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Facebook Analysis of Viral Campaign Maps Geographic Breakdown Of Marriage Equality Stances


In a Facebook post titled, "The Unequal Adoption of Equal Signs," users Bogdan State and Lada Adamic have broken down the "equal sign" phenomenon which seemingly overran the social networking site in March of this year.

HRCTheir study found that 2.77 million users in the U.S. changed their profile picture to an equal sign in support of marriage equality, in an effort spurred by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Those statistics were then used to indicate which geographic areas (broken down into roughly 100,000 person sections) had the greatest adoption rates.

Some of the findings were less than surprising, namely that areas along the east and west coasts, and around the Great Lakes, had the highest percentages of Facebook users changing their profile pictures to the equal signs. Others, including the breakdown of Facebook users in some of the nation's larger urban areas (including New York) were more telling. 

The Washington Post reports:

While many cities saw high rates of participation in the campaign, the new analysis shows that there was in some cases great variation within cities.

NYC“These striking differences at the level of urban areas could be the either the result of large geographical differences in terms of support for marriage equality, or they could be the result of lack of connectivity between social networks that made the phenomenon less likely to catch on in certain regions,” Facebook’s Bogdan State and Lada Adamic wrote  Monday afternoon.

In New York, adoption was highest in Manhattan and the parts of Brooklyn and Queens closest to it. But the rates of people changing their profile pictures were very low in the Bronx, outer Brooklyn and Queens, parts of Long Island, Staten Island and New Jersey.

Other statistics showed that people around the age of thirty were most likely to change their picture, and that many of the twenty-five counties with the highest rate of equal signs contained college towns.  

Check out more pictures of the geographic breakdown on Facebook and in the Washington Post article

Closeted Harvard Students Inadvertently Outed By Facebook

Apparently some Harvard students don't realize that everything you do on social networks should be considered public, because The Crimson just published a story about Facebook-using undergrads being inadvertently outed to their parents when friends and events post LGBT-related items on their walls.

FacebookAs The Crimson puts it, "Queer students, especially, have found that ‘the closet’ on the Internet does not provide a very good lock."

Understanding Facebook’s privacy settings can be challenging, particularly due to frequent policy changes. Because of incidents like these, students said that they have become more cautious when using social media sites.

What's more interesting though are the precautions that some Harvard LGBT groups take to help protect the privacy of their possibly-closeted members:

Most of the BGLTQ groups on campus have varying forms of privacy clauses in their constitutions that allow students to hide or censor their membership to preserve confidentiality.

“Some [queer groups] are especially focused on being safe spaces where people can kind of explore themselves and come to terms with themselves,” [Allison Gofman ’14, leader of the queer Jewish organization BAGELS] said. “It’s important that you feel free to have people to talk to without having that go out to the whole world.”

QSA, the largest queer student group on campus, goes to great lengths to ensure students’ privacy by instituting policies regarding posting photos or recording names of members who speak during meetings. They also allow club officers to go by aliases on their website.

The upside of The Crimson's tale is that the two students they interviewed ended up being happy that Facebook outed them, so there's that. But remember kids, everyone can see everything you do online forever. If you don't want your business to be known, don't go online.

What's more troubling is the rising trend of haters using social networks to locate and commit violence against LGBT people — scary stuff indeed.

Straight Man Shares Emotional Story of Being 'Defriended' Over Gay Brother's Wedding: VIDEO


David Stevens recently celebrated the wedding of his younger brother and his partner, proudly sharing pictures of the two happy husbands on his Facebook page.  A few days later, he received this message from a 'friend' of his on the social media site:

Hey David, I am removing you from my friends list. Sorry man, that latest post is way over the top. Homosexuals joining in holy matrimony? I don't think so. The holy bible speaks out against homosexuality and speaks highly of holy matrimony between a man and a woman. It's nothing more than a slap in the face to those who choose God's word for homosexual s to join in a holy marriage. I'm only defriending you so I don't have to look at your anti-God stuff anymore -- nothing personal.

It was a wake-up moment for Stevens, who says he went from supporting his brother to truly understanding what gay and lesbian people go through every day when they face rejection and intolerance simply because of the way they were born.  "I love him," Stevens says of his brother at the end of an emotional video about the experience he posted to YouTube.  "And love wins.  Period."

Check out David Stevens's full video about his brother's wedding and the Facebook message he received, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Straight Man Shares Emotional Story of Being 'Defriended' Over Gay Brother's Wedding: VIDEO" »

Facebook Ice Cream Exists, But What Does It Taste Like?


Facebook ice cream is for sale at the Valentino ice cream shop on Murter Island in the Adriatic Sea.

Writes Digital Trends:

The Facebook ice cream does not taste like Facebook because Facebook is a website and you cannot taste it (though I imagine it would taste like a combination of narcissism, short-term social fulfillment, and regret). The Facebook ice cream tastes like gum and candy, thanks to the flavored blue syrup. There’s probably some metaphor in here about something being sugary, addictive, and only good in moderation, but I’m too lazy to nail it down.

Apparently gimmicks work and people "like" it.

Gay Newfoundland Man Attacked and Left For Dead


Late Thursday night, Patrick Blackburn of St. Johns, Newfoundland, was walking by himself when he was verbally harassed by a group of homophobes. "I heard a bunch of people behind me calling me a fag," he said in a YouTube video. “It didn’t bother me, so I just kept walking. I heard footsteps.” That's the last thing he remembers before waking up in the hospital. At that point, he had received 18 stitches, and suffered damage to his left eye as well as short-term memory loss. 

Shortly therafter, Blackburn took to Facebook and YouTube. Blackburn's Facebook profile photo still depicts him with bandages and an eye patch on his face. One status, which was posted the following day, read:

"Thanks for everyones concern, means a lot - Again Sheldon Steven Burke saved my life a jumping last night - I have short term memory loss - I dont remember NOTHING - a police report has been made on my behalf - I remember walking home seeing 3 guys and waking up in a hospital where the doctors said I lost a lot of blood and i came in unconscious - Battered and brusied and have a HUGE gash on my forehead - I was released shirtly after i woke up..Thanks to staff! Im in a lot of pain and I cannot answer anymore questions about police, hospital, or the assailants. I'm sorry when this comes back to me i'lll let you know. ALSO i could kill for some afraid to close my eyes."  

Blackburn FacebookAnother one displays two rather graphic photos of Blackburn taken just minutes after he was found bleeding in the street. “It’s really scary when somebody tells you that if you weren’t found 10 minutes before you would’ve bled out and died,” he said in his YouTube video, which was later taken down. 

Authorities in St. John are still investigating the anti-gay hate crime. Meanwhile, members of the city's LGBT community are shock and appalled. Noah Davis-Power, president of St. John's Pride, told The Star that: 

“I’ve always thought of St. John’s and Newfoundland as a whole to be pretty safe from that. You have ignorant people like anywhere does, but there’s never been any violence to such a degree towards our community.”

"It makes you wonder; am I going to get beat up when I go downtown if I dress a bit more flamboyantly, or if I'm holding my partner’s hand," he added in a statement to the Huffington Post. Meanwhile, members of Queer Ottawa have also taken to social media, announcing a fundraiser that will be helf this Friday in Blackburn's honor. 

Pro-Gay Rights Message Posted By Anglican Minister Goes Viral


Last week, an Anglican minister in Gosford, Australia posted an image in support of LGBT people to his parrish's Facebook that quickly went viral. The image showed the Church's sign board with the message: "Dear Christians, Some people are gay. Get over it. Love, God." The Daily Telegraph reports that, "within 24 hours, the post had more than 100,000 hits, 1000 shares and 3000 likes." As of today it has received 7,184 likes and 3,701 shares. Father Rod Bower was "overwhelmed" by the response he received to the post:

"I have had a number of phone calls and ran into people who have said, 'Good on you this is really great'... I think it shows that it's an important issue and that a lot of people have spiritual questions that are not being met by traditional forms of Christianity."

Father Bower said he put the sign up to tell the wider community there was more than one way to approach gay rights.

"The conservative view is not the only view," he said. "Marriage equality is a hot issue at the moment and it seems the church is struggling to get over this issue. I am reflecting on what the spirit of God might be saying in a modern world."


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