Twitter Shows Support for Australia’s Marriage Equality Campaign with Dedicated Emoji

I must start this article off with the admission that I find it somewhat baffling that events such as the Australian marriage equality postal vote are still required. Don’t get me wrong, I recognise that discrimination against LGBTQ communities around the world is still rife, but the fact that modern governments still insist on placing limitations upon personal freedoms for no reason other than the intrinsic nature of the individual in question is truly and downright sickening. Scrap the vote; just change the law, please…

With that being said, it is reassuring to see some of the world’s largest companies and corporations directly pledging support for the “Yes” vote. One notable example of this is Twitter, who recently launched a dedicated “Yes” emoji which will appear in any tweets containing the following hashtags: #EqualityCampaign, #MarriageEquality, #VoteYes, #PostYourYes, #PostYes, and #YesForEquality.

The emoji doesn’t seem to display in embedded tweets outside of Twitter’s own platform, but you can see how it appears in the GIF included atop this article.

As online platforms go, Twitter seems like the ideal home for such supportive media, given its reputation as a hotbed for discussion around such controversial topics. In fact since 1st August, marriage equality has been the most-discussed political issue on Twitter across the whole of Australia, according to Twitter themselves. The platform’s Australian user-base clearly cares deeply about this issue, however with the deadline for postal votes (27th October) fast approaching, the pro-marriage equality campaign is becoming concerned about the complacency of younger voters.

Polls conducted by Newspoll identified that while 66% of individuals between the ages of 18-34 support the idea of same-sex marriage, only 57% have at the time of writing even bothered to post their voting form. Among the over-65s where support for the “No” vote is stronger, 74% have already sent in their vote. This alone could be enough to turn the tide if those in support of equality fail to express these views. Considering Twitter’s widespread popularity among younger demographics and the viral nature of the platform itself, something as simple as an eye-catching emoji could actually work wonders in encouraging these people to vote, thereby strengthening the “Yes” campaign as a result.

Twitter has seen an influx of posts in support of marriage equality from its Australian users in the build-up to the vote, with Twitter themselves commenting on the diverse nature of these supporters and proudly asserting, “There is no one face of equality.” With this I whole-heartedly agree; we all must play our part.

The deadline for postal views to reach the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in order to be counted is 27th October, so those who have not expressed their views and wish to do so had better act fast lest they miss out on their opportunity to vote on this important issue.

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