Over the years, people around the world have used social media as a megaphone to amplify their voices and deliver information to others in the palms of their hands. Therefore, one would think that using social media to promote grassroots and national movements like Black Lives Matter by using the popular hashtag would be helpful. But, activists are asking people to stop overusing the hashtag because important information is being hidden by the oversaturation of irrelevant posts added to the hashtag feed by users.
According to CNN, users and activists began to pinpoint the issue online yesterday.
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
There are no rules on social media when it comes to using a hashtag, that is why activists are asking people to use the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag responsibly.
To date, there are over 15.1 million posts tagged with the hashtag on Instagram. But when you scroll through the feed, many of the posts are black images with no resourceful information. There are also thousands, if not millions, of other images that are in no way associated with the movement tagged as well.
Related: Alicia Garza on the Importance of Self-Preservation for Black Leaders Amid COVID-19
my initial thought is it feels dangerous… because once you click on the blm hashtag you’re directed to an overflow of black images, instead of other more useful content people could look at for information. pic.twitter.com/QiaHPeoWGP
— A (@atothebed) June 2, 2020
The Black Lives Matter movement and hashtag are arguably one of the largest social movements led by young people since the Black Panther Party. And with social media as a powerful tool, it is important for leaders to be able to use platforms to accurately disseminate information.
As people continue to organize in support of justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless black people who have had their lives taken by police officers and vigilantes, people are taking a break to post to social media today in recognition of Black Out Tuesday.