In 2012, Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy's "came out" about his anti-same sex marriage views, launching an enormous negative backlash across social media networks. To counteract this, former governor Mike Huckabee called on his Facebook fans to support the company on "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day," both on Facebook and in person. The project examines both the backlash and Appreciation Day on social media networks. Posts on the Appreciation Day Facebook event page and similar posts on Twitter were first broken down in the framework of supportive and oppositional posts and then analyzed in further contexts. Comments on official Chick-fil-A Facebook statuses were then examined in a similar fashion. The research concludes that a strong support system both online and offline were necessary for Chick-fil-A to recover from its backlash. The controversy that ensued is ultimately a case study in the growing influence of Facebook as a tool for small-scale activism.
- Chicken, Comments, and Change: Using Chick-fil-A to Examine Facebook as an Activist Tool