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Backlash to religious freedom bill goes national on social media

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The backlash to the religious freedom bill gets wider, it seems, by the hour.

Governor Mike Pence and #BoycottIndiana both trended nationwide on social media Friday.

Powerful players in the tech industry have spoken out using Facebook and Twitter.

The negative backlash began with Indiana-based companies, like the NCAA, expressing concerns about the possible repercussions to the religious freedom bill.

On Friday, global companies joined the conversation.

As NCAA’s Final Four weekend approaches, a different Indiana topic has stolen the spotlight.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act has drawn negative comments from across the country, expressed online.

“The broader community is looking at this going, yeah, not a good idea,” said Lorraine Ball, owner of marketing company Roundpeg.

Ball is a social media expert and has been following the online reaction to the new law.

“Just like when they are angry or frustrated about any number of things, we’ve seen this trend where people go to social media,” she said.

The law has garnered attention from Apple CEO Tim Cook.

He tweeted, “Around the world, we strive to treat every customer the same – regardless of where they come from, how they worship or who they love. Apple is open for everyone. We are deeply disappointed in Indiana’s new law. “

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff tweeted, “We are forced to dramatically reduce our investment in Indiana based on our employees’ and our customers’ outrage over the Religious Freedom Bill.”

He is canceling all travel for employees to Indiana and encouraging others to speak up within their companies if they also disagree with the bill.

“It’s really disappointing to see an organization like Salesforce look at us and go ‘wow, we’re not going to play,’” Ball said.

Ball believes these key players have started a negative reaction that will grow exponentially.

“By having someone who is influential in a particular industry, people that are following them are now going to participate in the conversation,” she said.

She also said that in recent years the city of Indianapolis has made a big push to be active on social media.

And that means the city has more eyes on it, whether things go well or go poorly.