On June 2, black tiles took over Instagram as the social event called #BlackoutTuesday has motivated people across the country to post a plain black tile as a type of peaceful protest following the May 25 death of George Floyd.
Many have been posting this tile and including the hashtags #blm and #blacklivesmatter, which have become some of the top trending hashtags across many social media platforms. However, there is concern that flooding social media with these tags will bury posts from people trying to get their messages and resources out to the community.
There has been a call on Instagram to replace these hashtags with ones like #MAGA in hopes to have a greater impact and to get the intended messages heard by a larger audience.
Celebrities like Paul Mescal and Kumail Nanjiani have even used their followings to get this message to the public.
“If you are participating in #blackouttuesday please don’t use the hashtag black lives matter as it is censoring people from accessing information,” Mescal said in a recent tweet.
— Paul Mescal (@mescal_paul) June 2, 2020
Two women in the music industry organized this event: Jamila Thomas, senior director of marketing for Atlantic Records, and Brianna Agyemang, a former Atlantic Records executive. Originally using the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused, Thomas and Agyemang asked the music industry to hold a Day of Silence to commemorate Floyd’s death and aid the organizations fighting against racial injustice.
This blackout proposed the shutdown of many companies for the entire day to peacefully protest and show support to their staff, artists, and listeners around the world. Rihanna’s company Savage X Fenty announced via Twitter that they would not conduct any business on June 2.
Many labels, including Atlantic Records, Capitol Music Group and Warner Music Group, have released statements through their social media saying that they will take part in the blackout.