Media company 88rising received backlash after posting a yellow square on Instagram to show solidarity following a mass shooting in Atlanta.
Back in June 2020, millions of people began posting black squares on Instagram as part of the #blackouttuesday campaign.
It was an act of solidarity in support of the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd, and it got huge support worldwide.
A similar movement began taking place on Instagram after 88rising posted a yellow square to their feed.
However, the yellow square movement gained a lot of backlash, and 88rising have since deleted and apologised for their post.
Instagram’s yellow square movement explained
Over the past day, your Instagram feed has probably been flooded with yellow photos. People across the world began uploading the plain yellow squares to their social media profiles in a bid to raise awareness of a very important issue.
Started by media company 88rising, the yellow square campaign aimed to express solidarity following a mass shooting that happened in the USA on Tuesday (March 16th).
Robert Aaron Long, 21, has been charged with eight counts of murder after allegedly killing eight people in a mass shooting at three different massage parlours in Atlanta, Georgia.
Six of the eight victims were Asian women, however it has not yet been confirmed whether the attack was racially motivated.
Following the shooting, 88rising, an American mass media company that is known to represent Asian artists posted a yellow square to their feed.
Then, others started doing the same to express their condolences to the victims. However, the yellow square movement has gained backlash on Twitter.
88rising’s yellow square post gets backlash
After 88rising posted the yellow square to their feed, people instantly began criticising the post.
Many people commented on the fact that yellow is a racist and stereotyped colour and claimed that the yellow square campaign was tone-deaf and offensive.
Others began urging others not to post yellow squares or to delete their posts if they already had.
Backlash over 88rising’s post completely flooded Twitter, and 88rising took to Instagram to make a public apology.
88Rising makes public apology and deletes post
Following the backlash, 88Rising deleted their yellow square and posted an apology statement to their Instagram.
“Thank you to our community for sharing comments and critiques with us. It was never our intention to cause harm, but we recognise the effects of our actions and apologise,” they wrote.
“We are not trying to start a yellow square movement, though we understand how it was misinterpreted. We are heartbroken and wanted to share our thoughts on the horrific violence in Georgia and to decry the racism against the Asian community.”
They then finished the post by writing “we understand the responsibility and platform we have and intend to put it to good use” before asking their followers to email them ideas on how to collaborate.