On Gay Rights, Moving Real-Life Friends to Action

By Tina Rosenberg

Friendfactor.org

Sarah Silverman’s page on Friendfactor.org

The successful battle for gay marriage legislation in New York State involved the debut of an intriguing new way to apply social media to social change: Friendfactor. While the precise role it played in the law’s passage is unclear, Friendfactor offered a new model for online organizing that could become very useful in similar rights campaigns.

Although Friendfactor depends on social media to contact people, the strategy it used to support gay rights differed in important ways from the supposed Twitter and Facebook “revolutions” we have read so much about: it capitalizes on the strong bonds of real friendship — the old-fashioned sort that exists offline — to move people to action.
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