Facebook likes gay marriage, analyzes national conversation on network

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In a thumbs up for equality, Facebook has added a rainbow ring to their sign sitting outside of headquarters in Menlo Park as they track and analyze conversation surrounding the Supreme Court’s rulings on DOMA and Prop 8. 

Earlier this week, the company pulled data showing that approximately 70 percent of people on Facebook in the United States are connected to a friend who has expressly identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual on their timelines. 

“Given the relatively small number of people who actually identify as gay or lesbian,” said Facebook PR representative Slater Tow in an email exchange with 429Magazine, “I thought this had some interesting implications around connectivity and openness.”

Studies have shown that knowing someone personally who identifies as LGBT is a huge factor in the shifting trajectory of equality. 

After the Court’s decisions early on Wednesday, Facebook continued to track trends in conversation across the network. 

According to a published report, there have been more than four million related mentions. 

“DOMA” was the most talked-about term in reactions related to the rulings. “Unconstitutional” had the largest percentage increase in mentions, spiking nearly 60,000 percent by mid-morning, and mentions of “struck down” and “Prop 8” also saw huge spikes.

Looking at the top 10 terms in conversations relevant to the rulings, Facebook found more than 1.5 million mentions between 9:00am and 11:00am EDT. Two hours later, that number doubled to three million mentions, and exceeded four million by 4:00pm EDT. 

Facebook also compiled an infographic tracking the “happiness” of network users. 

“People on Facebook across the U.S. expressed their happiness with the ruling in timeline posts. California, where many Proposition 8 opponents were awaiting the Court’s decision, ranked highest in happiness mentions,” reads the report. 

429Magazine

Follow Anna on Twitter @AnnaLoope. Have a lead? Email her at anna@dot429.com

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