Social media gone dark? The meaning of #blackoutTuesday

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FILE – In this March 3, 2019, file photo, Black Lives Matter demonstrator waves a flag on the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the Bloody Sunday commemoration in Selma, Ala. Majorities of Americans across racial lines say white people are treated more fairly than black people by the police, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The dynamic has played out in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, which began in 2014 with the fatal shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by white, former Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson. (AP Photo/Julie Bennett, File)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – When you woke up this morning and began to scroll through social media, you probably noticed a lot of people posting ‘blackout photos’ and have wondered what is going on.

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The #blackoutTuesday movement began within the music industry by music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang who wrote on a site that June 2 would be a day to pause all business to ‘intentionally disrupt the work week’ because ‘we can’t wait till Friday to make a change’. This comes as people continue to mourn the loss of George Floyd and continue to protest and call for change within communities around the country.

Related: Utah’s Black Lives Matter chapters condemn violent and destructive acts during SLC riots

Their proposal morphed into a social media movement as well that has resulted in many social media accounts going black for the day in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

View this post on Instagram

#BLACKOUTTUESDAY🖤

A post shared by Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) on

So what else are people doing on this #blackoutTuesday?

  • Not posting on social media
  • Posting only a blank black image on all social media platforms for solidarity
  • Suspending all music streams and YouTube streams for the day
  • Canceling/closing/suspending participation in all dance studios, classes and meetings
  • Identifying ways to help their community
  • Strengthening their knowledge on contemporary race relations and the history of black social, political and economic plight in the U.S.

So far, people have typically just been posting the black photo to social media and solely using the #blackoutTuesday tag and avoiding using the #blacklivesmatter tag. Why? People are arguing that if you post a blank black photo with the #blacklivesmatter tag, you are clogging up critical channels of information and updates that are vital to the #blacklivesmatter movement. So, most posts you will find Tuesday will only include #blackoutTuesday although they are in conjunction with the Black Lives Matter movement.

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