Big Winner in Debate: Twitter
Debate was most-tweeted US political event ever
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Oct 4, 2012 9:51 AM CDT
This Aug. 30, 2009 file photo shows Big Bird, of the children's television show 'Sesame Street.'   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

(Newser) Last night's debate was the most-tweeted US political event in history, Computerworld reports, with viewers offering some brilliant—and not so brilliant—analysis of the contest as it unfolded. Twitter and other social media gave viewers the chance to skip the pundits' take and jump right into the post-debate analysis themselves, the New York Times notes. Mitt Romney's willingness to defund Big Bird, Romney's energy, and Obama's lack thereof all prompted flurries of tweets.

Tweets per minute, Politico notes in a chart, peaked with Jim Lehrer's suggestion to Romney regarding further discussion of a point: "Let's not." But when there's so much activity in the Twitterverse, it becomes a "relentless gush of information that can outgrow its usefulness by being too overwhelming to consume," writes Patrick Gavin at Politico. Still, a few highlights (and lowlights):

  • Kitchen Aid managed to squeeze in a less-than-tasteful joke about Obama's dead grandmother, Gawker notes. Following her mention onstage, the company tweeted: "Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! She died 3 days b4 he became president." The company quickly apologized.
  • Scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson defended Big Bird and Co. in 140 or less: "Cutting PBS support (0.012% of the budget) to help balance the Federal budget is like deleting text files to make room on your 500Gig hard drive."
  • Big Bird got several Twitter accounts of his own, ABC News reports, offering trenchant commentary: "Under Mitt #Romney, Cookie Monster won’t receive the care he needs to overcome his addiction," noted @BigBirdRomney. "I guess I’m the 47%…" wrote @BigBird. Some 16,000 people were following @FiredBigBird an hour after the debate ended.
Click for a look at who might have been stretching the truth last night.

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
Oct 6, 2012 12:06 PM CDT
I was amazed, Romney did the biggest flip flop of his campaign. He's now pandering to the 47% he trashed a week ago. He took positions that are opposite of what he took before the debate. He shunned the Ryan tax plan like it never existed, etc. etc. etc. I suggest that after giving millions to his campaign the 1% told him to say and promise anything to win. Then he can flip flop back after the election. I'm on to ya' Mitt.
Oct 4, 2012 10:54 PM CDT
If Robme messes with PBS Big Bird will kick his ass!
Oct 4, 2012 12:53 PM CDT
Last night’s debate brought to light the huge impact that social media use in government activities is having on our society. Both at federal and state/local levels, governments themselves are seeing the benefit of using Twitter for real-time data collection and response with their citizens. The fact that the debate was the most tweeted U.S. political event in history demonstrates that social media is changing the paradigm of data exchange. – Chris Cotner, Deltek