One thing that has been great about the Internet and specifically social media during the United States Presidential debates is that it’s given a voice to the everyday person to raise concern over what they think is an important issue spoke about. In the past the pundits and reporters would tell the world what they thought were the best and worst things that a candidate said during a debate, but that didn’t always reflect what the public was thinking. However, the common person really only got the chance to discuss their thoughts with the their close friends, family and coworkers.
Now, with the rise of public voice through real-time social media, the world can instantly know what’s resonating with the people watching these debates. And it has. At the first Presidential debate a few weeks ago, Romney made a comment about Big Bird and taking funding away from PBS, the channel that produces and broadcasts the beloved Sesame Street, and the Internet blew up making comments and memes about this. Well, this phenomenon has happened again after Tuesday night’s second Presidential debate over a comment about having “binders full of women.”
For a little context, the candidates were talking about the equality of women in the workplace. During this part of the debate President Obama talked about giving equal pay and jobs to women. When asked about women he works with, Romney made a quick comment that he had “binders full of women’s resumes” for positions, but as it was pointed out, he didn’t actually have a lot of women working for him. And with that, the idea of “binders full of women” took off.
Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analysis platform, I looked at how the “binders full of women” took off. Since the comment was made on Tuesday night I was able to find over 200,000 mentions of it through social channels. There were 2,877 blog posts, 4,400 online news articles, 4,221 forum postings and 192,495 tweets making reference to it.
Looking at thos numbers spread out over time we can see that the statement really resonated with people. Tuesday, the night it was said, saw a lot of talk about the comment. But it was really the next day that it spread like wildfire. People were making both serious and funny comments about Romeny’s statement (as I’ll show you soon). And it appears to still be going strong today, even though it’s still early in the day.
The public took Romney’s comment about “binders full of women” as an opportunity to talk seriously about what they think of the candidate and to make jokes. When I looked at the most RT’d tweets talking about “binders full of women” most of them were of a very serious nature. They talked about how the candidate never said much about sticking up for equal pay and jobs for women and how that’s a serious issue for a lot of women (and men) voters. Out of the six most RT’d tweets I found that two of the were from Obama’s camp and another two were from Big Bird, who seems to be very anti-Romney since the last debate. There was also a very serious one from film maker Michael Moore who said “On November 6th, will find out just how many binders of women there are,” meaning that he feels women won’t stand for voting for him if he doesn’t believe in giving them equal rights.
On the flip side though, there were also quite a few jokes being made about the statement as well. More so, as it happens on then internet these days, the statement became an instant classic meme. All day yesterday different memes were being floated around the internet using the “binders full of women” statement. Here’s just a few of the funny ones I found:
While in the past the theme of that part of the debate would have most likely been talked about after the fact. But thanks to the rise of public voice and social media, we’re able to see (at a very amplified rate] some of the actual statements that resonate with people, whether they be good, bad, or funny.