By now the story of George Floyd and his death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer is well-known. It is the act of police brutality which prompted violent protests in the same city, as well as what sparked the current war between US president Donald Trump and social media.
In order to honour the memory of Floyd, along with creating greater awareness around police brutality in the United States, Spotify is adding an eight minute and 46 second long moment of silence to playlists and podcasts on the streaming platform.
The company confirmed that this is one of the gestures that it has planned for 2nd June, or Blackout Tuesday as it is referred to by some.
“We are using the power of our platform to stand with Black creators, amplify their voices, and accelerate meaningful conversation and long-needed change. As a result, you’ll notice some changes on Spotify starting at 12:01 AM on Tuesday,” explained Spotify in a blog post.
“Spotify will also pause social media publication as a symbol of solidarity that reminds us that things cannot remain status quo. Finally, select participating playlists and podcasts will include an 8-minute, 46-second track of silence as a solemn acknowledgement for the length of time that George Floyd was suffocated,” it adds.
The music industry in particular is using Blackout Tuesday to highlight the inequalities in the US, with other industries also showing their support in different ways.
In the world of sports for example, we’ve seen English Premier League teams hold moment of silence on one knee during training sessions, with the Bundesliga goal celebrations in Germany also featuring messages of support.
With Spotify looking to create awareness, we’re hoping more technology companies look to highlight the same issue in whatever way they can.
For us in South Africa, the addition of the moment of silence should appear later this afternoon or evening. When it does, we urge Spotify users to observe the silence, and not skip.