Facebook Offers Gay Pride Emoticon - InformationWeek

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Facebook Offers Gay Pride Emoticon

Facebook's new rainbow emoticon reflects support of Supreme Court's decision on marriage equality.

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In celebration of Wednesday's Supreme Court decisions overturning the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and rejecting a challenge to a lower court ruling that struck down California's Proposition 8, Google presented search results on the word "gay" with a rainbow. Now Facebook is giving users a way to express their support of the Supreme Court's historic decisions and the LGBT community by offering a rainbow emoji expressing pride.

As my colleague Tom Claburn noted, several major tech companies -- including Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon -- have pledged their support of the LGBT community not only in their internal HR practices and policies but also in their support of legislation supporting LGBT rights (and their opposition to legislation infringing on such rights).

Facebook's new emoji pictures a rainbow and the update "feeling pride." Facebook has confirmed that the new icon relates to the Supreme Court decisions.

[ Now you can add images to Facebook comments. Read Facebook Comment Photos: Worth 1000 Words. ]

To get the emoji, click on the smiley face under your status update, click on "Feeling" to get to the drop-down menu, and then search on "Pride." (That's what I had to do, anyway -- the emoji wasn't listed in the Feeling options.)

In the past, Facebook users have not waited for the social network to provide them with ready-made shows of support.

On March 25, as the U.S. Supreme Court began its debate on the future of same-sex marriage, the Human Rights Campaign encouraged Facebook users to show their support by changing their profile pictures to an image of a pink equal sign on a red background. In a blog post, Evtan Bakshy for Facebook Data Science noted that on March 26, about 2.7 million people updated their profile pictures, about 120% more than had done so at the same time the previous week. Bakshy's post also referenced the many clever takeoffs on the now-iconic equal sign symbol. Indeed, Facebook users' profile images have become something of a virtual bumper sticker or holiday decoration. On Father's Day, for example, many Facebook users replaced their profile picture with an image of dear old dad.

Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.

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Becca L
Becca L,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/16/2013 | 10:05:01 PM
re: Facebook Offers Gay Pride Emoticon
I enjoy these social movements on Facebook. Switching out a profile image is easy enough and users can catch up trends just by scrolling through a newsfeed. It's an amazing way to spread buzz and I think we'll be seeing a lot more of it. Perhaps it will get to a point where it becomes diluted and overdone, but at least it keeps things interesting
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