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The Facebook Inc. Instagram logo is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone in an arranged photograph taken in Arlington, Virginia, US on Monday, April 29, 2019.

Instagram flooded with black squares to support protesters

The Facebook Inc. Instagram logo is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone in an arranged photograph taken in Arlington, Virginia, US on Monday, April 29, 2019.

Facebook Inc.’s Instagram was flooded with images of black squares on Tuesday, when users, influencers and celebrities took to the platform to express support for the protests raging across the country to oppose police brutality.

Instagram’s usual colourful feed has been taken over by black squares to support protests in the United States.

The images — accompanied with hashtags including #blacktuesday, #blackouttuesday and #theshowmustbepaused — originated with a music industry display of support for the protesters, with calls for a pause in operations and blacking out stations on Tuesday, according to the Guardian. As of just after noon on Tuesday in New York, the hashtag #blackouttuesday had been included in more than 16 million Instagram posts.

The image became so popular that celebrities reminded users to stick to the original blackout hashtags. That’s because the use of #blacklivesmatter and #blm hashtag — used for communicating with protesters — risked drowning out needed information.

As black squares took over Instagram, the hashtags and image began spreading on Facebook and Twitter as well.