Participating In Blackout Tuesday? Don’t Use Hashtags

Cassandra Stone

Using hashtags in your Blackout Tuesday posts drown out valuable resources for the Black Lives Matter movement

If you’re participating in the Blackout Tuesday movement today on social media, particularly Instagram, please know that using certain hashtags can drown out another movement — the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Blackout Tuesday is a day promoted by activists to observe, mourn, and bring attention and policy change to the U.S. in honor of George Floyd and the police-sanctioned murder that ended his life.

The Blackout Tuesday social media protest was originally organized by two black women working in the music industry: Jamila Thomas from Atlantic Records and Brianna Agyemang from Platoon. They’re using the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused to call on members of the music industry to “take a beat for an honest reflective, and productive conversation about what actions we need to collectively take to support the black community.”

The movement has spread rapidly on social media with brands and individuals posting a solid black background — but some people are tagging their posts with #BlackLivesMatter.

Here’s why you shouldn’t do that.

Using #BlackLivesMatter and #BLM drowns out communication and valuable resources that are used to share vital information about protests, organization donations, and document police violence.

“We know that’s it no intent to harm but to be frank, this essentially does harm the message,” mental health advocate and Black Lives Matter activist Kenidra Woods posted on Twitter. “We use hashtag to keep ppl updated. PLS stop using the hashtag for black images!!”

When you post an image with a hashtag on Twitter or Instagram, it gets automatically added to a searchable feed in chronological order. It’s a common way for people to monitor a situation or interest and search for information. And since people have been including the #BlackLivesMatter tag, a lot of posts about protests across the country have been drowned out.

Many activists and celebrities are calling on people to avoid co-opting the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag to post black square images — just another reminder that our activism cannot be performative in nature, it must be actionable and permanent to have true value.

If you really want to be an ally, you have to do the work. Follow Black people on social media — activists, individuals, authors, reporters, editors, policy makers — and listen to them. Learn. Educate yourself about the Black community and proper allyship. Recognize you’re always going to be a work in progress. It’s doing the work that’s important. And there’s plenty of work to do.

See the original article on

More From

  • Hilary Duff Posts Frustrated Rant To California Partygoers

    Hilary Duff is absolutely done with the “a**holes” who won’t stop partying and refuse to wear masks Despite several states reopening parts of their economy (and seeing huge increases in COVID cases as a result), some people never stopped social distancing, wearing masks, and taking common sense precautions. For those who have been careful all []

  • Frederick Douglass Statue Torn From Its Base In Rochester, NY Park

    Some Americans celebrated the 4th of July by destroying a statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass This year’s 4th of July was different than any most Americans can remember. The country is still in the midst of reckoning with the racist systems that helped it come to exist — and that are still oppressing BIPOC Americans []

  • Broadway Star Nick Cordero Dies After Months Battling COVID-19

    Nick Cordero is another devastating loss to a virus that has claimed nearly 130,000 American lives As politicians deny its existence and severity, states continue to power toward reopening, and people still refuse to wear masks to protect themselves and others, the coronavirus pandemic rages on. To day, nearly 130,000 American lives have been lost, []

  • I Have One Year Left With My Son Living At Home, And I’m Not Okay

    One of the greatest loves of my life is closing in on his last year with me, and really, I’m not sure how to be. I just know I am not okay.