What’s That Red Equal-Sign on Facebook All About?

Mar 26, 2013 5:28pm

They’re popping up on Facebook news feeds around the nation, but without much explanation. Just what are those red equal-sign Facebook profile pictures all about? Look no further than the Human Rights Campaign, an organization in support of gay marriage that is running a particularly successful social media initiative as the Supreme Court discusses the issue over the next two days.

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Social Trend: Facebook profile pictures changed to HRC's equal sign as SCOTUS argues gay marriage.

In a Facebook post today, the HRC asked gay marriage supporters to “paint the town red,” wearing red in their wardrobe as well on their Facebook pages, changing profile photos over to the HRC “=” logo. The idea has even caught the eyes of Congress, with 13 members showcasing the symbol, according to Ryan Beckwith.

The campaign has left many on Twitter wondering what changing a profile picture will accomplish.

Boston comedian Dana Jay Bein had a more optimistic outlook in a Facebook post: “Seeing all of the people who support can inspire people to take MORE action – small change. I’d much rather see red equal signs than pictures of Grumpy Cat and ironic self shots.”

RELATED SLIDESHOW: Pizza, Unicorns and Bacon: The Red Equality Symbols of Social Media

The HRC initiative has seen a few spin-offs since this morning, with several profile picture explanation posts seeing high numbers of shares, in an attempt to clarify what the red profile pictures stand for.

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