If you visited your Facebook newsfeed Tuesday, you might have noticed a lot of profile picture updating going on. Some Facebook users were replacing their avatar pictures with the image of a red square with a pink equal sign in it.
The symbol is that of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transexual rights advocacy group, that is supporting gay marriage as proposition 8 hearings began at the Supreme Court Tuesday. The HRC’s usually blue and yellow equality symbol took on the colors of love in honor of the hearings.
Posting the picture of the red/pink logo on its Facebook page, HRC encouraged Facebook users to “wear red to show your support for marriage equality.”
“Red is a symbol for love, and that’s what marriage is all about,” Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Charlie Joughin told MSNBC Tuesday. “We wanted to give people an opportunity to show their support for marriage equality in a public and visible way.”
It is unclear how many people have actually made the switch of their profile pictures, but HRC’s original picture has been shared more than 66,000 times and liked more than 18,000 times as of Wednesday morning. Just to put this into perspective, a viral photo posted Sunday — so it has two days on this campaign — sharing the story of an autistic girl was shared nearly 179,000 times and had more than 727,000 likes as of Wednesday morning.
The Chicago Tribune has some thoughts from those who changed their pictures:
In response to a Facebook question asking about changing avatars, Edmund Cruz, of Belmont-Cragin, was impressed by how the message was spreading. He did a little research first before deciding to change his avatar.
“The power of social media, being able to spread awareness like wildfire!” he wrote.
Kathy Brandon changed her avatar, and had some strong words.
“The fact that we’re even debating this issue in 2013 is ridiculous,” she wrote.
Steff Amacher, who said she doesn’t usually share her political opinions on Facebook, was compelled.
“I felt this issue, and the historic hearing in Washington, were too important to do/say nothing,” the South Loop resident wrote.
Wach this report about the trend from WGN Chicago:
The red equal sign is also popping up as Twitter users’ avatar photos as well.
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