The issue of same-sex marriages has always been a hot political topic. It’s been in the news and conversation topic more and more in the past few years. A week ago though, the topic seemed to have a hit a new high when the President of the United States, Barack Obama, came out and said that he supported the idea of same-sex marriages. The sentiment was then relayed through his Twitter account which caused an enormous amount of retweets and got everyone talking. In fact, I found that in the past week, his tweet was retweed 71,331 times.
Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics platform, I took a look at the impact this had in the social media space. By looking for posts that included “Obama” as well as one of the following terms: “same-sex.” “samesex,” “same sex” or “gay,” I found 777,109 mentions since the beginning of the month, with the majority being in the last week. I found 37,897 blog posts,42,334 online news articles, 92,430 forum postings and 604,448 tweets.
If we look at those numbers as they happened over time we can actually see just how many tweets were sent the day of Obama’s tweet either retweeting him or discussing his statement. The talk seemed to calm down over the weekend, but then picked up again on Monday of this week.
I then looked at the sentiment of all this talk. I found that generally, the social media world seemed to support Obama’s sentiment. I found only 9% of the conversations happening about Obama and same-sex marriages were negative. On the other hand, 55% of it was positive, which shows for a total 91% favourable rating.
With it being an election year in the US, this was a bold move for Obama to make as he runs for his second term in office. I did a bit of work and combined numbers from blogs, Twitter, forums and online news of which US states were talking the most about this. I found that New York had the most conversation around the topic followed by California and then Florida.
Now we know that a large amount of the conversation was people retweeting the President, but what else were they talking about? Below is a word cloud and buzzgraph showing us some main parts of the conversation. The word cloud displays the most frequently found words for the query and the buzzgraph shows a visual summary of ‘buzz’ around the searched term.
Lastly, here’s a look at the top six retweeted tweets. The first two were from the President himself. His tweets were followed by retweets of Niel Patrick Harris, The New York Times, Piers Morgan and the news aggregating Twitter account Breaking News.