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#LoveWins The Internet
By: Jennifer Graber
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Friday was a big day in the world of news. J.K. Rowling announced a new Harry Potter related story…wait, that’s not it. Well, that did happen but that was far from the news that took the digital world by storm. Unless you are living under a pretty big rock you heard the news Friday that shook the United States, and the world. Friday morning the Supreme Court of the United States announced a historic decision. The SCOTUS voted to grant gay and lesbian couples the right to marry.
 
As expected the Internet was ablaze with opinions, celebrations, and idiocy. And it was only a matter of time before the SCOTUS decision went viral at astonishing rates, spawning the hashtag #LoveWins. And love certainly did win—the Internet. The #LoveWins hashtag had amassed more than 3 million tweets in less than twelve hours. Additionally, Twitter was inspired by the equality-based hashtag and provided an update to the site that would automatically add a rainbow heart whenever #LoveWins was used.   
 
And, again in less than twelve hours, there were nearly 6.2 million tweets overall regarding the SCOTUS’ decision on gay marriage. Tweets were flying out at a peak rate of 35,000 per minute, and leveled out to a rate of approximately 20,000 per minute. These numbers, much like the decision, are historic and record setting. The speed at which items spread through the land of digital infamy is absolutely mindboggling.
 
More than Twitter was afire with talk of the SCOTUS ruling. Tech companies like Google, YouTube, and Facebook were absolutely smitten. Both Google and YouTube’s homepages displayed the hashtag #ProudToLove as a way of showing joy and celebration. If you happened to type the search words gay, lesbian, or transgender into a Google search box your results would be colorful. Google created a special image of “rainbow colored silhouettes holding hands.” And YouTube’s site displayed a heartwarming video compilation of “emotional coming out statements” and “joyful LGBT wedding ceremonies.”
 
Facebook joined in the celebration by allowing users to craft a special profile picture. Users could transform their profile picture into a glorious rainbow display to show support. Personally, my Facebook newsfeed was very colorful on Friday, and continues to be.
 
Other companies across the digital world took part of the celebrations as well. Tech giants such as Apple, Mashable, Vimeo, Uber, and more did their part in showing off support for the marriage equality ruling. Whether it was a proud hashtag, a dedicated section of LGBT friendly entertainment, or a rainbow display photo—these companies, and more, took a digital stand. Even the White House and President Obama joined in on the fun.
 
And though many tweets and posts were filling the digital world in favor of marriage equality, there were also posts in opposition of the ruling. Debates got heated, and personal. Jabs were thrown through the computer screen. Many eyes were rolled, and side glances given.
 
Regardless, however, of what side of marriage equality you are on it was all anyone could talk about online. And you have to admit that it is nearly impossible to attempt to fathom the impressive rate at which the news spread. It was like a digital wildfire. And, for one day at least, love won.


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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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