how it worked.
Post a black square to say:
- I am not a racist
- I support the movement
- I am muting my own social media to give way to black creators
- I am listening
- I want to focus on content coming directly from protests
- I am mourning with the black community and humanity at large In more relatable terms, it was a united way to say "we hear you, we are with you, we are listening, this is a safe place if you need one". The social media equivalent of telling a friend "I'm here for you" when you just don't know what to say or do to help but you really really want to.
Yep! One little black square said ALL THAT. Amazing, right?
A joint effort and a placard from those wanting change but unable to join protests in person for a variety of reasons including a friggin' pandemic. Because in today's world there are two parts to a protest: IRL (in real life) and online and more and more, the two power each other.
"But everything got drowned out and that's all I saw all day!"
Good. It's called peaceful disruption and it got everyone's attention.
Why are you so bothered anyway? Surely you have no issue with acts of kindness?
People showed up in solidarity against the appalling way some of us are treated. That's a good thing.
Blackout Tuesday was a social media moment. It was enormous and theatrical, it went global, and it was indeed disruptive.
Some have said it was a facile pointless thing to do... yet they commented. Some said it was bandwagon-y and everybody was doing it... uh, that's how campaigns work. Others said it detracted from other protest-related content... again, the blackout WAS the protest! Or, part of it anyway.
Are there other causes in the world? Obviously. Does caring about one mean the others don't matter? No way! Social media is a really big place driven by its users. There's room for all of us if we're willing to participate. If something matters to you, seek it out on social media and join in. According to yesterday's skeptics, it's really easy. LA/ #socialmedia #socialmediacampaign #blm #blackouttuesday #blacklivesmatter #digitalstrategy #socialmediatrends #digitalmarketing