Stop using the BLM hashtag on your black square (better yet, take it down and start listening and amplifying)

Originally published at:


A friend is starting a trend, in which I am participating, to completely log off of Facebook and/or Instagram on Tuesdays (even though this week seems like a particularly unfortunate week to start) not as anything associated with BLM but as a form of boycott/protest against the Facebook corporate leadership and their unwillingness to fact check (or do anything) about the hateful things that Donald Trump posts, even though they are in clear violation of the company’s policies. The hope is to eventually build enough momentum with enough people that a relevant drop in ad revenue can be noticed.

Coincidentally and unintentionally, I changed my profile photo to a black square for the occasion. No hashtags, though, just black, which I took upon myself to do. Plus an explanation and an invitation for others to do the same. I’ll log back in tomorrow and change it!

…but then it clearly says on the (official?) image posted for “Black Out Tuesday” to “only post a blank black image on all social media platforms for solidarity,” so no wonder people were confused and have been doing it all day.

…but why?

In what way does not going onto Facebook for one day send any message to anyone? At worst, maybe Facebook registers a tiny single day drop in revenue among one demographic. Then what?

In exactly what scenario do you imagine your one day boycott results in Facebook executives deciding that yes, pissing off half of the country and a bunch of politicians is worth it?

I feel like sometimes people are “protesting” as a quasi-religious ritual rather than as an effort to change something. Not using a product for 1 day isn’t a protest that anyone is going to notice or care about, and it certainly will not influence the behavior of anyone.

It turns out this varied on how you use social media and which platform. I’m old and don’t follow hashtags or use Instagram, so the effect was mild on FB. GF who does use both saw a wall of black. They should have used their own hashtag by itself, not #blacklivesmatter or adjacent tags.

Or you could stop using Instagram, or am I being naive?

I have a real cynical take on these black squares people are posting to show their “solidarity” or whatever. Even more so for the businesses posting this.

People use the tools available to them to communicate.


All the news articles about this and all the black background posts replying to people telling them to remove their black square posts are the social media equivalent of a reply all email storm. It’s literally just making it worse.

I would be delighted if people objected to my display of black squares, because then I would know.

But so far no one has. Which is nice too.

1 Like

Realistically, the activists will be better off if they’re the ones to change hashtag. Getting important information through on BLM seems sketchy at this point.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.