It is hard to believe it is 2020 and we are still talking about the social injustice of the treatment of black people by the police and the inequality that black people face on a daily basis. Recently, the amount of mistreatment and quite frankly the murdering of black people by the police have caused unrest in society in the middle of a pandemic. Protests rang out all over the country and people began to speak out as well as take a stand to support the black community during this hard time.
The #BlackoutTuesday was created by activists as a strategic initiative to show solidarity in demanding justice for the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor (CNN.com). Even with high engagement, the user experience of the hashtag got lost and unclear. The hashtag was misused by users mixing the initiatives of the Black Lives Matter movement and supporting black businesses. With so many causes “supporting” #BlackoutTuesday, the message became watered down even though all of the mentioned movements are just as important. The hashtag accounted for 4.5 million posts on the first Tuesday. #BlackoutTuesday was led by the music industry to have serious conversations surrounding racism, however, almost two months later Breonna Taylor’s killers are still not arrested. More and more companies are providing inclusivity discussions and allowing more room for open conversations about race (RollingStone). Some can say #BlackoutTuesday made a change but there is a lot more work to do.
Social cliquism does not have a positive track record of implementing changes to the causes that they stand for. The newest hashtag supporting social injustice emerged last week empowering women to support women with #ChallengeAccepted. Women on social media are posting black and white photos to show their unity with each other. More than 3 million posts have surfaced on Instagram, but another miss can be accounted for. The same hashtag was used a few years ago to support cancer awareness. Is this another failed attempt to bring awareness or are hashtags simply not being used with the user experience in mind?
With content strategy and UX being so closely dependent and related to one another is social cliquism actually driving change or just muddying the waters on important issues?