It’s fair to say there was a lot happening yesterday during the blackout. Many people around the world are responsible for one of the most trending hashtags of the decade. It spans over different social media and music streaming platforms and talks about a very sensitive topic. Question is, was Blackout Tuesday a success or a bust?
History of The Blackout Tuesday Campaign
On Tuesday, 2nd May 2020, members of the music industry organized an Instagram blackout, under the banner “#blackouttuesday”. They added another hashtag #theshowmustbepaused just to make sure we all knew who is behind this.
Apple Music Takes A Bold Stand
Did too much?
In an attempt to gain more traction, they also asked users to refrain from social media activity and post a black square on their grids. The most dominant of the parties, Apple music had a pretty clear message on this.
On Tuesday, June 2nd, Apple Music will observe Black Out Tuesday. We will use this day to reflect and plan actions to support Black artists, Black creators, and Black communities. #TheShowMustBePaused #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/xkvn31DpYc
— Apple Music (@AppleMusic) June 2, 2020
The company took a step further and not too many people were happy about this. They set up a playlist and radio stations specifically playing what we can call Black Pride Music. Unfortunately, some subscribers took to Twitter to complain that this move was unfair. They believe it was in ill interest for Apple Music to ‘force’ this music on them.
@apple #applesupportsterrorism Get this garbage off my phone now. I PAY for a #AppleMusic subscription which will now be #CANCELAPPLEMUSIC Sell phones not politics you scumbags. @foxnewsalert @RT_com pic.twitter.com/RE4e3nGgdx
— Section9inc (@Section9inc1) June 2, 2020
Spotify is on a Different Level of Interest
Didn’t do enough?
Spotify also joined the blackout but their message was not too well received by the Kenyan and African Community at large. They received quite the backlash when it came to brighter light that they are not represented in most of the countries in Africa.
Some users also urged them to ‘walk the walk’ too. “If you can pay millions for Seth Rogan… You can pay millions for us too”. Many asked them to highlight and play Black Artists Music and podcasts.
— زين (@8BitBatman) June 2, 2020
Even BoomPlay took part in the “pause”…
— Boomplay Music KE (@BoomplayMusicKE) June 1, 2020
Instagram Takes A Stand
Instagram helped push the stories of Black people and even advised users to change their #tags from #blacklivesmatter to #blackouttuesday. This is so that no information is lost between the two tags.
We hear you, we see you and we are with you.
We stand against racism. We stand with our Black community — and all those working toward justice in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many others whose names will not be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/QvSvFG056H
— Instagram (@instagram) June 1, 2020
TikTok on the other took part by replacing all the trending sounds with the #theshowmustbepaused to keep the trend going.
— tommy blake (@tommyxblake) June 3, 2020
In conclusion, Apple Music may have lost a few subscribers but anyone who stands for the cause has become a much more loyal user now, I included. Spotify and BoomPlay also receive some recommendation for at least participating in the hashtag.
Despite the slight mix up in hashtags that may have led to some information flying under the radar, the hashtag could be termed a success. The main was to disrupt normal social media and app usage and get people talking about the black lives matter movement.
The posts worked well as an awareness campaign. Many more people who saw black screens have been introduced to problems around the world. Through the same hashtags, many people learned how to actually help. The trend got over 30 million posts. However, this should not stop here. I think Natasha puts it quite well…
Black Out Tuesday is more than just posting a black square, it’s not a day to go silent, silence breeds complacency which in turn breeds complicity. Use the silence to continue working; educate yourself, read resources, sign petitions, share links & donate! #BlackOutTuesday pic.twitter.com/zbelpXng4m
— Natasha Pink (@NatashaPink19) June 2, 2020
Now that Black Out Tuesday is over. Here’s what you can do to continue supporting, educating and help bring about change.
1. Sign Petitions
4. Report Racism
5. Share helpful resources/links
6. Be the change #BlackLivesMatter ✊?✊?✊?
— SOULÉ (@SouleOfficial) June 3, 2020
What do you think?