On Tuesday (June 2), many Instagram users showed their support for the Blackout Tuesday and The Show Must Be Paused movements by posting black squares to their Instagram accounts. While the movement was launched to create a moment of pause among music industry professionals and to promote solidarity after the recent police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, several Instagram users quickly found that it had a negative consequence for the Black Lives Matter hashtag channel.
When Instagram users included the Black Lives Matter or BLM hashtags in their Blackout Tuesday posts, the Black Lives Matter hashtag channel became inundated with black squares, pushing down important information and images about ongoing protests, petitions and donation opportunities.
Kehlani noticed the problem and called attention to it on Twitter, writing in a since-deleted tweet “i don’t like this” underneath another tweeted video that showed a completely dark Black Lives Matter hashtag screen.
Another Twitter user also pointed out the issue and warned Blackout Tuesday supporters against using other hashtags.
It has come to my attention that many allies are using #BlackLivesMatter hashtag w black image on insta. We know that’s it no intent to harm but to be frank, this essentially does harm the message. We use hashtag to keep ppl updated. PLS stop using the hashtag for black images!! pic.twitter.com/eG2fPaybNW— Kenidra4Humanity ~ BLACK LIVES MATTER ~ (@KenidraRWoods_) June 2, 2020
“It has come to my attention that many allies are using #BlackLivesMatter hashtag w black image on insta,” they wrote. “We know that’s it no intent to harm but to be frank, this essentially does harm the message. We use hashtag to keep ppl updated. PLS stop using the hashtag for black images!!”
According to The Verge, the Blackout Tuesday and The Show Must Be Paused campaigns were launched by Atlantic Records Senior Director of Marketing Jamila Thomas and Platoon Senior Artist Campaign Manager Brianna Agyemang in order to urge 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.”
“Our mission is to hold the industry at large, including major corporations + their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles and success of black people accountable,” Thomas and Agyemang’s website reads, adding that the “music industry is a multi-billion dollar industry” that has “profited predominately from Black Art.”
Earlier this week, Atlantic Records also announced it would delay all of this week’s music releases in observation of the movement.