Last week, on Tuesday, 26th March, the Human Rights Campaign launched a social media campaign to rally support in favor of same-sex marriage as the U.S. Supreme Court began to debate its merits.
|Original HRC Pink-On-Red Equals Sign Avatar|
Across the social media spectrum, but most noticeably on Facebook, users were asked to change their avatar to the pink-on-red equals sign above. This is a tweak on the HRC's original blue-yellow logo.
Immediately, this began to catch on. And also immediately, as more people changed their avatar in support of same-sex marriage, people began to customize their avatars (like the one shown above in the shape of Washington state).
Within a day or so, this campaign had successfully gone viral. A post by Eytan Bakshy on behalf of the “Facebook Data Science Team” notes that on March 26, the number of changes to profile picture was markedly up, with 2.7 million, or 120%, more than the previous Tuesday.
|Sesame Street's Bert & Ernie|
But some questioned how successful the campaign was and suggested that people changing their avatar on Facebook (or on their other social media profiles such as Twitter etc) was completely useless.
|Peanuts' Peppermint Patty and Marcie.|
Some points made on this may be valid. But personally I feel the Supreme Court may be somewhat influenced by the global response the campaign achieved.
|Lady Liberty and Lady Justice.|
Some avatars crossed over into unexpected genres, characters and memes that normally wouldn't be linked to this issue.
Below is just a small selection of avatars people adopted during the campaign.
|Black Flag logo|
|Bud Light cashes in.|
|Star Wars' C3PO & R2D2.|
|Ermahgerd meme 01.|
|Ermahgerd meme 02.|
|Lord of the Rings' Frodo & Sam.|
|Game of Thrones.|
|Grumpy Cat meme.|
|Gamer control pad / Nintendo.|
|A couple of head avatars.|
|Doobies / Joints.|
|Matzah (coinciding with Passover).|
|Dr Who's Tardis (x2).|
|The Lion King.|
|Message to President Obama on corn (?).|
And judging by the number of people now beginning to switch their avatar out to something else, the campaign is beginning to wane. The "avatar swap" part of the campaign lasted about a week. I just wonder what effect, if any, it will have on the Supreme Court ruling decision due out soon.