Over the weekend, tens of thousands of Australians rallied in capital cities and towns to march against Indigenous deaths in custody in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and as protests around the world against systematic police brutality and systemic racism continued into their second week. Many signs at rallies (signs that were further amplified across social) referred to the 432 Aboriginal deaths that are known to have occurred in custody, as recorded by the 1991 royal commission. As of Monday, The Guardian is reporting that number is now at least 437.
#BlackLivesMatter continues to shape the prevailing conversation across all platforms. This feels particularly true of Instagram, where some of the platform’s most-followed accounts are handing over their platforms to amplify the voices of BIPOC activists after the divisive #BlackOutTuesday initiative resulted in an inadvertent eclipsing of crucial information pertaining to how to how supporters could tangibly aid the cause. In one high-profile instance of amplification, Instagram’s fifth most-followed user with an audience of 179 million followers, Selena Gomez, invited Alicia Garza, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter and a founder of Black Futures Lab, to take-over her account this weekend. Gomez has continued to amplify Black activist voices in the days since – a move emulated by influential contemporaries like Lady Gaga, Lizzo and Shawn Mendes.
While Facebook remains steadfast in the decision not to censor incendiary statements made last week by President Donald Trump, others like Snapchat went as far as to demote the President’s account from their Discover platform in the interest of not “[amplifying] voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion.”
Facebook did, however, join Twitter in removing a George Floyd tribute video which had been posted by Trump’s campaign team to underline their response to the incident, and the subsequent #BlackLivesMatter protests. Though the video’s removal from Twitter and Facebook was ostensibly made on the grounds of copyright infringement, it remains available to view on YouTube.
Other platforms are continuing to respond to this critical moment in myriad ways – LinkedIn, for example, made a range of LinkedIn Learning courses on diversity, inclusion and belonging available for free – some of which are detailed further below.