Blackout Tuesday: Black squares dominate social media

You may be wondering why your social media feeds have been engulfed by black squares, well celebrities, corporations, music labels and sports stars vowed not to post on social media on Tuesday in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Celebrities, corporations, music labels and sports stars have vowed not to post on their accounts on what is being called Blackout Tuesday following the death of George Floyd.

Demonstrations have broken out across the US and cities  around the world including Berlin, London, Amsterdam following the death of Mr Floyd and other allegations of police brutality against people of colour.

Amid a fragile atmosphere, police have clashed with protesters in cities including New York, Los Angeles and Minneapolis.

What is Blackout Tuesday?
The idea is to fill Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with black squares, freeing up the time usually dedicated to social media for people to educate themselves on the Black Lives Matter movement.

Organisers said they wanted Tuesday to be a "a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community" through "an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change".

The campaign hit a slight bump in the road early on Tuesday with many people using the hashtags dedicated to Black Lives Matter.

This clogged up feeds meant for information related to protests around the world, which is something organisers were understood to be keen to avoid.

Why are celebrities posting black squares on Instagram?
George Floyd, a 46-year-old bouncer, was killed on Monday May 25 by Derek Chauvin, a police officer, who pressed his knee into Mr Floyd's neck until he died while other police officers watched. 

Footage of the killing, taken by a bystander, showed Floyd lying face down and handcuffed, groaning for help and repeatedly saying, "please, I can't breathe," before becoming motionless.

Chauvin, had his knee on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total and two minutes and 53 seconds after Mr Floyd was unresponsive, according to a criminal complaint released by the Hennepin County Attorney's Office.

On June 1, a medical examiner in Minnesota classified Mr Floyd's death as a homicide. 

Mr Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the Floyd family, has now called for the Minneapolis police officers to face the more serious charge of first-degree murder, based on the new findings.

It has restored the Black Lives Matter movement at the forefront of the news agenda. 

How to join Blackout Tuesday
Organisers behind the movement have asked people to: 
  1. Post a picture of a black square on their social media account
  2. Mute their account for the day
  3. Use the time they would otherwise be on social media to educate themselves on Black Lives Matter 

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