Indiana 'Religious Freedom' Law Sparks Social Media Eruption

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act has quickly ricocheted to the top of Internet chatter and is the focus of tweets and posts from a range of public figures.

Although potential Republican presidential candidates remained mum on social media, the law signed by Gov. Mike Pence last week drew early reaction from likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton:

Celebrities were quick to express their outrage as well, adding star power to the hashtag #BoycottIndiana. Data shows that this hashtag has been tweeted over 55,000 times since the bill was signed into law.

Actor George Takei tweeted his request for people to boycott the state:

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, made it clear his company would not allow discrimination to occur.

Jeremy Stoppelman, the CEO of Yelp, hinted in an open letter that the law could impact business dealings in Indiana.


Within Indiana, Indiana University, which is public and therefore funded by the state, tweeted its "concerns" about the law:

Angie's List, an Indianapolis-based company, announced it will withdraw its campus expansion proposal:

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy announced on Twitter that he would ban state-funded travel to Indiana, following the lead of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

But not all response to the law on social media has been negative. Just as opponents of the law have developed #BoycottIndiana, supporters are using #StandWithIndiana to show approval of the law and advocate for religious freedom.


However, data shows there have not even been 700 tweets with this hashtag,and few public figures are using it to express support.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum said in a tweet he supports Pence:

And rather than discuss boycotts, or the negative publicity the law has brought to the state, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard tweeted that there was more to his city than this law.

Related Topics