Facebook Shares Data on Just How a Marriage Equality Meme Went Viral

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Marriage equality has become one of the most polarizing political issues — and topics for debate — of our time. And as is often the way, Facebook wanted to join the conversation. In a recent blog post, the admins at Facebook broke down the spread of the ubiquitous red equal sign, which went viral on the site earlier this year as users started using it as their profile picture in droves.

Facebook tracked the adoption of the image as profile pictures across Facebook users with at least one friend who’d changed their profile picture to a marriage equality sign. Facebook then compiled all of the data and developed a geographic representation of diffusion of the sign. On the map, the deeper red a region, the more the marriage equality sign spread in that specific region. Obviously, the Northeast is killing it and California, Portland, Denver, parts of Florida and Texas also saw impressive spread of the logo. And, both randomly and wonderfully, northern Arizona repped their asses off. Stay cool, Arizona.

The story doesn’t just end on the home front. Facebook also released an international map displaying diffusion of the marriage equality sign around the world (again among users with at least one friend who’d adopted the sign). It proves that Americans are more concerned with the issue as a movement than are our fellow countries’ inhabitants. The concept of “risk” is also at play here, indicating that Americans feel safer to display support of marriage equality than do, say, South Americans or Russians. Also, most Americans probably have more American friends than say, friends living in Malaysia. Now, let’s adopt marriage equality nationwide and see how gay wedding pictures flood into our Facebook feeds.


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