Though Black Out Tuesday was originally organised by the music community, the social media world also went dark in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, joining voices around the world outraged by the killings of black people in the US.
Instagram and Twitter accounts, from top record labels to everyday people, were full of black squares posted in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.
Most of the captions were blank, though some posted #TheShowMustBePaused, black heart emojis or encouraged people to vote in the US on Tuesday with seven states and the District of Columbia hosting the largest slate of presidential primary elections in almost three months.
Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Radiohead, Coldplay, Kelly Rowland and Beastie Boys were among the celebrities to join Black Out Tuesday on social media.
“I won’t be posting on social media and I ask you all to do the same,” Britney Spears tweeted. “We should use the time away from our devices to focus on what we can do to make the world a better place .. for ALL of us !!!!!”
Spotify blacked out the artwork for several of its popular playlists, including RapCaviar and Today’s Top Hits, simply writing ‘Black lives matter’ as its description. The streaming service also put its Black Lives Matter playlist on its front page, featuring songs like James Brown’s ‘Say It Loud — I’m Black and I’m Proud,’ N.W.A.’s ‘[Expletive] the Police,’ Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ and Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America.’
The opening pages of Apple Music and iTunes focused on supporting Black Lives Matter, and SiriusXM said it will be silencing its music channels for three minutes in tribute to “all of the countless victims of racism.”
When musician Dillon Francis posted that the hashtag for Black Lives Matter was blank on Instagram because users were posting black squares, rapper Lil Nas X responded with: “this is not helping us. bro who the [expletive] thought of this?? ppl need to see what’s going on.”
Several music releases and events were postponed as a result of Black Out Tuesday.