The complex origins of Instagram’s #ChallengeAccepted

 A woman wearing sunglasses and a bikini raised her phone to take a photo.

The hashtag #ChallengeAccepted on Instagram was overwhelmed by millions of photos because women posted captions to support women's empowerment and tag their friends. | Getty Images

Global hashtags are now being used to attract the attention of the Turkish women's rights movement.

Last weekend, the #ChallengeAccepted hashtag on Instagram was overwhelmed by millions of black and white photos-jaw-dropping candid, selfies and posing photos-posted by women from all over the world. These pictures are usually accompanied by titles or tags, broadly expressing support for "women's empowerment" or "women supporting women", and users mark their friends in a way similar to chain mail.

Celebrity participants including Natalie Portman, Kristen Bell, Ivanka Trump and Khloe Kardashian (Khloe Kardashian) attracted the mainstream attention of the American trend, which triggered the Brand performance criticism. For whom were these black and white photos taken, which further contributed to the cause of feminism? Social media users pointed out that these posts do not promote any specific feminist behavior; on the contrary, they appear to be another manifestation of the digital trend involving influencers and celebrities.

As the trend of #ChallengeAccepted proliferated, overlapping narratives about its origins and intentions began to surface. The initial challenge in 2016 also included a large number of black and white selfies aimed at raising awareness of cancer, although critics of the cause (especially cancer survivors) found it to be infantile and stupid. According to the New York Times, the latest iteration of the 2020 challenge originated from a July 17 post by a Brazilian journalist.

Recently, Turkish feminists and activists claimed that the influx of black and white photos was aimed at emphasizing Turkey’s concern about the rate of killing women and the violence that Turkish women face in their daily lives; the decolorizing filter is an example of how the media dealt with abuse. A reference to black and white photographs of women who died. The women’s rights organization "We Will End the Killing of Women" stated that in 2019, 474 women were killed by men in Turkey, and the number of women killed has steadily increased in the past decade.

The 27-year-old student of Pınar Gültekin murdered her by her ex-boyfriend, setting off a new round of activism in the country as women rallied to strengthen government protection and implement the Istanbul Convention. The convention was ratified by Turkish officials in 2012 and established a legal framework for European countries to prevent gender-based violence, protect victims and prosecute perpetrators.

On Instagram, @beelzeboobz, a user in Istanbul, Turkey, posted an explanation of the challenge to their non-Turkish friends, urging them to share information so that “the message will not be lost in translation” or lose its meaning.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Manic Pixie Dream Boy (@beelzeboobz) at 5:13 AM PDT on July 28, 2020

"Turks wake up every day and see Black cat and white photos of a woman who were murdered on Instagram feeds, newspapers, and TV screens." "The black and white photo challenge was originally a way for women to raise their voices. Together, we lost women. To show This day, it may be that their photos are posted on the top of the news media with black and white filters."

Online, other Turkish supporters joined in, pointing out that #istanbulsözleşmesmesiyaşatır and #kadınaşiddetehayır (respectively) Translated as "Istanbul Convention saves lives" and "veto of violence against women") were excluded.

"Social media, especially Twitter, has become a good communication platform to return to the authorities trying to cover up the mysterious deaths of women," Sevgi, a Turkish writer based in Los Angeles, wrote to me on Twitter. Sevgi or @neosevgism, posted a post on July 28, explaining the violence faced by Turkish women and the need to implement the Istanbul Convention. She said to me: "I want to raise people's awareness that Western countries do not care about Eastern women's issues," she pointed out that women from Muslims or Asian countries are often alienated or ignored by Western society.

Due to the decentralized nature of most social media platforms, it is tricky to specifically track how certain trends and challenges arise -Not to mention what motivated them to achieve virality. Although the Times reporter Taylor Lorenz argued that the #19459056 [挑战挑战] trend did not appear in Turkey, Turkish advocates seem to have successfully evoked people’s interest through this popular #tag The attention of its movement, and to amplify its humanitarian cause.

Lorenz reported on this challenge on July 27, just a few days ago when most American audiences realized that the black and white photo trend and social media activism highlighted the killer rate of Turkish women. She received 's reply from American participants, some of whom believed that Instagram posts or selfies did not necessarily dilute their investment in feminist causes. Many people participated because they were tagged by mentors, family members or business partners, and made strong comments stating that there must be a strong support system to achieve their life goals.

"I am full of challenges, and we can encourage each other in this life," wrote a lifestyle coach and trainer. "As long as I remember, I have always been very keen to encourage and promote women." Another female entrepreneur said that she was proud to be a company owned by three women, writing: "Seeing all these outstanding The lady is doing many amazing things every day, which inspires me to become better and live a real life."

Whoever reignites the #ChallengeAccepted hashtag when posting on social media, this trend Surfaced, this is a particularly worrying behavior. Currently, as Rebecca Jennings previously wrote for The Goods on #BlackoutTuesday, "There are conflicting instructions on how to be a good ally." People are not sure what to post, but they also want to feel that they are contributing, rather than doing nothing. Then, the level of police strategy to be considered in these online spaces will be higher. No one wants to be humiliated by the public for what they post, which makes many people feel that they should seek permission or recognition before talking about something.

Although Western fashion trends are recurring, celebrities and influential people may, if it is an empty gesture, then the various responses to someone who decides to participate-from despising their intentions to praising them-are An interesting circular argument. Why is it condemned just because a person likes to post black and white selfies on his personal page? Of course, this may be a stupid or empty signal, but the Internet is flooded with pictures and poor Twitter behavior every day, which may be more destructive than harmless, indulgent selfies.

Many Instagram users have recently started to comment on photos under the hashtag #ChallengeAccepted, encouraging posters to understand the Turkish background of the black and white photos and the reasons behind them. Since the disturbing disappearance of Gultkin, Turkish activists have also been actively participating in social media activities, but language barriers have largely hindered the dissemination of information. However, in the past few days, I have seen a staggering number of Instagram posts and stories with the hashtag #ChallengeAccepted that try to turn attention to the rate of killing women in Turkey.

View this post on Instagram.

A post shared by Rabia (@frabiaa) at 2:52 PM PDT on July 26, 2020.

20-year-old violinist Linda Guo recently published a black and white article White photo because she was nominated by two close friends, but hopes to include tags related to the Istanbul Convention and the killing of women in Turkey. She said in an Instagram message: "I want to commemorate the victims of the killing of women and any other crimes against women, to combat the withdrawal of the Istanbul Convention, and to show that I am proud to be a woman."

United States -Especially when it is accepted by public figures-it is often seen as a performance or futile for political cause. However, in countries like Turkey, Chile or Hong Kong, channels for free speech are more restricted than in the United States, and labels and challenges can be a way to mobilize numbers and raise global awareness.

"I don't care about having a picture challenge." Sevgi added. More importantly, this is "about the Turkish women who are posting this news" and human rights violations that occur every day.

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