People closely following the George Zimmerman trial have launched a unique social media campaign: they are blacking out their profile page until a verdict is read.
The movement picked up steam through Twitter and Facebook early Friday — as the jury of six-women neared the start of deliberations.
On social media sites, the effect created a string of black, square profile boxes on timelines.
Initially, those who launched it said the campaign did not favor either side. “This is just for those who are waiting for a verdict, not support for either side,” said an early tweet.
Benjamin Crump, a well-known attorney for the family of Trayvon Martin quickly jumped in, turning his profile photo black.
“I am moved by the #BlackOut movement on social media profiles for #TrayvonMartin. I stand with you all...”
Within hours of the launch, sides had been taken and attacks lobbed:
“If you don’t want to black out your profile picture that’s fine, don’t criticize those who do,” tweeted @iamjennifer
“How did something with noble intentions (#blackout) turn into something so polarizing...” tweeted @jwilphotos
Besides #Blackout, other hashtags like #Blackout4Trayvon, #JusticeForTrayvon are also seeing plenty of traffic.
Some profile boxes are more direct, showing silhouettes depicting the 17-year-old in a hoodie, which he was wearing when he was killed by Zimmerman in February 2012.
Zimmerman says he acted in self-defense.