Facebook Rallies Around Viral Campaign in Support of Same-Sex Marriage

Celebrities like George Takei and Beyonce helped the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) “red” promotion go viral.

In late March, the HRC called on its Facebook friends to show support for same-sex marriage by updating their profile picture to a red HRC logo. The call to arms came on the day before Supreme Court hearings on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

“Who’s wearing red tomorrow? Show your support for marriage equality – make your image red tomorrow,” wrote the HRC on its Facebook page on March 25.

According to a recent infographic from the Rad Campaign, the HRC’s actions led to more Facebook users updating their profile picture than usual. In just 24 hours after the HRC’s posting over two million more Facebook users updated their profile picture compared to the previous Tuesday.

By April 1 it was reported that HRC’s Facebook post was shared over 71,000 times. HRC’s red logo was remixed over that time period by supporters. Users adapted the logo to feature the Internet’s favorite things such as “Game of Thrones,” “Star Trek,” and cats.

“The infographic about marriage equality shows that people from all over the U.S. were inspired to change their profile photo in support of same-sex marriage,” said partner for the Rad Campaign Allyson Kapin.

According to statistics uncovered by Facebook, the average age of Facebook users to change their profile picture was 30. Over 3 percent of 30-year-olds on Facebook changed their picture within 24 hours of the HRC’s announcement.

Celebrities also helped to spread the HRC’s campaign awareness. Star Trek’s George Takei had over 138,000 Facebook shares by March 30. Beyonce and Madonna also helped spread the word with Facebook shares of over 6,000 and 51,000.

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