It's a good day. The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, determining it unconstitutional, and finally giving gay couples the right to marry.
When the news hit this morning the internet erupted in a veritable digital celebration, and the hashtag #LoveIsLove went quickly viral.
Even President Obama was in on it, tweeting that the ruling is a historic step forward for marriage equality, #LoveisLove.
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This is one of the great things about the web—it's another place to express joy, in creative ways, and share it with not only your friends nearby but those far away, or even the whole connected world.
The other powerful thing is its role in affecting change in the first place. Back in March, when the Supreme Court began debating the case, millions of netizens, urged by the Human Rights Campaign, changed their avatars to a red equal sign to show support for marriage equality. (Red for the color of love.)
While it probably wasn't the reason the court decided to strike down DOMA today, like any social movement—on or offline—there's a cultural tipping point, a strength in numbers, when the powers that be have to stop and take notice. Social media can expedite that.
"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," Facebook's data team wrote.
The team created and published a map of places in the U.S. where people changed their profile photo in solidarity. It's a heartwarming sea of pink. Yay internet.