In the ’90s, the band Rage Against the Machine raged against violence, police brutality, and abuse of power. Nothing has changed in the 20-plus years since then, and Tom Morello is as angry as ever.
The guitarist of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave has demanded the names of the people taking part in the George Floyd Challenge that has spread across social media.
Tom Morello wants to ‘name and shame’
Tom Morello set out to send his Twitter followers and fans into action when several photos of people mocking the death of George Floyd hit the Internet.
Morello shared some of the photos showing people, mostly younger white men, kneeling with their knees driven into the neck of someone with their hands behind their backs.
In all cases, the guys were smiling and posing as they mocked the murder of Floyd.
Morello posted the photos and asked for the Internet to provide the names of the people in the pictures taking part in what is called the “George Floyd challenge.”
People mocking the murder of George Floyd. Hey internet: who are they? pic.twitter.com/RSYEHlIs5F
— Tom Morello (@tmorello) June 4, 2020
His fans were quick to respond, and at least two of the guys in the video were identified.
The New York Post revealed that the kids from one photo were from the UK, and the Northumbria police arrested three teens on “suspicion of sending communications causing anxiety and distress.”
A TikTok video from Australia also showed kids taking part in the challenge with even more chilling accusations. The kid choked in this video was allegedly being bullied and was not a willing participant.
Facebook takes quick action
Quickly after these photos started circulating, and possibly thanks to big-name opposition like Tom Morella, the social media sites are removing the posts when they are found.
“We are aware, and are removing these posts for violating our Community Standards,” a spokesperson for Facebook told The New York Post. The violation is “encouraging participation in a high-risk viral challenge.”
Facebook has no hashtags available now for the #GeorgeFloydChallenge in one way they are battling the crass photos. Its sister site Instagram has taken that hashtag and disabled it, so it returns as “Hashtag is Hidden.”
The hashtag is still prevalent on Twitter, but it has mostly been taken over by people pointing out how “disgusting” and “disrespectful” it is to post photos like this.
Boston.com reported that three students from New Hampshire took part in a video for the challenge. However, the site also states that no charges were filed against them. A change.org petition was started asking for the student’s expulsion from school, and it has over 1,300 signatures.