The Little Red Equal Sign That Could
New data show that Human Rights Campaign's viral image was a statistical hit on Facebook.
It seems that the Human Rights Campaign's viral red and pink equal sign caused quite the profile-picture stir on Facebook, the day the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about two same-sex marriage cases.
Just three days after the arguments began, Facebook published a slew of data that seems to imply that the campaign's photo, which many Facebook users used as their profile pictures, made an impression - figuratively and digitally. On any given day, millions of users change their profile pictures, but according to the data, on March 26, that average increased 120 perfect. That means that 2.7 million more people changed their profile photo that day. While Facebook doesn't track which photos users use as their profile pictures, they noted how significant this spike was and linked it to the Human Rights Campaign's marketing efforts.
The results, compiled by the Facebook "data science team," also break down the profile-picture changes by age and geographic location. In fact, Wisconsin's Dane County was in the top 25 counties for most profile-picture changes.
For more on same-sex marriage, Kurt Chandler wrote in our April issue that Wisconsin trails the rest of the country when it comes to one equal-rights issue.
From the conclusion of Facebook's findings: "For a long time, when people stood up for a cause and weren't all physically standing shoulder to shoulder, the size of their impact wasn’t immediately apparent. But today, we can see the spread of an idea online in greater detail than ever before. That’s data well worth finding."