Facebook’s Gay Marriage Support Map Looks Exactly How You’d Expect It to Look

    March 29, 2013
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

As you may remember, Facebook was painted red on Tuesday as marriage equality supporters changed their profile pictures to a red and pink equals sign to show their support of the cause.

The image was shared by the Human Rights Campaign’s Facebook page, who repurposed their normal blue and yellow logo to show support for same-sex marriage as the U.S. Supreme Court began to hear arguments in two relevant cases.

Facebook’s data science team has analyzed the campaign, and has provided us with a neat little map of all the counties in the U.S. The redder the county, the more profile pic changes its Facebook users made on that day.

Look, we’re not saying that there are no marriage equality supporters in the south, or that everyone in California or Michigan supports same-sex marriage. We’re just saying that the look of this map leaves nobody around here surprised.

Facebook notes a not all that curious trend. Apparently, many of the top 25 counties in the country that showed the most love for HRC’s marriage equality campaign house colleges – Orange (University of North Carolina), Durham (Duke University), Monroe (Indiana University), Johnson (University of Iowa), Athens (Ohio University), Dane (University of Wisconsin), Boulder (University of Colorado), and Travis (University of Texas at Austin).

Apart from that, San Francisco County, San Mateo County, and Washington, D.C. also ranked high on the list for changed profile pics.

Facebook’s data team has some more interesting insights about HRC’s campaign. Here’s a couple:

  • 120% more people across the network changed their profile picture on Tuesday compared to the previous Tuesday.
  • Those closest to the age of 30 were the most likely users to update their profile picture.
  • Females were slightly more likely (2.3%) to change their profile pic.

Facebook closes their study with this:

“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.”

Did you change you profile picture on Tuesday?

  • http://www.TunerTools.com Lloyd

    Are we do just assume that EVERY profile picture changed was in support of gay marriage? I’ve no doubt a LOT of those were, but there were also profile pictures changed to stand against gay marriage and of course many simply changed for the hell of it.
    These sort of hocus pocus numbers need to be juxtaposed with a comparison of several other similar time periods where nothing politically was happening before I can take either these numbers or this author seriously. Spin has no place in journalism.

    • Gordon

      Absolutely agree with you Lloyd – however journalism seems to be dead, supplanted by covert editorialism from every corner. The fact that the event was considered worthy of an article at all is a form of editorialism, rather than journalism. For a forum about web pro news… this was the most important event of any given day to write about? Only if you have a personal stake in the issue.

    • Kiya

      @Llyod sorry it wasn’t made clear to you in the article but the map was based on the number of people who changed their profile picture to the red square with the pink equal sign in the middle. So maybe the stat about 120% more people changed their picture that day then the previous Tuesday confused you, however that last stat was not implying that all of those included in that 120% supported Gay marriage. So no its not spin media as much as it is reading comprehension.

  • john

    Im moving to Texas, sick of all this gay homo talk…

    • ted holland

      Come on down John…we got gays here too…..I’ll be at the airport waiting for ya, sweetie! (Just a reminder…Houston is the fourth largest city in the US and it had the highest gay population in the US….its closely followed by Dallas, Austin and San Antonio…all of which have gay pride parades.)

  • http://naturalhandcraftedsoap.com Natural Handcrafted Soap

    Facebook has map for everything if you look into