Skip to main content

#BlackoutTuesday posts are diluting protesters’ messages, activists say

Thousands of social media users posted black images on Tuesday to voice support for the Black Lives Matter movement — but activists warned that well-meaning supporters were unintentionally silencing real protesters.

#BlackoutTuesday began in the music industry, with major record labels like Columbia, Interscope, and Republic Records announcing they would cease operations for the day to stand with protesters calling for justice after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police.

Soon, other tech music companies like Spotify, Apple Music, and Soundcloud joined in, and the hashtag movement spread beyond the music world.

But there’s been an unintended side effect of the support: Hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter, which were attached to the posts about Blackout Tuesday, have been drowned out with images of dark squares.

BlackoutTuesday on Instagram
The #BlackLiveMatter hashtag has been flooded with black images. Image used with permission by copyright holder

“If you do #BlackoutTuesday on Instagram, do NOT use the hashtag #blacklivesmatter or any of the other ones folks are using for info,” warned activist and Campaign Zero founder Brittany Packnett Cunningham “It BURIES all the important information and connection.”

Protesters have used #BlackLivesMatter and similar hashtags to share information as they demonstrate, but the flood of black images was picked up by Twitter and Instagram’s algorithms and crowded searches for those hashtags.

Others argued that the hashtags could be co-opted by those who opposed the protesters, and some pushed on users to amplify the voices of people of color or educate themselves instead.

Be strategic about #BlackOutTuesday.

Don’t use #BLM or #BlackLivesMatter with it. It suppresses vital information.

Still post about what Black people are experiencing.

Post what’s happening at protests + get involved with them.

Educate + share resources about white supremacy.

— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) June 2, 2020

By Tuesday morning, some Black Lives Matter supporters had even used the algorithms against opponents. Some supporters started flagging their posts with hashtags like #SecondAmendment and #WomenForTrump, causing those searches to be blacked out as well.

Want more news, reviews, guides, and features from Digital Trends? Follow us on Apple News, Google News, and Flipboard.

Paul Squire
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Paul is the News Editor at Digital Trends. Before joining DT, Paul spent 3 years as an editor on the New York Post's digital…
Game dev on Intel’s unstable CPUs: ‘I might lose over $100K’
Intel's 14900K CPU socketed in a motherboard.

Intel's best processors have been crashing for months, and despite many attempts, the issue is nowhere near being fixed. In fact, the impact might be far worse than we thought.

Original reports about stability issues with the Core i9-13900K and the Core i9-14900K came from PC gamers, but now, we're hearing that they're crashing in servers, too. That can lead to serious damage, with one game dev estimating the instability may cost them up to $100K in lost players.

Read more
Yet another Google service has been axed
Google One home page in Safari on a MacBook.

Time to add another abandoned Google service to the list. The Google service that's biting the dust as of late July is One VPN, previously only available with a Google One subscription. According to a Google blog post, another service that was once only available to Google One subscribers is dark web reports, but that will now be available to all Google users.

Google explained it's removing One VPN because of insufficient interest and that it would focus on the most in-demand feature instead.

Read more
Game developer calls Intel flagship CPUs ‘defective’
Intel Core i9-13900K held between fingertips.

When it rains, it pours, at least for Intel -- or rather, its customers. As first reported in February, Intel's best CPUs have been crashing for months now, and the uproar that was previously limited to gamers is now spreading like wildfire to data centers and game studios. This time, Alderon Games, the studio behind Path of Titans, made a strong statement about the problem. The studio claims that Intel's 13th and 14th-gen CPUs have a "nearly 100%" failure rate, and as a result, Alderon Games is switching all of its servers to AMD.

Alderon Games didn't mince words in its statement, making it clear that there's something wrong with Intel's latest desktop processors. While mostly associated with consumer PCs, these CPUs are powerful enough to run game servers, too, and the lack of a fix over the last few months has become a problem for the company. Matthew Cassells, the founder of Alderon Games, mentioned issues such as crashes, instability, and corrupted SSDs and memory, with all of them only occurring on Intel's 13th and 14th-gen CPUs. Installing new BIOS and firmware updates didn't solve the problem.

Read more