#ChallengeAccepted: Why the Instagram hashtag went viral, may be ‘self promotional’ and no, it did not originate in Turkey – fashion and trends

Over the previous week, you may have observed that your Instagram feed has been flooded with glamorous black and white photographs of your mates, colleagues, celebrities and acquaintances, with a easy caption: #ChallengeAccepted, and a extra telling #WomenSupportingWomen hashtag following it. At first, you may have brushed it off, pondering its simply a type of many challenges and trends that take up area and time in your feed, perhaps a type of ‘let’s confuse males’ challenges. But the hashtag that has over 4.5 million posts on Instagram, with celebrities like Sara Ali Khan, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Paris Hilton, Kerry Washington, and many others is much more than simply one other social media development. And whereas it’s nice that everybody is collaborating, it would have a extra highly effective affect if we all know what it is actually about than simply publish our greatest photos and tag our buddies to do the similar.

While most social media customers assumed that the problem was began to help feminism and present solidarity with different girls, the trigger is way deeper than that. The hashtag #ChallengeAccepted has been used a number of instances in the previous to gasoline social media actions like again in 2016 when it was used to unfold most cancers consciousness, and since then it has been used on and off to advertise positivity.

Cristine Abram, a public relations and influencer advertising supervisor for a social media advertising agency, stated to the New York Times, “It’s all to do with female empowerment. There was this hashtag that already existed to raise awareness around other large issues. Tapping into that allowed participants to gain traction a lot faster because the algorithm was already familiar with the hashtag.”

#ChallengeAccepted in Turkey

So not like what your social media feeds may be telling you, the problem did not originate in Turkey. However, this time round the social media motion is to boost consciousness about femicide and home violence in Turkey.

New York Times journalist Tariro Mzezewa in a now deleted tweet wrote that she spoke to girls in Turkey who stated it started there “as a response to them being frustrated over always seeing black and white photos of women who have been killed.”

Turkish Twitter person, Imaan Patel, shared the actual cause behind why the motion was began and her publish has been a degree of reference for a lot of in search of readability. She wrote, “I see many of my non-Turkish friends sharing black and white photos of themselves as a “challenge” however not understanding the cause or origin of the problem. So right here is my try to coach the little following I’ve. Please share this data if you wish to help this motion so the message does not get misplaced in translation and in order that the problem received’t lose its that means.”

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She went on so as to add how Turkey is certainly one of the high international locations when it involves femicide. According to the We Will Stop Femicide on-line platform, in 2020 alone, over 27 girls had been murdered by their jealous spouses, companions or in honour killings, whereas an additional 23 suspected femicides have been recorded as nicely. In truth, it was the latest killing of 27-year-outdated pupil Pinar Gültekin by a jealous ex-boyfriend – who strangled and beat her earlier than killing her, then dumped her in a bin and stuffed it with concrete when he was unable to burn her physique – which despatched shock waves via Turkey. Women from Turkey, particularly the nation’s west, took to the streets to protest and categorical their anger about Pinar’s killing, calling for cover of ladies.

Imaan’s publish went on to clarify, “Turkey is one of the top countries when it comes to femicides. Just on 2019 we have had almost 500 RECORDED femicides. Sadly many of them remain unrecorded and we have no real number as to how many women are murdered here every year. Just this week, we have had several women murdered. The government and our justice system does nothing to stop these crimes. Most often the murderers barely get a slap on the wrist or no charges at all.”

She went on to clarify the Istanbul Convention and how abolishing sure elements of it would hamper girls’s security in Turkey, “As if this is not enough, our government is trying to abolish certain aspects of Istanbul Convention which is a human rights treaty that protects women against domestic violence. So not only are they not trying to stop it, they’re literally trying to make it legal for them to not stop it.”

Imaan then defined how the social media development that has gone globally viral started in Turkey, “Turkish people wake up every day to see a black and white photo of a woman who has been murdered on their Instagram feed, on their newspapers, on their TV screens. The black and white photo challenge started as a way for women to raise their voice. To stand in solidarity with the women we have lost. To show that one day, it could be their picture that is plastered across news outlets with a black and white filter on top. I have seen many of my international friends participate in this challenge without knowing the meaning. While I am aware that there is no ill will, it is important to remind ourselves why posting a picture with a black and white filter is a “challenge” to start with.”

Several persons are somewhat skeptical about how posting glamour pictures will assist the motion in any respect. Writer Caroline Moss tweeted, “I literally cannot get over challenge accepted. Here’s a hot photo of myself because I support women.”

Taylor Lorenz, a tradition reporter for The New York Times acquired loads of flak for her article, and ideas, on the #ChallengeAccepted with a number of tweets calling her anti girls. 

Taylor tweeted, “People love these types of “challenges” as a result of they don’t require any precise advocacy. You can self promote in the title of a trigger, however the trigger in these #ChallengeAccepted posts is so imprecise they mainly don’t help something in any respect.”

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In an interview with NPR, Taylor eloquently put forth why she thought the problem was simply fashionable-day chain mail (keep in mind these forwards, ship to 12 folks or you’re going to get ten years of dangerous luck) when she was requested by the host if mutual appreciation amongst girls must ‘take a specific stance on a specific issue in order to be valid’. Taylor responded, “No. But it’s – I mean, in this instance, it was framed as taking a stance on an issue. You know, a lot of people were posting about feminism and women’s empowerment and sort of feminist stuff in these – you know, in the captions of these posts. But they weren’t doing anything. I think if the whole challenge was framed a little bit more neutrally it wouldn’t have been an issue.”

She went on to clarify how for some girls the problem was simply extra social strain than empowering, “And by the way, you’re saying a lot of women felt great about this. You know, a lot of women felt left out. A lot of women felt social pressure to kind of post. A lot of people don’t like to post photos of themselves on their Instagram or feel that pressure. But, you know, these types of campaigns sort of make them. It’s basically modern-day chainmail.”

#ChallengeAccepted in Egypt

However, there are some who’re taking the problem a step additional and fuelling the dialog about related conversations in their international locations. Sarah Magdy, a former BBC Arabic reporter from Egypt wrote about the problem at size on her Instagram web page and spoke of how she has determined to take the problem to precise her desperation after an anti-harassment web page that uncovered rapists and harassers was compelled shut. She wrote, “Today, I’m taking this B&W challenge to Egypt to express my desperation after anti-harassment Egyptian Instagram account @assaultpolice was forced into silence after exposing rapists and harassers like #ABZ and after opening the bone-chilling gang-rape #Fairmontincident, in which it’s reported that 5 affluent Egyptian men drugged a girl, gang-raped her and proudly signed their names on her private parts after they were done with her!!! You can silence one account, but trust me the era of fear and silence is over..I promise we will keep making noise until this issue is properly visited and investigated!”


She went on so as to add, “And instead of sentencing young women, @mawada_eladhm and @_haneenhossamofficial__ , for two bloody years just for posting dance videos on #TikTok accusing them of “violating the values and principles of the Egyptian family, show some justice and punish those who shamelessly violated all the values and principles of humanity! #womensupportingwomen.”

So whereas on the one hand some girls have been utilizing the #WomenSupportingWomen to principally share glamour pictures, others have been making an attempt to make use of the momentum from the motion to attract consideration to essential and urgent points. So whether or not the problem helps or not really depends upon how persons are utilizing it. After all, context is king.

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Shekh Shahrukh

Shekh Shahrukh is a digital marketer, Entrepreneur, and a Journalism student at Delhi University. A news writer by day and news seeker by night, he is loathed to discuss himself in a third person but can be persuaded to do so from time to time.

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