On May 31 2020, a Facebook screenshot of an Instagram post circulated virally, purportedly depicting two white teenagers grinning as they engaged in what was labeled a “George Floyd challenge” — a tasteless recreation of the circumstances of Floyd’s death:
The Instagram post itself was tagged as a “repost,” and the original poster indicated they’d received it without additional information from someone else — in other words, secondhand:
#Repost we need these goofy mfs found… somebody sent me this lame shit… Y’all goofy mfs sitting around burning our shit up while they at home comfortable playin us like goofies and they chillin with no fear In the world crackin jokes and don’t give af by doing shit like this…. GO FUCK THEY SHIT UP… NOT OURBLACK OWNED SHIT!!!! I bet them bitches won’t be laughin and thinkin shit sweet then… they think shit chicken cuz we doin it to ourselves instead of making them feel that fuckin pressure ????️ these bitches think it’s a game… and we letting em????????♂️ #explore #JusticeForFloyd
Two separate reverse image searches didn’t return any indication the image had been shared before, and its formatting suggested that the post originated on Snapchat — but visual elements of the photograph indicated a possibility it was not very recent.
The relatively new search term “George Floyd challenge” registered in Google Trends, an indicator many people were searching for more information:
Related searches involved elements in the few social media posts embedded above. One mentioned Chardon, Ohio — the number one related search. Another related query was the handle of the Instagram poster, @shakeyhendrixx:
In our search, we noticed two posts on 4Chan’s /pol/ encouraged others to spread a “George Floyd challenge,” and the image above appeared in one of the threads. However, there was no other indication on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram that any such challenge existed, was common, or existed anywhere outside a possibly misidentified image.