Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook users are turning their profile pictures blue in solidarity with protesters in Sudan.
If you have checked any of the major social media platforms in the past week, chances are you have come across a lot of blue display images.
In the aftermath of the mass killing of pro-democracy protesters in Khartoum early in June, tens of thousands of people have adopted the colour blue in their profile pictures to show their support for the struggle.
The origin of the trend is unclear but one account said that it was in honour of 25-year-old Mohamed Hashim Mattar, who was killed by Sudanese troops while protecting fellow protesters.
“This isn’t just any blue, it’s Mattar’s blue. He was in love with colors in general and this was his favorite one. Say his name. Remember him,” wrote Twitter user, Dinan al Asad.
In the days since it first appeared, the colour has been adopted by social media users to represent all 118 known victims of the June 3 killings, which came after months of protests demanding democratic rule.
Prominent supporters of the cause include Qatar’s Sheikha Mayassa al Thani, a noted art patron and sister of Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad al Thani.
“Stand with humanity, stand with Sudan— show solidarity by turning your profile to the colour blue!” Al Thani wrote.
The campaign to raise awareness also enjoyed a big boost when pop star Rihanna shared a call to action on her Instagram live feed.
The trend comes amid widespread anger online that the mainstream media is not doing enough to cover the events in Sudan.
After the military coup that brought down longtime leader Omar al Bashir, pro-democracy activists have remained on the streets, demanding that the military relinquish control and ensure that a genuine civilian government is formed.
#Istandwithsudan— no angel🦄 (@jemimah_og) June 12, 2019
Let people ask you why is your avi blue and explain to them what’s happening in sudan and how we can help, they have no internet anymore and it’s up to us to raise awareness pic.twitter.com/D2qRcDFXC3
The two sides were involved in a standoff as protesters formed a sit-in in the capital, which was finally broken when the Sudanese military moved to clear it on June 3.
For many social media has become the primary means of finding out what is happening in Sudan despite the government’s attempts to cut off the flow of information by shutting down the internet.
“We need more mainstream media coverage on what’s happening in Sudan. People were heartbroken for Notre Dame but where’s this energy for Sudan?” Said a Twitter user named Zenny.
#IAmTheSudanRevolution We need more mainstream media coverage on what’s happening in Sudan. People were heartbroken for Notre Dame but where’s this energy for Sudan?— Zenny (@urbanwreckage1) June 12, 2019