Yesterday, as the Supreme Court began to hear the case challenging California’s controversial Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage, the Human Rights Campaign organization launched a social media initiative encouraging marriage equality supporters to change their Facebook profile pictures to a red version of HRC’s logo, an equal sign, to show their support for marriage equality.
The campaign quickly went viral, with thousands of Facebook and Twitter users changing their avatars to the red HRC logo over the span of the few hours on Tuesday.
Some journalists changed their avatars to the HRC logo to show their support for those they know who are unable to get married. In doing so, they blurred the lines between personal views and professional objectivity in social media.
Does changing your profile picture constitute taking a stance on a political issue — and does it compromise a journalist’s credibility? Will it antagonize readers or sources who engage with the journalist on social media platforms to see such a personal opinion displayed in such a prominent way on a journalist’s Facebook page? Read more