Similar to a black armband, the black ribbon is a public display of grief. Individuals or organizations display the ribbon in commemoration of victims after specific incidents. Some examples have included:
In Barcelona – This ribbon is a sign of mourning for those killed in the terrorist attack - a van driving through a pedestrian street (August 17, 2017)
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 – This ribbon is a sign of mourning for those killed in the fly Boeing KLM/Malaysia Airlines (July 18, 2014)
9/11 – This ribbon is a sign of mourning for those killed in the September 11 attack.
In New Zealand, a black ribbon was worn by family members after the deaths of 29 trapped miners who in the Pike River Mine disaster on November 26, 2010.
In Poland, a black ribbon was worn mourning Polish president Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and 95 other important senior officials who died on April 10, 2010.
Black ribbons were worn and placed on doors after the May 1992 Westray Mine Disaster in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Canada.
The black ribbon was used in remembrance to "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott of Pantera fame. It was modified to include a silhouette of Dimebag and his name and years of birth and death and used as a patch and sticker for the first annual Ride For Dime in honor of his music and life after being fatally shot on stage with his band Damageplan.
The black ribbon has been also used by the journalists in the Philippines to condemn the killings of journalists on the Maguindanao massacre.
In Northern Ireland, Bloody Sunday 1972 – to remember the murders and attempted murders of civilians at the peak of The Troubles.
Police officers often wear black ribbons in mourning of fallen officers.
March 23–25, 2016, Google displayed a Black Ribbon on the home page of all Google sites after the Brussels bombings.
June 11, 2016,YouTube displayed a Black Ribbon next to the YouTube logo after American Singer Christina Grimmie was shot and killed after one of her concerts. This black ribbon would later be used for the LGBT nightclub shooting the next day.
January 30, 2017, Google Canada displayed a black ribbon with the alt text "Our hearts are with the people of Quebec City." In French "Nos coeurs sont avec les personnes touchées à Québec." This was displayed after the gun attack of a Mosque in Quebec City that left at least 6 people dead and 8 injured.
April 7, 2017, Google Sweden displayed a black ribbon with the alt text "Our thoughts are with Stockholm, the victims and their loved ones" in Swedish "Våra tankar är med Stockholm, offren och deras närstående". The ribbon was displayed because the 2017 Stockholm attack where a truck was used to drive down Drottninggatan by a terrorist which led to the death of 5 people and 7 injured. YouTube also displayed a black ribbon next to the YouTube logo.
October 2, 2017, Google displayed a black ribbon as a mark of respect and acknowledgement for the victims of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, the deadliest mass shooting in United States history. The highlighted text read alt text "Our hearts are with the victims, their families, and the community of Las Vegas."
February 15, 2018, Google displayed a black ribbon as a mark of respect for the victims, families, and the community of Parkland, Florida after the shooting that happened a day earlier with the alt text "Our hearts are with the victims, their families, and the community of Parkland."
April 23, 2018, Google displayed a black ribbon in support of the victims, families, and city of Toronto after 10 people were run over by a van along the sidewalk. Several others were injured.
October 29, 2018, Google displayed a black ribbon as a mark of respect for the victims, families, and the community of Pittsburgh after the shooting that happened a day earlier with the alt text "Our hearts are with the victims, their families, and the community of Pittsburgh."
November 8, 2018, Google displayed a black ribbon as a mark of respect for the victims of the Thousand Oaks shooting in California with the alt text "Our hearts are with the victims, their families, and the community of Thousand Oaks, CA."
By the Anarchist Black Ribbon Campaign, a free speech campaign started in 1996 inspired by the Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign.
During the 6th International Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) the black ribbon was worn worldwide to show support and promote awareness of the Palestinian struggle.
In India, 2011 to show support to Anna Hazare who was fasting to fight against corruption by government.
Narcolepsy Awareness – To bring awareness to narcolepsy worn by anybody who supports Narcolepsy awareness.
Worn by people who have suffered from any intentions of self harming on November 30 of every year.
The purpose of the Black Ribbon New Zealand campaign (November 25) is to remove discrimination from violence prevention awareness, and establish equal representation for all regardless of sex/gender, marital status, religious belief, ethical belief, colour, race, ethnic or national origins, disability, age, political opinion, employment status, family status, and sexual orientation.