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Nearly 3 million Facebook users turned red for gay marriage

Millions of people changed their profile pic in favor of a version promoting the Human Rights Campaign for equal marriage
Human Rights Campaign's Facebook picture went viral with millions of Americans changing their profile picture to support marriage equality.

Millions of Facebook users turned their profile pictures for marriage equality last week, a Facebook report has found.

Roughly 2.7 million people in the US switched their main pics to the Human Rights Campaign image of a pink-on-red equal sign.

Users, as it is the internet, changed their profile photos to various versions of this image, some featuring Lion King characters, Star Wars storm-troopers and even Gay Star News ducks.

Facebook compared the proportion of American users who logged in the day after HRC launched their campaign on 25 March to the users who updated their profile picture the week before.

On average, 2.3% more self-reported female users updated their profile photo, compared to 2.1% more self-reported males.

Many of the top 25 counties in the US that showed the greatest support for HRC’s campaign were home to college towns, with the top coming from Washtenaw County – the home of the University of Michigan.

The report author said: ‘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.’

Check out the best alternative versions of the HRC campaign here.

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