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Published July 16th 2012

Social Media Investigation: Social News Ruling the Supreme Court

It was no surprise that when news broke of the Supreme Court upholding President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, every news site, blogger and journalist alike ran to cover the monumental story.

Here at Brandwatch, we’re monitoring how social media has been affecting the 2012 Presidential Race. On June 28, 2012 we immediately saw a spike in conversation and trending hashtags:









Social media is playing a larger role in the elections than ever before. Presidential candidates now have Twitter handles, Facebook profiles, Google+ pages, and even Twitter accounts to raise campaign money.

With both Political figures and American citizens using these platforms to constantly discuss worldwide issues in real time, it begs the question:  

How does social-news shape news worthiness?


Fig. 1



In Figure 1, we break down hour-by-hour page types, zeroing in on June 28th and June 29th, 2012. This data reflects the spike by Twitter and the continued conversation throughout the two days. While news had spikes at certain times, it was not as consistent as social media platforms.


Fig. 2



In Figure 2, we expand the dates for page types from June 28th-July 6th, 2012 again social sites like Twitter, blogs and forums continue to talk about the passing of ACA- while news outlets lessen. The issue is that while news outlets may think the big moment to report on these events has passed, many people are still talking about it.

For news outlets, the big question of how “social news” dictates “news worthiness” doesn’t appear to be consistently reflected. But for people on these social platforms it’s how they are constantly sharing facts, and opinions. If more news outlets use social media monitoring tools like  Brandwatch, they will see how this timely data shows insight to these trending topics and how citizens continue to talk about the issue(s) long after the newscast. As opposed to only reporting momentarily on issues, sometimes even echoing the wrong information

As our research team continues to track the Presidential elections, it’s obvious that Twitter will influence a large amount of buzz. Whether these news outlets pay attention to this social news will be another story.


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