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Published May 24th 2011

Ryan Giggs and the ungaggable social storm

At Brandwatch, we have been tracking the super-injunction footballer for a while now; not just in light of his indescretions with big brother stars, but also for his sporting prowess.

However, from The Sunday Herald’s brave decision to release his thinly disguised photo on Sunday morning, to the media furore culminating in his name across the front page of almost every UK paper today, we have counted the social media stats.

The first interesting thing we were able to do through Brandwatch is to pinpoint a sports blog which named the footballer in conjunction with Imogen Thomas on 14th April, rather than the Twitter post which has more commonly been cited from 8th May (as reported by thewallblog yesterday).

Secondly, it seems that the gamble for the Sunday Herald paid off. Brandwatch found that comparing mentions of Sunday Herald to the same time 24hours period last week they increased from 216 to 2,204 as the player and Imogen Thomas were mentioned across dozens of sites.

Here is the history graph which shows how the story gathered pace across social networking sites since the rumour mill first started rumbling on Friday through to the big reveal by a Lib Dem MP yesterday evening:

Fig 1. History graph to show the level of mentions building from Friday 20th May to today

Fig 2. Hour by hour breakdown of Ryan Giggs mentions yesterday

Our mentions wheel shows the build throughout the day clearly showing a peak as Lib Dem MP John Hemming mentions Ryan Giggs in a parliamentary debate yesterday.

The sites with the top numbers of mentions revealing Giggs’ as the footballer prior this morning’s papers were:

  • twitter.com
  • www.facebook.com
  • answers.yahoo.com
  • manchesterunitednews.org
  • www.youtube.com
  • financialgoodsite.info
  • uk.answers.yahoo.com
  • www.iol.co.za
  • forums.digitalspy.co.uk
  • www.bbc.co.uk

What is significant is that these stats are certain to mark a change in the UK Justice system. It is also now clear that neither social media nor Lib Dem MP’s can any longer be silenced by gagging orders.

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