News

Here's Why You're Seeing Black Boxes as Social Media Profile Photos

Published On 11/10/2016 Published On 11/10/2016

As the reality of a Donald Trump presidency continues to sink in for millions of people all across the country, many Americans are turning to various forms of protest on the streets of major cities and on social media to express their displeasure with the stunning election results. But along with the emotional essay-length rants, hot takes, and heated arguments flooding your timelines, you may have noticed a growing number of your friends who have completely blacked out their profile pictures, too.

According to a report by USA Today, people are changing their profile and background photos on Twitter specifically to protest now President-elect Donald Trump. It all started in the hours after Trump claimed victory on Wednesday, when #TwitterBlackout started trending on Twitter nationwide. Since then, countless users have blackened out their profiles as part of the protest, and have posted similar black images on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. 

Along with changing changing their profile pictures, people participating in the protest also posted support for the LGBTQ community, Muslims, women, African-Americans, Latinos, and the Black Lives Matter movement, which they believe could be threatened under President Trump. Here are a handful of examples of the blackout protest, including widely-followed celebs like Katy Perry (note: if you're reading this several days after the election, there's a chance people have changed their profile photos back):

Of course, the #TwitterBlackout protest isn't exactly taking over the internet right now, but it's among many examples of how Americans are reacting to, or shall we say coping with, the election results. And while expressing solidarity and dissent are always important, it's taking the extra step to get out and actually make a difference in the world that truly brings results. At least all the black profile images will reveal all the people who you can talk to over the next several days. 

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and thinks going out and actually doing something about it is better than just changing your profile picture. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.

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