Shortly after the U.S. ruling on same-sex marriage Friday morning, topics related to the Supreme Court’s decision began trending on Twitter. At first there was #MarriageEquality, 14th Amendment and Supreme Court. But one hashtag took off like no other on the microblogging site: #LoveWins.
As of Friday at 3 p.m. EDT, there were 2.6 million tweets with the hashtag #LoveWins posted since that morning, according to data from social analytics firm Topsy. And so far, there had been 6.2 million tweets related to the marriage equality ruling, data from Twitter revealed. At its peak, 11:56 a.m. EDT, there were 35,000 tweets sent per minute. Three hours later, the conversation was continuing, at about 20,000 tweets per minute.
To put that in context, 3.5 million tweets mentioning #Ferguson were sent out in less than one day following the jury decision on the Michael Brown case in November 2014. Following the attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, tweets with the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie reached 2.1 million about six hours after the attack.
Here’s the tweet that started a viral movement:
Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins
â€” President Obama (@POTUS) June 26, 2015
U.S. President Barack Obama tweeted at 9:10 a.m. EDT with his endorsement of the decision and included the hashtag #LoveWins. Twitter updated the site to include a rainbow heart icon when anyone tweeted #LoveWins, the Observer reports. The site also identified that tweeting with #Pride embedded a rainbow flag icon. While Obama's message had a high level of circulation, the president was not the first Twitter user to send out #LoveWins. Indeed, the icon appearing is retroactively applied to any previous tweet posted with that hashtag.
Obama’s tweet was sent from the recently minted presidential account @POTUS. He sent out his first tweet on that account on May 18. That name is reported to be his personal Twitter account, while @BarackObama is used for official White House business. However, @BarackObama was one of the 332,000 Twitter users who had retweeted the original posts as of 3 p.m. EDT.
The message has already surpassed his original tweet, which garnered more than 290,000 retweets.