Instagram goes dark for #blackouttuesday to raise awareness about racism

Some 28.5 million Instagram users have shared images with black backgrounds.
Some 28.5 million Instagram users have shared images with black backgrounds.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM

SINGAPORE - Celebrities and regular folk alike took to social media on Tuesday (June 2) to post images with black or darkly coloured backgrounds in a show of solidarity with the black community.

These photos are part of Blackout Tuesday, a movement reportedly first started by the music industry to reflect and implement change in response to the death of American George Floyd and police brutality, particularly against unarmed black citizens in the United States.

Some 28.5 million Instagram users have shared images with black backgrounds, sometimes accompanied by text speaking out against racism, with the hashtag #blackouttuesday.

They include television host and comedian Trevor Noah, singer Mariah Carey and singer Justin Bieber.

Actress Kristen Bell wrote: "You might see some interviews tomorrow that I recorded days ago and tried to have removed. I don't have control of that but do have control of this platform - where I will be standing down, closing my mouth and opening my ears."

Meanwhile, singer Katy Perry wrote: "I have spent the last few days watching, listening and reflecting about how to utilise my privilege and platform. I hope that #BlackoutTuesday gives us all (especially in the music industry) an opportunity to take what we're learning and put it into action on Wednesday, and every day going forward."

The day was widely regarded as an opportunity for social media users to refrain from posting their usual content, in deference to advocacy for the black community and content raising awareness about institutionalised racism.

Despite the traction the movement has gained, some critics say that the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter in some social media posts distract netizens from critical information and updates about the anti-racism movement and protests over Mr Floyd's death.