What does a blue heart emoji mean? Why people are adding blue hearts to Twitter profiles, NHS link and meaning

Many social media users have added a blue heart next to their name on Twitter, along with the hashtag #NHSblueheart

Regular social media users may have noticed that many profiles now feature a blue heart icon next to a person’s name.

The trend started early last year when the UK was in the grip of its second national lockdown and is still going strong today.

Many Twitter users have a blue heart next to their name (Photo: Shutterstock)

But what does the heart icon mean?

#NHSblueheart

Social media users were encouraged last year to add a blue heart to their name on Twitter, along with the hashtag #NHSblueheart, as a way of showing support to NHS staff.

The initiative came about following reports that some healthcare workers had been targeted by a minority online for expressing how bad the situation in London hospitals had become when Covid cases were soaring in January 2021.

NHS millions, a group which supports the work of the health service, launched the initiative as a way to allow people to stand by those working on the frontline.

In a tweet, the group wrote at the time: “We are devastated by the abuse NHS staff are getting on Twitter. Staff need your support now more than ever. If you stand with the NHS and its staff please you will help turn Twitter blue and pop an #NHSblueheart on your name on your profile.

“Let’s get this trending, pls RT!”

It appears that the call for support was originated by Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, an NHS senior intensive care registrar, who has been urging people to stand with the NHS.

In a tweet, she said: “We are devastated by the abuse NHS staff are getting on Twitter. Staff need your support now more than ever.

“If you stand with the NHS and its staff please you will help turn Twitter blue and pop an #NHSblueheart on your name on your profile. Let’s get this trending!”

The move proved to be hugely popular with the hashtag quickly trending at number one in the UK on Twitter soon after the initiative launched.

Many users still have a blue heart next to their name today.

Clap for Heroes

As well as showing support on social media, people were encouraged to take part in a weekly Clap for Heroes campaign as a way of thanking NHS staff for their hard work during the pandemic.

During the first national lockdown, people across the UK took part in the weekly Clap for Carers, which saw thousands stand on their doorsteps every Thursday night to thank staff for their efforts.

The campaign later went on to pay tribute to NHS and care staff, as well as all key workers, and aimed to acknowledge “every hero who has played their part through the pandemic”.

The weekly clap took place at 8pm every Thursday in honour of everyone who has been affected by the pandemic.

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