The Mighty Logo

People With Autism Are Tweeting Photos of Their Eyes to Make an Important Point

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Update Monday, Jan. 25: On Monday morning, the blogger who created the hashtag in this article, updated her blog to say she will no longer promote its use because she does not want to add to the stigma around autism. We have updated the story accordingly.

A New Yorker article has sparked outrage in the autism community.

The article, called “Seeing the Spectrum,” published online and in the January 25 issue of the New Yorker, was written by Steven Shapin and attempts to trace the history of autism spectrum disorder and how it has been shaped by activism. One passage in particular has upset many in the autism community.

The passage reads: 

For parents of autistic kids, awareness is desperately important. It’s a searing experience to have a child who doesn’t talk, who doesn’t want to be touched, who self-harms, who demands a regularity and an order that parents can’t supply, whose eyes are not windows to their souls but black mirrors.

The phrase “black mirrors” offended many and inspired the hashtag #NotBlackMirrors on Twitter on Saturday, Jan. 23.


People have since been tweeting photos of their eyes or the eyes of loved ones on the spectrum to show that they are not black mirrors and to try and get the publication’s attention.

See some of the photos from the hashtag below: 





The Mighty reached out to the New Yorker for comment but has yet to hear back. 

Originally published: January 25, 2016
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home