Tweeting the #debates: Round 1

Commentary on US presidential debate dominates social media.


  1. The Stream: 03/10/2012 Presidential Debates (1/3)
  2. Twitter's @gov account tracked peaks in the online conversation surrounding the #debates hashtag and pegged those moments to key talking points during the event.
  3. Online discussion also spiked on the online forum Reddit. A discussion thread started in collaboration with Al Jazeera English generated more than 7,800 comments.
  4. I think social media basically allows campaigns to harvest strategies that are immediately marketable. Anything that spreads through social media probably has a resonance that campaigns can then use. I wouldn't say that campaigns were ever able to do this before--even weather balloons used to be pretty bad because it would only reveal how people in the Beltway felt about it. At the same time, advantage Obama on social media. They simply own it, the same way Republicans own radio. Blue State Media is an astonishingly good marketing group that is behind the Obama campaign's branding, both in this election and in 2008.
  5. After the debate, @digiphile discussed the volume of debate-related discussion that surged on Twitter.
  6. The Stream: 03/10/2012 Presidential Debates (2/3)
  7. Online comments centered around the popular television character Big Bird after Romney explained why he would cut federal funding for the PBS channel. 
  8. Google released a list of the most-searched terms during the debate, including general queries and specific financial policies that Obama and Romney discussed. 
  9. Many on Twitter around the world used #factcheck in their tweets to respond to the candidates' claims during the debates. 
  10. The term "interrupted" also trended in the United States as many criticised journalist Jim Lehrer's debate moderation for allowing the candidates' frequent interjections.  
  11. After the debate, we asked The Stream community for their thoughts on the results of the debate. 
  12. The Stream: 03/10/2012 Presidential Debates (3/3)
  13. Opinion was split on which candidate performed better, but many agreed that Obama's performance was underwhelming, and Romney's move to more moderate positions was surprising. 
  14. Romney is winning, but only because he's moving closer to Obama's current positions. I'm quite confused to be honest. I like moderate Romney, but until today he's been absent from this race.