The Slow Factory Foundation, a social-justice themed organization, warned non-"Black folks" to not share Oprah memes because it would be "digital blackface".
The organization issued the following definition of "digital blackface" on their Instagram account on Wednesday:
"An online phenomenon where white and non-Black people share gifs and photos of Black folks to express emotion or reaction to anything happening on the internet. While seemingly harmless, the problem with digital blackface is that it often reinforces negative stereotypes about Black folks such as they’re aggressive, loud, sassy, and simply here for your consumption and entertainment. It is another way people try and co-opt Black identity and culture without any of the day-to-day realities of being Black," reads the image with the text of the definition. The text of the post says:
"Performing Blackness, be it IRL or online, is not an acceptable form of expressing reaction or dissatisfaction, especially not in exchange for likes and retweets. Since the #MeghanandHarry interview on Oprah, we’ve been seeing a lot of digital blackface infractions with a few of Oprah’s reaction gifs and images going viral, but that doesn’t mean you should be using them."
There has been a sharp increase in the use of Oprah memes online due to her recent long-form interview with disgruntled Brits Megan Markle and her husband ,Prince Harry, who sharply criticized members of the British royal family.
It appears that there were a wealth of expressions visible on Oprah's face, which is something people love to use as grist for memes.