Tracking a controversial story as it grows on Twitter

6:27 PM, Aug 20, 2013   |    comments
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(NEWS CENTER) - A story like this one ends up taking on a life of it's own through social media. In the last 24 hours there have roughly 2,674 tweets just with the phrase "Obama hates white people" in them. All of them were related to the story about Governor LePage.

Let's review the social timeline. Just before 7:30 last night the Press Herald tweeted the link. From there a variety of organizations picked it up, but the two biggest ones were Gawker and The Drudge Report. About ten minutes later Ben Dreyfuss from the group "mother Jones" tweeted it out from the Gawker website, and then his tweet was re-tweeted by Mother Jones.

Then The Drudge Report tweeted an update to the story this morning, which close to 600 people tweet the original link to the story just from that tweet.

Throughout the night other organizations also picked it up, Politico, The Daily Beast, Slate, and many more. Each time these so called "Twitter Influencers" tweet it out, it the then generates more and more conversations about it. The more people with large followers tweet it again the more attention it gets.

So it's basically the old idea of I tell two friends, who tell their two friends... With social media it all becomes about sharing.
Governor LePage has also become something of a known social media trend.
When people see his name associated with a tweet or a post, they often wonder if controversy is associated with it, which builds up more of the social media buzz.

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