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Gordon Young
Editor-in-chief at The Drum

Black Lives Matter spins off Facebook safety check feature to highlight racism in US

Black Lives Matter launches website for black people to mark themselves unsafe

In the week that began with Martin Luther King day and was bookended by the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States, Black Lives Matter have launched a web app, Mark Yourself Unsafe, to highlight the dangerous levels of racism in the US.

The app spins off Facebook’s safety check feature, that allows users near a major crisis to let their friends know that they’re safe, instead inviting black people to mark themselves unsafe as a sign of solidarity against racism in America.

Brent Choi, chief creative officer at J. Walter Thompson, the agency who built the app for Black Lives Matter, said the timing of the app holds significance "as there is a strong sentiment among many minorities that their safety will become even more compromised under newly elected officials."

So far over 1500 people have marked themselves unsafe on the app. To extend its reach, the app will be promoted on social. Celebrities and influencers have also posted in support, including Russell Simmons, Talib Kweli and Janet Mock.

“We hope it continues to gain momentum as it such an important and worthy cause,” Choi said.

"From slavery to Jim Crow to prejudicial and deadly policing, America has never been a safe place for Black people," added Patrisse Cullors, co-founder, Black Lives Matter. "We need to take action to continue to raise awareness about how racism impacts our families and communities. Mark yourself unsafe and show your support."

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