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Why Blackout Tuesday matters and how you can help

What happened last Tuesday?

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I thought Instagram was glitching at first. At midnight on Tuesday, my Instagram feed started flooding with nondescript black squares. At first, none of the posts had any caption or any explanation whatsoever. I was confused. However, as the hour grew longer, the hashtag finally made its long-awaited debut: #BlackoutTuesday.

On every social media possible, everyone participated in the growing online trend. Celebrities. Personalities. Streamers. Creators. Organizations. Companies. African Americans. Asians. Caucasians. Everyone participated in Blackout Tuesday.

What is it? What did it mean? Was it a true way to support the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement? Or was it a PR move designed for those who don’t want to participate in demonstrations?

The black square

By now, the black square (or circle for Facebook) is no stranger to the online world. During tense political upheavals, the iconic image makes an appearance, heralding everyone’s support or opposition towards a specific political stance or event.

Remember the controversial Marcos burial a few years ago? Opposers posted black profile photos with the caption: Marcos is not a hero. It was also used to protest the cybercrime law years ago. Regardless of what it specifically protested, the black image is always a political statement.

In this case, the black square is a symbol of protest against the wrongful murder of George Floyd, an African American man, under the custody of a white police officer in Minnesota, sparking a new #BlackLivesMatter movement. Since the incident, peaceful protests and violent riots have erupted all over the US. In the online world, famous personalities with a platform have used their audiences to spread awareness on the issue. For days, social media was dominated by the #BlackLivesMatter conversation.

On Tuesday, social media took a different direction. Rather than spreading more awareness and furthering the conversation, everyone posted the black square, marking the return of the iconic image. However, this time, the image wasn’t just a political statement. Rather, the online activity had a deeper function.

After flooding social media with the nondescript black squares, the posters ceased all activity on social media for the day. The #BlackoutTuesday movement intended to allow more important voices to be heard. By silencing their voices, they allowed black people more control over the conversation for the day.

In similar fashion, some companies have postponed their long-awaited events to allow the protest to dominate social media. Music streaming services have also reduced their services in a similar #TheShowMustBePaused movement.

It was more than a political statement. It was a call for others to keep quiet and listen to those who had a stronger authority to speak on trauma, racism, and discrimination.

#BlackoutTuesday versus #BlackLivesMatter

Unfortunately, the movement had its drawbacks. At first, participants conjoined both #BlackoutTuesday and #BlackLivesMatter into the same post, creating a strange problem for the protest.

Now, hashtags aren’t just a clever way to add a quirky subtitle for a social media post. They can also help users follow a certain trend. When they search #BlackLivesMatter on Twitter, for example, they can see other posts with the same hashtag.

Naturally, when people searched for #BlackLivesMatter posts on Tuesday, they ran into a strange sight: an overwhelming wall of black. Ironically, in Blackout Tuesday’s attempt to silence all unimportant voices, it flooded social media in a downpour of posts without a voice. Others have also called it a desperate attempt at virtue signaling, a PR move.

Halfway through the day, #BlackLivesMatter protestors urged #BlackoutTuesday posters to stop incorporating both hashtags into the same post. However, it wasn’t to dissociate the movement from Blackout Tuesday, Rather, the guidance was to steer the movement in the right direction.

For all the good intentions that the black squares had, it was truly just a good-natured post. Besides telling posters to stop using both hashtags, Black Lives Matter supporters shared different ways to help the movement beyond the black square or the hashtag.

Beyond the hashtag

Blackout Tuesday is just one part of the ongoing #BlackLivesMatter protests. As the black squares end their one-day effectivity, the call for further action rises to the fore. How can we help the protests from miles away?

First of all, the easiest way is to keep the conversation alive. Blackout Tuesday (or even Black Lives Matter) is not just a one-day event. Neither is it just a purely American concern. The conversation will always be as relevant as it is today and as it is in the US. It is not just a racial war. Wherever discrimination is present, whether it’s race or class, the spirit of Black Lives Matter should always prevail.

Secondly, if you have means to do so, you can always donate to relevant, anti-discrimination foundations or funds. Naturally, donating to a cause in another continent might be too much to ask. However, discrimination happens everywhere. You can still donate or help various causes in your own backyard.

If you don’t have the money or would rather stay at home, YouTube creators have found a revolutionary way to help the cause from afar. Posted first by YouTuber Zoe Amira, these hour-long videos contain art and performances from black artists. However, rather than just an awareness tool, these videos are jampacked with ads. The creators will donate all of the ad revenue to Black Lives Matter funds and foundations. Of course, you’ll have to turn off ad blocker for the duration of the entire video. At the very least, you can mute the browser tab; however, be careful not to mute the YouTube player itself as it nullifies ad revenue.

If you can’t do any of these, the least you can do is to just listen. Everyone has a responsibility to hear out and understand different voices in the racial debate. At this point, either from miles away or right on your backyard, listening is our only way to understand the plights of other people suffering worse things than us.

SEE ALSO: Facebook employees walk out to protest against Trump

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LinkedIn sued for spying on users

Caught by iOS 14

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Apple’s iOS 14 has done a lot of snitching lately. Recently, the new operating system discovered several apps copying content from an iPhone’s clipboard. Some culprits, like TikTok, have patched out the flaw and promised more security-conscious decisions in the future. However, the brouhaha has undoubtedly caused a breach in trust for a lot of consumers.

Particularly, an iPhone user in New York has decided to sue LinkedIn, one of the implicated companies. According to the complaint obtained by Reuters, Adam Bauer, the plaintiff, is suing the company for reading and obtaining information from his iPhone. Further, he claims that LinkedIn is also tapping into other devices, besides his iPhone.

Normally, user-filed complaints end up as a quirky way to obtain money from an allegedly erring company. However, Bauer’s case underscores a huge controversy pervading the app world today. Certainly, apps should not have unauthorized access to a user’s information regardless of purpose. If anything, the controversy is a call for companies to instate more trustworthy practices in their products.

Prior to Bauer’s complaint, LinkedIn has already promised to patch out the security flaw in an update. Naturally, it isn’t enough for some users. The complaint also emphasizes the global perspective that the implicated companies are only sorry because they got caught.

Bauer’s case is still ongoing so no one knows how it will affect the company and the world, if any.

SEE ALSO: LinkedIn launches its digital skills initiative

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Nokia 2 series might get an even bigger battery, based on leak

Going past a 4000mAh batttery

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Before the advent of smartphones, Nokia’s batteries were a sight to behold. The nostalgic brick phones lasted for days on a single charge. It’s still quite a feat, especially since most smartphones can’t live a day on a single charge alone these days. Today, Nokia is still blazing away at phenomenal batteries on its newer phones.

Throughout the past few years, HMD Global has always touted a marvelous two-day battery life for its Nokia 2 series. The budget lineup has traditionally carried a 4000mAh battery across its different iterations. Only the very first Nokia 2 had a slightly larger battery at 4100mAh.

In an FCC filing spotted by Android Authority, the Nokia 2 series is once again breaking the 4000mAh limit. According to the filing, an unnamed Nokia phone will carry a huge 4380mAh battery. For connectivity, the phone will not have 5G compatibility, topping off at just LTE. Though unnamed, the model likely points to the next generation in the Nokia 2 lineup, the Nokia 2.4.

Earlier this year, HMD Global launched the Nokia 2.3, one of the rare budget-friendly smartphones touting AI capabilities. Much like its predecessors, the Nokia 2.3 carried the 4000mAh battery. It retails for PhP 5,990.

Whatever this unnamed Nokia phone is, it will likely sell for around the same price range. Given the filing, it might also launch very soon.

SEE ALSO: Budget Android One Nokia 2.2 arrives in PH

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More OnePlus Nord specs leaked, hints at second midrange phone

Is there a cheaper OnePlus Nord?

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Image source: OnePlus / Instagram

OnePlus is more than excited for its impending midrange launch. Since the very first leaks, the company has hyped up an incoming revolution for its lineup. The OnePlus Nord already promises a lot of surprises for every OnePlus fan, given the amount of information coming out. Now, like clockwork, another leak adds more information about the upcoming release.

Spotted on benchmarking website GeekBench, an unnamed OnePlus phone — the OnePlus AC2003 — recently updated its specs on the database. According to the latest entry, the model will carry a 1.8GHz Qualcomm octa-core processor, likely pertaining to the expected Snapdragon 765G. Further, it will have a whopping 12GB of RAM inside. It’s quite a big spec to pack into a midrange phone. However, given what we know about OnePlus’s plans so far, this unnamed model is likely the OnePlus Nord.

Strangely, the OnePlus AC2003 isn’t the only unnamed OnePlus model on the database. Also posted recently, OnePlus is also working on what it calls the OnePlus BE2028. A tad bit lesser than the previous model, the OnePlus BE2028 will pack in a 1.71GHz Qualcomm octa-core chipset and just 6GB of RAM. For now, no one knows what this unnamed model is.

Whatever it is, the OnePlus BE2028 looks like it will sell cheaper than the OnePlus Nord.  Could it be another variant of the Nord? Or could it be an unannounced OnePlus phone also coming soon? In any case, it won’t be long before OnePlus reveals the truth about the two midrange phones. The OnePlus Nord is set to launch on July 21.

SEE ALSO: The best OnePlus Nord meme will get a free phone

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