Blackout Tuesday On Instagram: What The Black Squares Represent

2 June 2020, 11:25 | Updated: 3 June 2020, 11:52

Blackout Tuesday is happening across social media
Blackout Tuesday is happening across social media. Picture: Getty / Instagram

Instagram feeds across the world are adorned with black squares for Blackout Tuesday, but what does it mean and what do the square represent?

If you’ve logged onto Instagram today (2 June) you’ll see that your feed is mostly pictures of black squares, with the hashtag of 'Blackout Tuesday'.

The social media blackout comes after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, who died after a policeman knelt on his neck for nine minutes.

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In response, people across the world have been protesting against his death and demanding justice.

But why are people posting black squares on Instagram and what do they mean?

What is ‘blackout Tuesday’ on Instagram?

People are demonstrating across the world against social injustice
People are demonstrating across the world against social injustice. Picture: Getty

Blackout Tuesday is to encourage people to show their support for the black community and that racism of any kind cannot be tolerated.

Instead of posting the usual content to the likes of Twitter and Instagram, people are encouraged to re-connect with their community and use the time away from their social feeds to educate themselves on how they can be involved in the fight against racial inequality.

By posting a black square, some of which are captioned with: “Muted. But listening, but learning” they are proving their account is going silent for a day.

The idea is to give black creators and activists the opportunity to share their own information and experiences to try and educate others in how they can support the movement.

Tory Lanez joins protesters marching against police brutality and the killing of George Floyd

However, the prevalence of the black squares with the hashtag ‘black lives matter’ has been branded ‘counterproductive’, as it is hiding important information about the movement people are still trying to share online.

Lil Nas X is among those with a large following to speak out against sharing the black squares, saying to “stop posting for a day is the worst idea ever.”

He wrote: “I just really think this is the time to push as hard as ever. I don’t think the movement has ever been this powerful. We don’t need to slow it down by posting nothing. We need to spread info and be as loud as ever.”

Nevertheless, millions of black squares have already been posted to Instagram at the time of writing, as the fight against social injustice continues to sweep the globe.

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